Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Beautiful Covers of the Day!

The Kissed by an Angel series by Elizabeth Chandler has what I consider to be an example of perfect book covers. With a plain black background, the colourful flowers catch your eye and are quite intensified through their contrast to the background. Guaranteed to draw readers in, they are nothing less than absolutely gorgeous!

The blurb:

"An angelic romantic suspense trilogy in one volume!

"Kissed by an Angel": Ivy and Tristan have the love of a lifetime--until Tristan dies in a car accident. Now Tristan returns as an angel, but Ivy is unable to feel his presence.

"The Power of Love": Tristan has learned that the person responsible for the car crash is after Ivy. Can he cross the boundaries of life and death to warn Ivy that she is in trouble?

"Soulmates": Tristan must rescue Ivy, but if he does so his mission will be finished and he will have to leave his true love forever."

Find Kissed by an Angel on Goodreads 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Pisces by Rachel Medhurst

Series: Zodiac Twin Flame
Author: Rachel Medhurst
Page Count: 264
Published: May 7th, 2015
Publisher: Createspace
  4 Stars ★★★★

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Pisces is looking for her twin flame. It is her mission on earth to find her soulmate and to show the world that true love does exist. She has tried for several past lives to fulfill her purpose, but she is always being defeated by the Dysfunctionals; a group of people who want to keep the world negative and thus want to prevent twin flames from uniting.

After initially being kidnapped, she moves into her father's house. There, Antony is assigned as her bodyguard, an attractive man who she cannot resist thinking about, yet quarrels with often. 

After meeting Daniel at a club she thinks she has found her twin flame at last....but what if her soulmate is somebody else, like her siblings think? 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this. The synopsis sounded like nothing I had ever read before, and I was right. The idea of twin flames / soulmates has been explored by many authors over the last few yeas, but Rachel Medhurst's ideas were a welcome change of pace.

I really like how Antony wasn't just a stereotypical "bad boy lover" that I see in so many paranormal romance books. He went deeper than that, he was a dynamic character who complemented Pisces' character and traits. 

Pisces reminded me so much of myself! Wanting to find your own way in the world, yet facing obstacles, sometimes losing hope. I connected to her easily and as a result I cared about her story. I found myself agreeing with a lot of her ideas and thoughts and rooting for her from the start.

The idea of a group of people, named after the Zodiac signs, with personalities and powers matching their sign / name is quite unique. I found this humorous at times, especially when the different "signs" were interacting with each other. The author really executed this idea well!

My only issue with the story is what I feel to be a lack of explanation or motive. Why do the Dysfunctionals want to stop the twin flames so badly? I didn't really understand their purpose, and I found "wanting the world to remain negative" to be a bit too broad of a motive.

Overall, a great book! I recommend this to paranormal romance readers, romance lovers and to those looking for a unique story about soulmates / twin flames.

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Series:The Blood Journals
Author: Tessa Gratton
Page Count: 405
Published: May 24th, 2011
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
5 Stars ★★★★★

Silla's parents died under suspicious circumstances; what appeared to be a murder-suicide. But after receiving a mysterious book of spells, she begins to wonder if there is more to what happened on that fateful day.

Nick moves in next door and finds Silla in the cemetery, and her blood brings back memories of his mother.....and magic. Together, along with Silla's brother, Reese, they unravel the mystery of their families' histories, the surprising connections, and the terrifying truth.

I really loved this book. It has earned it's way into my list of favourite books. First, there was Silla. A complex character, I felt connected to her and I cared about her story and her life. I often saw things the way that she saw them, and I felt her every emotion as if they were my own feelings.

Nick is a likeable love interest. He is perfect for Silla, and he has a mysterious past which connects him to her in ways that he never thought could be true. I found this a unique idea because I haven't read many books where the love interests are more closely connected than they thought; usually they just meet, sparks fly, and romance ensues. But with Nick and Silla, it went much deeper than that.

I was so deeply involved in the story that I cried at times. I had to put the book down so that I could grab a tissue! The beautiful writing mixed with the complex plot and amazing characters made me forget that I lived in the real world and not in the world of this book.

I recommend this book to those who want a dark, unique paranormal story without a love triangle. If you like emotional stories with supernatural elements, this book is for you.

Find Blood Magic on Goodreads

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Series: Valkyrie
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Page Count: 352
Published: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
  5 Stars ★★★★★

Ellie goes to Norway to visit her grandmother for a part of the summer. There she learns about the rumors surrounding her grandmother and the locals' superstition. Young men have been going missing and some people believe that her grandmother may have something to do with it. 

When her older brother, Graham, and his infuriating yet irresistible friend Tuck join her, she grows closer to Tuck and finds herself caught between her attraction towards him and the impossibility that they will ever be together. After all, she is constantly being overshadowed by her seemingly perfect brother, and he is fiercely protective of her.

When her brother is kidnapped, Ellie must go on a quest of self-discovery and bravery. With the help of Tuck and Norway's Valkyrie-hunting citizens, she journeys to save the kidnapped boys before it is too late. 

I usually don't enjoy books based around mythology such as Norse, Celtic, etc, but I decided to pick this one up on the bargain table at the bookstore. I am so glad I did!  This book made me re-evaluate my attitude toward books about mythology and it completely surpassed my expectations. My main problem with books about such kinds of mythology is that some authors will assume you understand the basics of whatever mythology they are working with, and thus do not explain certain details of the story, resulting in readers such as myself being completely lost. Ingrid Paulson did the opposite of that; she explained everything in detail and I was able to keep up with the story despite my lack of familiarity with Norse mythology. If anything, this book expanded my knowledge!

Ellie is an admirable character. She is strong-willed and intelligent, yet the reader learns that she has an insecure side and has issues just like everybody else. She pushes past the barriers that the issues create and as a result, this book is sort of a coming-of-age story. She stands up to affirm her position in the world, in her case as a Valkyrie, and she OWNS it! 

The romance was sweet and touching. Yes, the author worked with some of the "mischievous boy" clich├ęs but she did it well. Tuck was realistic and had flaws, unlike other YA male love interests, which made this book stand out for me. They had a history together because they had known each other for a long time, which eliminated any sort of "insta-love" concerns I may have had.

I am definetly looking forward to the sequel! I am hooked on Ellie and her story and I feel like I'm living out my "badass" side through her! Not to mention that I am insanely interested in Norse mythology now! 

I recommend this book to those seeking a YA novel with a strong female character, sweet romance, and themes such as mythology, self-discovery and loyalty.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Quote of the Day

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” 

-John Green

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Girl With Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti

Series: N/A
Author: Rinsai Rossetti
Page Count: 290
Published: July 19th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
  4 Stars ★★★★

Frenenqer Paje has wings. But they're not real, of course, only imagined. She is quiet and obedient, living in a loveless household with her father always on her case, her only escape through her books. 

She saves a cat from his death one day, and brings him home to find that he is actually a Free person, able to shapeshift and to make his own decisions. He takes her to new places on his own, real wings, but will Frenenqer be able to push past her father and society, and finally become her own person? 

First off, this book was incredibly unique. It was a paranormal fantasy, with elements of contemporary and romance. A coming of age story in its own way. Set in "the oasis", Frenenqer lives in an oppressive home and a conservative society. I have never encountered a book like this one before.

The reader learns about Frenenqer as a person, about who she really is beneath who she pretends to be, beneath what her father wishes she was. I found myself rooting for her from the beginning, hoping that she'd break free of all that was binding her. Admittedly, I got very angry at her sometimes. "Just run away with Sangris, the shape-shifting Free person! It's easy: he can take you anywhere and you'll never get caught!" 

I also found myself angry at the society she was living in. I mean, it was dangerous for her to go outside with her arms exposed. I was sad for her, having to live in such a ridiculous place. 

Sangris was an amazing character. He was mysterious and mischievous, open and adventurous. He was everything that Frenenqer wasn't. They really complimented each other through their opposite personalities, they highlighted the qualities and flaws of the other.

I had some trouble getting into the story at first. I had to get used to the writing style, and I had to reread some lines to make sure I had understood them correctly. Besides this, I loved this book and I got emotionally involved with the characters and their stories. 

I recommend The Girl With Borrowed Wings to readers looking for a unique YA book. Those searching for an emotional story with themes about coming-of-age will enjoy this, and if you want to read about characters who genuinely care, and eventually love, each other, this novel is for you.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Fool Me Thrice by Carley Esprit-Philip

Series: N/A
Author: Carley Esprit-Philip
Page Count: 192
Published: January 28th, 2015
 Publisher: Createspace
  4 Stars ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for a review. 

In this book, the author gives a raw and deeply personal account detailing the events that unfolded during an interval of her life. Emotional and honest, the reader learns of all the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the gifts and losses that she endures.

This memoir was refreshing to read. It was sincere and offered me new perspectives on things I hadn't known much about before.

The author made me care about her story from the beginning. I had to continue reading because I wanted to know about what she had been through, how she had handled conflicts and the lessons she'd learned.

I like how the author was brutally honest about her relationships. She gave me insight on open relationships and the pros and cons of pursuing one. She did not censor her experiences; she often wrote about her partners and their time together with erotic language. 

It was interesting that she chose to include texts, emails, and other messages as part of her story. Through these messages I learned more about her and the people around her.

This book did get very emotional at times, especially when dealing with tough subjects such as mental illness. It pulled at my heart, to say the least. The personal language and brutal honesty made me feel like I was experiencing her struggles with her.

Sometimes I was confused as to what was going on, however later on in the memoir I would gain a better understanding of the previous events and their significance to the author's life. There were some typing errors, and sometimes words were without spaces between them so two would be together. While this got annoying at times, it did not diminish the memoir's over all appeal.

In summary, this book was very much worth my time as I gained insight and perspective from the author's experiences. I feel that the author is very brave to put all this out in the open for anyone to read. I appreciate this because very few people are truly honest as she was in this memoir: unafraid and unashamed.

I recommend this memoir to readers of non-fiction, and to those who would like to learn more about open relationships, especially ones including both opposite and same sex partners.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Series: N/A
Author: Megan Crewe
Page Count: 241
Published: September 15th, 2009
 Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
  4 Stars ★★★★

Cass can see and communicate with ghosts. That's how she learns of everything that's going on with her peers, and her secret behind calling them out on it. When Tim, a popular boy mourning the loss of his mother, comes to her for help, she is wary at first. She strikes a deal with him; she will help him contact his dead mother if he tells her all the dirt he has on the "popular" crowd, including her ex-best friend. What she doesn't expect is to actually start caring about the living again. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did! It was a unique YA book, great for those who want a break from romance novels, and a captivating read. I also found it very emotional at times. I like how the author made sure to make the reader aware of Cass' relationships with her living family, dead family, living friends and dead friends very soon in the novel. This made me want to keep reading, to see how these relationships would be affected. It made me care about Cass and her story. I recommend this book to those who love YA and paranormal, but who want a break from romantic books.\\

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Beautiful Cover(s) of the Day!

L.J Smith is famous for writing the Vampire Diaries books. The Night World novels are another one of her captivating series, 10 books in total, now compiled into three omnibus books and one yet to be released. Their covers are undeniably intriguing with their gothic edge and simple colour schemes. I find that book series with covers such as these, a different colour scheme for every book, tend to catch my eye easily and side by side the covers tend to compliment each other.

The blurb

"Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.
In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.
Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.
Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder."

Find Night World on Goodreads 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Taken by Norah McClintock

Author: Norah McClintock
Page Count: 176
Published: October 1st, 2009
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  4 Stars ★★★★

Girls have been going missing, and one of them was found dead. Stephanie is warned not to go out at night because she could fall victim to the criminal who is abducting these girls.

She doesn't listen.

After being abducted she awakens in an empty cabin. With no idea where she is or when her abductor will return, she needs to come up with a plan to save her life.

This book was short yet exciting. The reader is able to understand Stephanie as a person and I was cheering her on for the whole book, hoping that she'd make it home safe.

I liked the flashbacks to when Stephanie had spent time with her grandfather in the woods. This added to my understanding of who she was and I rooted for her even more.

The author had me constantly guessing who had abducted Stephanie. Had it been somebody she knew, or a complete stranger? Would she live? Would people believe her if she lived, or would they think she'd just ran away like she had before?  This was a short and relatively simple book, but it was very enjoyable.

I recommend this book to readers of suspense fiction, YA, and to those looking for a short, romance-free book.

Find Taken on Goodreads

Monday, 6 April 2015

Haven by Kristi Cook

Series: Winterhaven
Author: Kristi Cook
Page Count: 401
Published: February 22nd, 2011
 Publisher: Simon Pulse
  4 Stars ★★★★

Violet McKenna can see the future, but she keeps her ability secret for fear of being thrown into a psych ward. She enrolls at Winterhaven when she moves from her hometown, and finds herself in a school filled with students who possess abilities similar to hers.

She soon meets Aidan and finds herself drawn to him, as many others are as well. However he shows an interest in her too, and soon Violet begins to suspect that something is different with Aidan, and that his life may be in danger.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It was suspenseful. I was always wondering what the characters were hiding and what would happen next. Were they lying to each other? Did they really care about each other, or were they just getting close so that they'd be able to strike?

I liked the romance in this book. Violet and Aidan really had chemistry and they complimented each other well. Their feelings for each other were true and though they faced trials and pain, they always found their way back to each other. I also appreciated the lack of a love triangle and the development of the romance.

The only complaint I have about this book is that there were times when I felt like it was too Twilight-esque. Certain conversations were very similar to the ones found in the Twilight novel and I feel that they could have been revised or phrased differently to take away this literary deja vu, so to speak.

I recommend this novel to readers of YA paranormal romance looking for a book with a strong heroine and complex conflicts amongst characters who grow stronger through tough situations.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Beautiful Cover(s) of the Day!

The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie has some of the simplest yet most visually appealing covers in YA dystopian fiction. The usage of simple colour schemes paired with the light background make them sure to stand out in the bookstore!

The blurb:

" In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic."

Find the Matched Trilogy on Goodreads