Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate, Book Review

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Rating: 4.5/5

Let me start off by saying how amazing this book really is. Lauren Kate is author of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, but her writing career didn't take off until Fallen was published. Fallen is the first book in a series about forbidden love, an ancient curse, and a wondrous pair of star-crossed lovers. Fallen is a great debut in a series and I decided to rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars (wings, in this case) for the plot line, characters, setting, and writing ability. Kate offers a very refreshing take on what true love actually means.

I really enjoyed this book because I am fascinated with fallen angels and curses and defeating the odds to conquer true love...and this book is all of that summed up into one big phenomenon. I enjoy books that have a lot of action and adventure in them, and even though Fallen is first and foremost a love story, it is still very gripping and entertaining.

I hate how in some books the two main lovers fall in love far too quickly and would happily take a bullet for their significant other on only the second day of knowing them. In Fallen, the main character instantly feels drawn and connected to her lover, but she isn't in love with him. Now, I'll introduce the characters:

Lucinda "Luce" Price is a seventeen-year-old girl who is sent to Sword & Cross, a reform school in a pastoral Georgia setting. Luce is a studious, intelligent girl who was at the wrong place in the wrong time...landing her numerous court trials and countless visits to a psychiatrist who tells her that she's crazy and dopes her up on anti psychotics...until she is ordered to Sword & Cross, an eerie ex-Civil War academy with a large cemetery and restless spirits.

Luce immediately feels connected Daniel Grigori, the 'bad boy' of Sword & Cross. He seems to hate her from the start and tries to distance herself from him, but they can't help but somehow end up bumping into each it fate, or just a strange coincidence? Daniel is a leather and chains kind of guy with the most piercing, intense violet-gray eyes and melodious voice, like honey dripping slowly from a spoon. Daniel is definitely one of my favorite male heroes because of his personality, charm, and wit.

While Luce is on the borderline of stalking Daniel, dying to figure him out, she goes from the stalker to the stalkee when a charming rich boy named Cam Briel befriends Luce. He showers her with unconditional love and affection and gives her plentiful gifts, including a golden serpent pendant, which holds countless meanings tying into the story.

And then there is the 'supporting cast' you could say: Pennyweather Van-Syckle "Penn" Lockwood, an allergic mess with a great sense of humor; Arriane, a tough girl with an urge to be exactly like Luce; Roland, Cam's right-hand man and sneaky messenger, able to get his hands on the special goods that aren't allowed on campus; and, last but not least, Molly. Ugh, Molly is your typical reform school mean girl with numerous piercings and tattoos. She reminds me of leather and glitter, like glam rock...except nothing about Molly seems glamorous: she is a tough chick who doesn't play nice and seems to have a vendetta against Luce on the first day of her arrival.

I think that the setting of this story was a very good choice. Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful place with a calming sort of eerie hush tinged by the haunted spirits of the Civil War, the town marked with history and urban legends. How did I know that, you ask? Well, it's not because I've actually visited Savannah--it's because Kate's descriptive writing style and tone really brought the seemingly undead town to life.

All in all, this book is a winner and deserves to be read by you...yes, you, so go pick this book up today, as well as the sequels, book two (2) and book three (3): Torment and Passion.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sassy Book Lovers Blog Hop

I am a very big fan of YA (young adult) fiction, especially paranormal/supernatural romance and urban fantasy. While I think it's important to honor the classics and the traditions we have adapted to, I think it's very possible to read a modern novel and learn of the same kinds of morals and ethics and themes reprised over and over again in many classical novels. I will now share with you some of my favorite quotes:

"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb."

-Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

"How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?"

-Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

"Say 'provoking' again. Your mouth looks provocative when you do it."

-Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush

"All this time, I've hated myself for it. I thought I'd given up for nothing. But if I hadn't fallen, I wouldn't have met you."

-Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush

"What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?"

-Lauren Kate, Fallen

"Fight for the only thing she knew was good enough, noble enough, powerful enough to be worth risking"

-Lauren Kate, Fallen

"Juliet had it easy; she never had to kill Romeo."

-Richelle Mead, Last Sacrifice

I have a lot more favorite quotes, but those were just a few. Don't forget to hop over to Brea Essex's blog for the next clue: Be sure to comment on each of the participating blogs. On the last day, some great prizes will be given away! Have fun and good luck!


Casey :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman

Rating: 5/5
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a great read, even though it's not my particularly favorite genre of book. I prefer paranormal and supernatural romance, preferably involving vampires, werewolves, witches, et cetera, et cetera. If I Stay is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Mia who, one morning, is riding along a wet, rainy, slick, snowy, icy (LOL) Oregon road with her family when they are hit, head-on, by an eighteen wheeler. Everyone in Mia's family dies, except for her. She is in coma and can hear and see everything like she is awake, but it's merely her spirit, having an out-of-body experience. Mia has flashbacks of her home-life, her relationship with her loving boyfriend, Adam, etc.
Mia is faced with a choice: return to earth to live out the rest of her life with Adam or go to Heaven where her mother, father, and little brother are waiting for her. I read this book in about an hour, because it was such a fast, easy read. I enjoyed the pace of the book and found myself slightly teary eyed at the end. It is a coming-of-age story about love, loss, pain, and choice. I highly recommend it to everyone, because it literally relates to every single genre. Yes, even non-fiction. Why/how non-fiction, you ask? Well, it's simple, and here's why: scientists, both supernatural and theoretical, and medical doctors have concluded that during coma, 99.9% (I made up that percentage to show how much a person can respond to actual events happening around them...well, that percentage might be true. Oh, well, who really knows? I'm babbling...I'll continue with my review now...) Okay, so, seriously guys pick up this book it's very good. I love the characters, the emotion, the pure blood and spirit of the book. I'm just speechless. Literally, go buy a copy today. OH, and buy the sequel: Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) by Gayle Forman.

*I'm currently reading Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. When I am finished with it, I will get a review up for you guys. xD

Casey :)

Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires, #6) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 4/5

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace-until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He's kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants-the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

Lord of Misrule, book 5, left us with the up rise of Bishop, evil bad ass vampire. Bishop, a betraying king with no crown, must be brought down and Claire Danvers and her gang of equally outcast friends know that. Shane, Claire's love, have made the ultimate leap of fate and proved their true, undying love for each other. Now, their bond of love stronger than ever, fight through the night and if they can't make it until sunup, then game over....

Over the past six books in the Morganville Vampires Series, the "Scooby Gang":

1) Claire Danvers, Genius/human pawn for the vampires

2) Eve Rosser, Goth/Strong, independent tough girl chick

3) Michael Glass, Human-turned ghost-turned vampire/Aspiring musician

4) Shane Collins, Boyfriend xD

...have all grown and matured. Now, in such a desperate time of need, the gang must come together and, prejudice aside, must take down the vampire government. This book was very fast-paced, but the plot still dragged out. I felt as if books 3-6 followed the same plot line, making almost no development. I feared that this would happen, and wish ALL of the books would be of five-fang quality as Glass Houses was. Don't get me wrong, they're good...just not uber-amazing. Go check them out if you're looking for a really good book series, because it is really good. xD

Up next: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Casey :)

Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, #5) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 4/5

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

In the fifth book in The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine, vampires and humans must coexist to take down the dictator overpowering their vampiric society. Bishop, evil vampire extraordinaire, is playing evil, sickening games with the humans of the town. Claire and her friends decide to strike back against Bishop and try to cure the vampires of their deflating illness which will, ultimately, kill them.
In the end, Claire discovers that she and her friends weren't defeating Bishop, but they were his evil minion pawns, helping him climb his way to the top....

Up next: Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires, #6) by Rachel Caine

Casey :)

Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 4/5

In Rachel Caine's fourth Morganville Vampires novel, the arrival of an old-school vampire to Claire Danvers's college town threatens the relative harmony that exists between the living and the dead.

In the fourth installment in Rachel Caine's best-selling young adult paranormal romance series, an evil predator creeps into the small, wired town of Morganville, Texas. A bad ass, old-school vampire named Bishop arrives in town and self-proclaims his Holy right to the throne of Morganville, and he will do anything to get it...even if it means the death of his own daughter, Amelie, the Founder (aka, vampire queen). I thought this book, like Midnight Alley, dragged along the same plot line. It was, however, better than Midnight Alley. In Midnight Alley, a new character named Myrnin was created. Myrnin is a crazy, manic-depressive vampire whose moods change in an instant. Myrnin can be happy and jolly one minute, but then at the drop of a hat, he goes on a murderous, psychotic rampage (I'm joking about the drop of a hat...but not about the murderous, psychotic rampages...those can happen for no reason at all...)

I enjoyed the fact that vampires were shown in a slightly different light during this book and next two to follow. Vampires become ill, sickened by their immortality, poisoned by their own blood, and there is only one permanent cure: the blood of Bishop, the most powerful and oldest vampire known to man....

Up next: Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, #5)


Casey :)

Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Claire Danvers's college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it's giving night school a whole new meaning.

Glass Houses, book one, was amazing. The Dead Girls' Dance, book two, was pretty good. Midnight Alley ties with The Dead Girls' Dance. Presently, the gang recently found out about vampire hunters. More specificly, a biker gang of burly men who follow the orders of Frank Collins, the lead vampire hunter. They are big and they have stakes, and take no mercy on the living nor the dead. These gnarly men don't let anything stand in their way, not even their own blood....

If you haven't read the first two books in The Morganville Vampires Series, go check them out today: Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, and don't forget the third: Midnight Alley. Up next: Feast of Fools (the fourth book in The Morganville Vampires Series.)

Casey :)

The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

After reading Glass Houses, I was expecting an amazing novel that left me even more excited to continue the series than Glass Houses, but I felt as if this book kind of dragged on. The plot felt frayed, like an old pair of ripped blue jeans. The book was just...tired. Does that make sense?
Anyway, the book was still good but I just wasn't feeling it. When the book finally picked up, it was about the last twenty or so pages when 'the dance' took place. I don't want to discourage any of you from pursuing the series, but be prepared to take a flop in a series once in a while. And let me make this very clear: it was a very good book, but it just didn't have the buzzing chemistry that I liked so much in the prequel, Glass Houses.
The characters, like in Glass Houses, were great. They were still very humours and and family-like. I honestly felt like I could be their friend, that's just Caine's writing style. What helped me get through this book were the characters and they just cracked me up. You find yourself wanting to laugh, cry, and throw the book across the room all at the same time. Definitely check it out, y'all.

Casey :)

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, #1) by Rachel Caine, Book Review

Rating: 5/5

From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.

I rated this book five out of five fangs (teeheehee!) because it is literally an amazing book. I absolutely loved this book. I had gotten numerous recommendations to read the series and when I got some cash, I bought volumes 1-3, books 1-6. I decided to review each of them individually because they are, indeed, all their own. Okay, so, let's start...the protagonist, Claire Danvers, is a like a baby lamb wandering out from the herd in the debut novel of the series. Claire is merely sixteen-years-old when she receives an early admission to Texas Prairie University where she encounters bullying, prejudice, and hate. Claire is a normal, average, plain Jane but she has a genius IQ and is picked on by her peers, especially Monica Morrell, the classic pretty, blonde, and popular Mean Girl. And, of course, what would a mean girl be without her two faithful cohorts, Jennifer and Gina. When push comes to shove and Claire takes a 'mysterious fall' down a flight of stairs, she searches for a way to escape the pain of bullying and abuse, so Claire turns to the classifieds ads and sees that a room at the oldest house, The Glass House, is for rent. Claire jumps at the chance, but hesitantly approaches because of her intense anxiety, pressure, and shyness. Claire meets with Michael Glass, the owner of the house, whom agrees to let her stay for a month or two until she can find somewhere else safe, but instead she ends up taking up a permanent residence at the house. In this novel, Claire encounters mean human bullies, dark, evil, blood-sucking creatures of the night.
Despite the insane popularity of vampires, Rachel Caine is definitely unique. She managed to create a magickal world of vampires while classically honoring the roots of the undead while adding her own contemporary twist to the cold bloods.
Caine is such a lovely, wondrous woman and you can tell that, with certainty, from her writing. She creates such a creative cast of characters and manages to write neatly and with assurance. Caine had the obvious joy of writing about the journey of four best friends: Claire Danvers, college freshman and human consort to Amelie, the vampire Founder and part-time shrink to Myrnin, a slightly manic-depressive vamp; Eve Rosser, a punk-goth chick who doesn't take shit from anybody and will stand up and fight for her freedom(s); Michael Glass (human-turned ghost-turned vampire); and last but not least...Shane Collins. *sigh* Shane, Shane, What words can express how yummy-licious (yes, I just said yummy-licious) Shane is. Hmmm, well, imagine a blonde shaggy haired surfer/skater dude who loves video games (and chili hot dogs. :P).
If you haven't read Glass Houses yet, then go out to a bookstore near you and BUY IT (and the sequel...The Dead Girls' Dance...)

Casey :)

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick, Book Review

Rating: 5/5

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

First off, let me say that this book was very, very good, although I preferred Hush, Hush over Crescendo. Crescendo was a great book and I highly recommend you read it (and Hush, Hush). It was a nice addition to the trilogy and I thought it was a set up for the third and final novel, Silence. Patch, the male lead, was not featured much throughout the novel, which was what made it not as good as Hush, Hush. The writing was great, the plot line flowed, I was pulled in and couldn't stop reading, and I ultimately tore through this book. If you haven't read Hush, Hush yet then I highly recommend you do so, and you'll definitely want to read the sequel(s) because of the undying love and forbidden romance which we all love so well.

I hope you all are having a great Saturday. Don't forget to watch the MTV Movie Awards tomorrow (June 5, 2011) to see if your favorites were awarded AND...the world premiere of the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 trailer will be revealed during the show. *squeals like a fangirl* As you ALL probably know, I am the ultimate Twi-Hard and will definitely be watching the award show at home and anxiously awaiting the premiere. xD It sucks that Breaking Dawn won't be released in theater's until November 2011. :,( Oh, well. All I have to say is this: IT BETTER BE GOOD.


Casey :)