Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tremble by Addison Moore

I stumbled across Addison’s debut novel Ethereal on Amazon through a recommendation. You can find my review here. You can also find my interview with Addison here.I am so excited that she has now released the second installment in the series Tremble.  Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is determined to bring back the dead.

For Skyla, being an angel from the coveted Celestra faction hasn’t been easy.

An entire band of wicked angels is after her blood, a Sector is after something far more sinister, and her newfound powers lead her on a quest to save her dead father.

Skyla and her boyfriend Logan try to piece together a plan to take down the Countenance in order to maintain their relationship, but will Skyla’s burgeoning feelings for Gage get in the way?

And when Skyla decides to use her powerful blood to change the fate of another deceased soul, just who is going to stop her?

All I have to say about this book is WOW. I was drawn in from the first page and finished this book in one sitting. Luckily my 1 year old was at the babysitter’s for the day so I could have some mommy time :) The plot to this book builds on the previous book with Skyla trying to survive know that she knows what she is and others are finding out.

There are so many surprises in this book that I simply did not see coming. Addison really outdid herself with this book. I spent half the book in shock as things that were extremely subtly hinted happen. After you have read the plot twist you see that it was setup early on but very quietly.

The relationship between Lucas, Gage and Skyla become much more complicated as Skyla pretends to date Gage. Personally, I find myself on Gage’s side. I find any guy that would suggest dating someone else and convincing people a bit of a coward. So I am currently in Gage’s corner rooting for him to win Skyla’s heart. He seems the type that would truly care about her and respect her instead of attempting to control her.

Fair warning, when you get to the end of the book you have the distinct feeling that if it was a paperback you would be looking for hidden pages. I remember thinking: where’s the rest?? While the book doesn’t stop in a major event there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Luckily amazon shows that book 3 will be out this summer so you won’t have to wait long!

I give this book a 5/5. It was incredibly well written and the plot was amazing. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how Skyla survives in the next installment with the shocking knowledge she gets in this book! I would also like to give Addison some recognition for choosing an amazing cover. I absolutely love the cover for this book and think she did a great job choosing it with whomever designed it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Each summer I start picking up what I consider “Summer Beach Reads.” These may or may not be labeled as such but generally they are inspirational or light reads in the YA genre. Things like Sarah Dessen, Hayley Abott, etc. I actually came across Moonglass because Sarah Dessen had written a brief blurb for the back of the book and that got me interested. So I was really excited when it was available in the Amazon vine program this month! Here’s the summary:

When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.

Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.

I thought this book was a great debut novel from Jessi Kirby. Anna is a great lead character and there is a lot of time dedicated to character development in the novel. Anna and her dad are both very real characters that readers can connect to in a deep way. However, I felt like Tyler’s character was very inconsistent with the synopsis. He is originally described as arrogant (the most arrogant one on the beach), however, I only see that in one scene of the book. The rest of the time he is a really great friend and a perfect gentleman. Even his reputation around school is that he is a really nice guy. Thus, I was a little confused with his original description. I forget where I read it at but it was a bit of a turn off for the book because I was looking for a guy similar to a Sarah Dessen story.

The tragedy with Anna’s mother is the central part to the story. As a reader you really get drawn into the whirlwind of emotions that is going through Anna. While I didn’t cry I was both sad and happy throughout the story as she is trying to deal with the loss of her mother.

The main negative for me was that I found the ending to be unrealistic. While I think that what happened at the end is a big “game changer” for Anna, I found the way everything was wrapped up nice and neatly to be unrealistic. The whole book everything is laid bare emotionally in Anna’s life. The end seemed a little sterile to me like all the sudden everything worked out. I feel like she will still need additional time to heal and it wouldn’t end so neatly.

Overall, I give the book a 4/5. I loved the characters and the realistic nature of the book. I think it is a beautiful story and it was very well written with sentimental moments but also fun glimpses at the times when Anna is happy. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

I was so excited to find this book in my inbox! I didn’t even know that Louise Rennison had started a new series after the Confessions of Georgina Nicholson series. I suppose that happens when you start reading too many series at one time. I find that it is often hard to keep up with all the authors that I would like to. Anyway, I absolutely love the Georgina series and found it to be quite hilarious. This new series didn’t fail to disappoint me! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type._ On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. _Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)_ Six weeks of parent-free freedom. _BOY freedom. _Freedom of expression..._cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

I found Tallulah to be just as great of a lead character as Georgina. She is charming hilarious and quirky. Throughout the book you follow Tallulah on hilarious journeys as she finds herself and her self-confidence. Her friends only add other hilarious qualities to the story itself. Seeing the world and everyone through her eyes brings life to the story.

The plot is really unpredictable as you never know what is going to happen next with Tallululah. Of course, not a whole lot happens plot wise. You follow the girls in a summer program. Most of the book is the social interaction between a group of fun loving girl friends.

This is definitely a book for a younger teen age group. I would recommend it for 12 & up. If you are use to reading older teen books the story may not hold your attention or be what you are looking for. The only detractor for the book for me was it was aimed to a much younger age set than I am use to. However, I still found the book hilarious. I found myself laughing throughout the book and trying to explain to my family what was so funny. Overall, for me this book is a 4/5. If I was in the teen bracket I would give it a 5.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Blood Magic is the first in a dark and intriguing series by Tessa Gratton. I picked up a copy through Amazon vine and have actually been going back and forth on reading it for awhile. I wasn’t sure if it would be too dark for me or if it would work. Here’s the description from Amazon:

“But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.”

If you are looking for a light paranormal read this is not your book. It is very dark and has some definite twists to it. Which isn’t exactly my favorite type of paranormal book. However, I will try to be objective of the book without referencing my preference.

 I wasn’t thrilled with the characters in the story. I liked them but they really didn’t shine for me. I found them interesting but not necessarily believable. Nick talks about how he was a jerk but you never really see that side of him. You see some rude behavior on his part but never the extreme jerk he claims he was. Also I didn’t get the draw between him and Silla. (**Small Spoiler**)While they share the magic it doesn’t explain the magnetism between the two. I also didn’t feel as though the chemistry was enough to explain it.

I thought the concept of the blood magic was interesting. The concept of a price was interesting and a different take on magic. Instead of the person having the magic its their blood. This is a creative take on this sector of paranormal.

I did like the story line. In the end the villain is revealed a little too late as most readers will probably figure it out about half way through. However, there are plenty of other twists thrown into the mix to keep the reader interested. 

Overall, I really liked the story within the book. I was kept guessing about what would happen next and it definitely was not predictable. For me the characters weren’t great but they were mutli-dimensional and interesting. I give the book a 3/5.