Monday, September 30, 2013

Cover Reveal.... Killer Instinct

I am excited to share the cover for an upcoming YA novel from Simon and Schuster.

Here is a little about the author
S. E. Green was raised in Tennessee but now calls North Florida home. Killer Instinct is her debut young adult thriller. Find her at, or on Twitter @Shan_E_Green, or on her Facebook Fan Page.
Here is a little about Killer Instinct
She’s not evil, but she has certain. . . urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself. 

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.

And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return. . . in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim. . . 
Sounds amazing right? Kind of reminds me of Dexter in a way. Super excited to read this one when it's released. If you want more info you can check it out on Goodreads.

Now the pretty!

I like it. It's eye catching, and the tag line 'everyone has a dark side' is fantastic. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Release Date - October 1, 2013
Publisher Website - Little Brown
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia.

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.
Unbreakable is a mix of ghostly chills, romance, and friendship.  An entertaining, and rather scary horror filled story that offered a few surprises along the way.

Upon reading the synopsis my first thought was that this had been done before. My opinion is the same after reading it. There is nothing new, or particularly unique about the plot, or characters. Something like this requires the author to put their own spin on it, claim it as their own. At the end of the first book of this series, I see the potential for that to happen, but I don't think this installment succeeded in that just yet.

This novel did sometimes keep me on my toes. Things that I expected to happen didn't or they didn't happen in the manner I anticipated. Part of the allure of this novel was that the predictable aspect of some of the plot points was sidestepped, especially in the latter half of the novel.

The romance in this novel did not appeal to me in the slightest. Two brothers interested in the same girl is always uncomfortable to me, and I can see this 'triangle' being woven throughout all the books. There were a few scenes between Kennedy and one of the brothers that allowed me to see some potential between them. I wanted the characters fleshed out more, and a deepening of the connection between Kennedy and ONE of the brothers. It felt, to me, like the romance aspect was included simply because it's thought of as required. I didn't see the same planning as with the paranormal elements.

The backstory of the characters is almost entirely woven into the paranormal part of the story. It binds them to the story, cementing them into the world Kami Garcia has created. This strength in this story is the paranormal aspect. I found myself caught up in the race to find this weapon that they need. It created some tense moments. The unraveling of the history of The Legion and their true purpose was also fascinating to me. It drew me in and I definitely wanted to learn more.

I did want a little more from the characters, especially Jared and Lucas. I felt they were mostly interchangeable, other than one was kinder than the other. Priest ended up being my favourite character. Charming, self depreciating , and he provided most of the (much needed) comic relief. His journey is one that I am the most curious to continue. The subtle changes in his character in this novel left me with hope for his continued growth in the series.

A creepy, and surprising start to a new series. Even thought I wasn't totally sold, there is more than enough to pique my curiosity and have me coming back for the sequel.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


The cover of The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow (Goodreads)

I have been dying for a fun, sexy novel set in Las Vegas. I've read a few and they haven't lived up expectations. I think this cover is super fun, and I HOPE that it's finally a Vegas set novel that conjures up The Strip perfectly. 

The cover of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Goodreads)

This novel's synopsis has left me pining for this novel in the WORST way. The cover is fun, not what I expected at all though. This one is HIGH on my wishlist, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

The cover of The One by Kiera Cass (Goodreads)

Eeeep! So immediately I thought 'AMERICA IS IN A WEDDING DRESS'. This may not be true, but the cover certainly wants us to THINK that. I am pretty excited to find out how this story ends, and for the more intriguing aspects of this story to take centre stage.


Once Upon A Time Season 3 Premiere

THIS SUNDAY! Peter Pan! Tinkerbell! Ariel! Neverland! I am beyond excited for this season. It's no secret that I LOVE Peter Pan. It's been a favourite since I was a kid, and I am loving the bits I've seen of THIS version.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, September 27, 2013

TV Reaction Post Announcement

You may recall an announcement that Kelly (from KellyVision) and I were looking at starting a TV blog. We don't have the time for a full blog on our own, and so we decided to incorporate our reaction posts into our current blogs.

I am going to be recapping Once Upon A Time. I am still working out the schedule, but I am thinking either Wednesdays or Fridays.

Kelly and I will be doing joint reactions for American Horror Story and Bates Motel. American Horror Story will be hosted on Kelly's blog, and Bates Motel will be hosted on mine in 2014 when it starts. Super excited to start both of these recaps. We both love the shows, and I think our dual reactions will be quite fun.

Just a warning... my recaps will be SPOILER HEAVY. They won't really be recaps either. Like my reviews they'll be my thoughts and feelings about what happened in that episode.

Since this is still in it's beginning stages things are obviously subject to change. I am not sure how this is going to go, and if It interferes with the book blog too much, I may decide to scrap it all together.

Since I am diving in with season 3, I thought it might help to understand my recaps better (and let’s be honest, my bias) if I gave a quick overview on my feelings regarding the characters, plot, etc that has happened so far.

Snow and Charming - LOVE! They are one of my favourite couples. The people of the internet often complain about them, and I hear the ‘break up’ word too often for my liking. As Eddie Kitsis said when promoted with the break up rumour "That's the death of all hope right there!". This show is based on fairytales and hope, so basically, I never want them to break up.I love Snow when she’s a bad ass with a bow, and while Charming makes me swoon, David (early David anyways) left me exasperated.

Emma - The saviour with great hair (seriously, her hair is fab). She walks that line between put together and vulnerable perfectly. She is easily the most relatable person on the show, because she is going through what a ‘normal’ person would. Of course she didn't automatically believe Henry’s fantastical story. Who would?!

Henry - Lots of Henry hate out there. I don’t get it. He’s an adorable, head strong kid, who is literally the heart of this story. If you were to create a family tree for the characters on the show, you would see Henry right in the middle of it. He’s OUaT’s Kevin Bacon in that everyone has a tie or connection to him somehow. He’s going to be super important to the story itself, and I have a feeling he’ll be pretty powerful too.

Rumple/Mr Gold - Love him or hate him, you have to admit he's one of the most dynamic characters on the show. His relationship with Belle is rather interesting, and I love that she has faith in him.

Regina/Evil Queen - She’s been given enough chances to change. I am over it. I want some real effort, or she needs to be equalized. She has remained a threat for too long, and Snow has been way too forgiving. She hands out second and third chances with the bat of an eye, which I get, but at some point Regina has to TRY. Plus, she's someone I love to hate. I want my villains to be VILLAINS. Something Once is lacking are the villains who aren't seeking redemption. Both Rumple, and Regina are layered, and I love characters like that, but sometimes you need a character who is ruthless, and LOVES being bad.

Baelfire/Neal - Emma’s one true love. He is who she is meant to be with. A poor young boy who only wanted his father to change, and was sent to another land (alone I might add) for his troubles. Young Baelfire tugged at my heart, and older Bae has shown that he's grown into a man who sacrifices his happiness for others. My idea of a happily ever after is Emma, Baelfire, and Henry living in a castle in Fairytaleland when this is all over.

Captain Hook - Totally love him. Have since he first appeared on the show. Any mention of Milah from him turns me into a puddle of mush. A man who has held on to his love for 300 years, and wants to avenger her death? Pretty romantic, but also unhealthy. I want to see him let go of his revenge agenda, mourn Milah fully, and find his own happily ever after...just not with Emma.

What do I want in season 3?

- mermaids - We're heading to Neverland. Give me some mermaids in a lagoon and I shall be happy. I have a feeling this wish will come true since a certain red haired mermaid is set to appear this season. Hopefully she'll become a permanent part of 'our' world.

- Peter Pan - DUH! If the finale is anything to go by we're in for a darker, much more sinister Peter Pan. What I don't want is for him to be related to anyone in ANY way. Sadly, I have a theory that this is going to happen. If so...let it be the last time. Not everyone can be related.

- focus on the main cast - too many side characters got in the way of the main cast that I love. The story needs to focus on them, and bring those characters back to the forefront. Luckily, I think that's going to happen.

- romance - I am sucker for love stories. Give me some epic Snow/Charming scenes. Let Baelfire and Emma make me a puddle of feelings. I am excited to see Ariel and her Prince. The thing with fairytales that I love the most is the goosebump inducing epicness of the romance, so I hope Once brings it this season.

- Henry! - I want his story. He was important enough for Peter Pan to want him. Why? What makes this kid so special. Again, I have some theories, and I can't wait to see if I am right.

If you watch Once Upon A Time, what are you hoping to see in Season 3?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Card by Simone Elkeles
Release Date - October 1, 2013
Publisher Website - Walker Books For Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?
An even sexier Friday Night Lights was my immediate thought upon reading this synopsis. I could not contain my excitement at getting to read this as I had just recently discovered the appeal of sport themed novels. Sadly, this one left me feeling lukewarm towards the book, and the characters, despite some promising elements.

The tone of the novel is very much sexy and sensual. The sparks that fly between Derek and Ashtyn are scorching hot. It crackles off the page, and left me blushing. Their banter was fun; at first. However, the focus is almost entirely on this. More character development woven in between the sexy scenes would have given the story a little depth that I felt was missing.

Ashtyn is guarded, and immediately recognizes Derek for what he is. Derek is not relationship material. She’s told that time and time again by Derek himself. Astyn, on the other hand, wants someone who is going to be there the next morning. Frustration quickly grew as they circled each other, and Ashtyn kept doing the same thing, but expecting a different result. They seemed mismatched and I didn’t see anything, other than their physical attraction, that kept pulling them together.

The novel is a quick read, due to it's short page count, and the quick plot. This quick plot made me feel like more time should have, and could have been spent on the characters. I can not really say if I liked them or not, because I don't feel I got a full sense of them. I know little bits about them, and saw some vulnerabilities in them that seemed promising, but it just wasn't enough. This read like a book where the characters are already established, and you already cared about them.

Football seemed to actually take a backseat in this novel. Other than some practicing, there were no actual games played. I am curious to see if this changes in subsequent installments of the series. There is a lot made of what a fantastic player Ashtyn is, and I hope to see that play out in future books. I want her skills to be evident by ‘seeing’ her in action.

The ending will cause many to swoon. It is super sweet, and totally something out of a romantic comedy. It's also a proper ending. I believe this is to be a series, but this book could be a stand alone. A series where the books are self contained is rare, and it seems to be the case with this one.

A novel that, despite it's moments, let me wanting more. A story and characters that I felt could have been expanded upon to create something fun, flirty and sexy but that also packs an emotional punch. I hope for more from the sequel as I did see some promise, and have no doubt that others will rabidly devour this offering from Simone.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Endless by Jessica Shirvington

Endless by Jessica Shirvington
Release Date - October 1, 2013
Publisher Website -  Sourcebooks Fire/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 480 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Violet Eden thought she was getting things under control. Then all hell breaks loose-literally. In the war between angels and exiles, she's about to face the biggest baddie of all time. Except she's not nearly ready.
The dark exile Phoenix is still messing with her head-not to mention her heart. And her undeniable attraction to Lincoln has gotten downright dangerous. When Hell unleashes its worst, Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing she will face...
The Violet Eden Chapters series keeps getting better with each installment. Family takes the spotlight as Violet's family life is turned upside down with the reappearance of her mother, and things slowly build to the breaking point.

Violet Eden's story has seen many ups and downs. She's had some pretty life changing, crushing things thrown at her. The end of Emblaze throws the biggest by having her mother return.

This chapter in the story allows us to introduce Violet' mother Evelyn. Her shocking appearance at the end of Emblaze left me eager to get my hands on the next book. Having her back creates a tension separate from the angel/demon drama that is going on in Violet's life. It reminds you that even though she may have been touched by the supernatural, her problems at time can be all too human. Violet's father also undergoes a change from having Evelyn back in his life. Their family dynamic gets thrown into a tailspin, and secrets come gushing out. It was refreshing to have the focus on Violet's family, even if the outside threats are still at their heels.

With Violet's mother, we also have a returned Lilith. She's a fascinating, deadly character who is going to shape the final in the most dangerous ways. The questions that arise in having both her and Evelyn back play out throughout the novel, creating a tension that will have potentially huge ramifications for the next installment.

The romance is my favourite part of this series. It's sexy, captivating, and intoxicating. Violet's torn between Linc and Phoenix. Her decision only gets harder as each suitor shows a different side of themselves as the series goes on. Phoenix is the dangerous bad boy who is hiding something, and Linc is the guy whose always been there for her. Linc really won me over in Emblaze, and well I think Violet's heart is won, her feelings for the other guy are obvious. She wants the other one to be okay, and as a result the reader does too.

While Endless is not my favourite in the series, that honour goes to Emblaze, it's still an important installment in Violet's story. This is Violet hitting bottom. This is what needs to happen to prepare her for what's to come, even if the ending did almost kill me. This is what is going to lead to her ultimate decision in the final book. It feels like an set up for what's to come, because it had a slower pace than the others.

Violet has to make some tough decisions before the final chapter of Endless. These decisions set up what I expect will be an epic finale. A series that has impressed me with it's danger, sexiness, and intense main character. Those who have loved Violet's story so far will eagerly race through this installment. I, personally, am excited to see how it's all going to end.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Release Date - September 24, 2013
Publisher Website - Tor
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  368 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
Does having super powers automatically make you a hero? Victor Vale, and Eli Cardale set out to become heros. What happens instead is a delicious revenge story filled with some of the most compelling characters I've read this year. No words I can write will properly do this book justice. This book is so much more than I anticipated, and left me breathless.

Flawed is this book's middle name. The characters are so flawed; brilliantly so. There are no heroes or villains in this story. It's all about perspective, and degrees of grey. What makes a villain, what makes a hero? Victoria Schwab forces us to look at our definitions for each of these and re-evaluate them. Victor and Eli are both fundamentally skewed, and they both have sociopathic tendencies. The entire time you're questioning who is the hero, and who is the villain. Does killing those with super powers make you a hero because you might be saving people from them? Does killing a killer immediately make you a hero? Does belief and faith in what you're doing automatically make it righteous? Does a crack (or two) in your cold exterior mean you're not as messed up after all? These questions are brilliantly woven throughout the novel, and there are no easy answers.

This friendship is so far beyond dysfunctional. Victor and Eli are both brilliant, both driven, and calculating. They both are capable of being ruthless, cunning, and single minded. They have a competitive nature to their friendship that leads them to constantly want to one up the other. It's not hard to see how this went from friendship to enemies, even in the early stages. 

The mood is capture effortless by Victoria. It's steeped with darkness, and gore. The scenes detailing their attempts at developing extraordinary abilities are as chilling, as gripping, and dizzying as you expect. I held my breath at points; especially with Eli's attempt. As their obsession with this grows, the reader's apprehension grows along with it. You can see the oncoming carnage, but can do little to warn the characters...even if you wanted to. Part of this novels allure is that unapologeticunflinching descent into this world, blood and all.

Sydney's innocence is ripped from her. Her character is the most innocent of the group, and seeing it taken from her time and time again is crushing. I had a instant soft spot for her, and ached each time her faith in something was proven false. Her age masks a mind that takes in everything around her and understands more than her young years show. I felt protective of her, and nearly sobbed when she's trying to find her 'safe place'.
Serena has her own crimes to answer for, and her own demons. Eli's side-kick is persuasive and lethal. All these side characters are fleshed out. Each characters motivation is made clear, and that's why they're so compelling. As flawed as they are, you understand them. It's all too easy to get inside their heads, and it's terrifying to see that it's not such a stretch.

The narration jumps all over the place. Instead of a linear story, we get it in glimpses. Their time at college is woven along with current time. This may sound confusing, but it adds to the story. It provides a delicious build up to the midnight countdown, and what's to come. The way the story unravels also allows for a much cleaner story, and one that is paced properly. Sleep stops being important because all you want to do is get the next part of the story, regardless of what 'time stamp' you're dealing with.

A gory, dark, and engrossing look at revenge, redemption, and the age old proveb that absolute power can corrupt. This is a world that practically makes me want to beg for a sequel. The characters and their story demand it and readers will be clamoring for more.

Monday, September 23, 2013

All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
Release Date - September 26, 2013
Publisher Website -  Penguin
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.
Part historical, part mystery All The Truth That's In Me captivated me, and kept me turning the pages late into the night. A novel that evoked feelings of rage, joy, happiness, sadness, anger, and ultimately hope all at once. It's a novel that imparts a unforgettable message, and includes a fascinating main character.

The narrative is written in form of a letter or diary that Judith is writing to Lucas. This narrative allows us to get to know Judith immensely but creates side characters who are not as well developed. This wasn't an issue for me, as I felt I knew what I needed to about them, but others may want more. I like the choice of the narrative, because Judith's voice is what truly shines in this novel. 

Judith resilience is undeniable. She copes with everything that is happening to her with a spirit that is breathtaking. It doesn't destroy her, even thought it seems it should. Her teasing sense of humour, whit, and desire is never crushed. Her voice is one that will be with me for a long time, and will make my top voices of 2013 list. She came to life for me in a way that characters don't always manage to do. I admired her desire to better herself through education, and how she wouldn't back down even if things got a little tough. Her courage, even when faced with unflinching scrutiny, is displayed time and time again. This is the long way of saying that I ended up adoring this character.

Lucas, Judith's brother and mother are all characters I felt we got to know enough about. Lucas really becomes developed later in the story. Judith's mother is deplorable. Instead of being happy her daughter has returned at all, she's worried about the impression her daughter's trauma will make on their family. Her brother is a typical spoiled child who is quite kind to Judith. My favourite relationship was an unlikely friendship that blooms between Judith and other character. I won't spoil who, but it delighted me. This friendship helps Judith find what's been ripped away from her, and reinstall some of that confidence that Judith needs to stand outside the shadows.

The mysteries of Judith - why she can't talk, where she's been for the past two years, and the circumstances surrounding why she was the only one to return - are all unraveled in such a way that is perfect for this type of story. We start with a focal point, a small part of the picture, and gradually expand what we can see until the full picture is in front of us. This means that little things are being teased and revealed throughout the novel, and that keeps the pace at a fever pitch. The short spurts of narration instead of chapters ensure that you'll keep reading as it's deceptively easy to say 'just one more section'.

A stunning voice and a unforgettable main character. This novel hit me, and made sure that I won't be forgetting Judith or her story for a long time to come. A novel about reclaiming your voice when it's been taken from you, it's not only entertaining, but packs a wonderful message to always speak out.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

Epic mailbox this week thanks to some great publishers, and Kobo Canada.

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil (goodreads)
Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas (goodreads)
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (goodreads)

I won a pre-order from Gretchen as part of her 3:59 promotion. The hardcover is certainly pretty! I love this cover. A huge thank you to Gretchen for the contest, and the prize.

A huge thank you to Random House for both Mother, Mother and Rose Under Fire. Super excited to read both of these later this month.

Kobo sent me a package of awesome. The new Kobo Aura, some popcorn, tea, a travel pillow and comfy socks! I am still in disbelief that anyone considers my blog worthy of reviewing anything, and it's pretty mind blowing. Thank you to Kobo! I can't wait to test out the Aura. Expect a review sometime in Nov/Dec when I've had time to read a few books on it.

Happy Reading, and Happy Weekend!

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


Ariel from Once Upon A Time w/ a dinglehopper

It's a dinglehopper! Joanna Garcia is getting into character as Ariel for Once Upon A Time. Does she not look perfect? I had a bit of a freak out when Ginnifer Goodwin posted this on her Twitter. The show returns in less than two weeks, and I can't wait to meet our Ariel!


TV recaps

The official announcement will be forthcoming, but I am going to be adding Once Upon A Time recaps to this blog. Expect more information TOMORROW! Super excited about it, and can't wait to share how it's going to work.

Ontario Blogger Meet Up

I am starting to get excited about the Ottawa Blogettes traveling to Toronto for the weekending and meeting up with our fellow Ontario bloggers. Last year was such fun, and I have a feeling this year will be jut as fantastic. Looking forward to spending time with everyone.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gennifer Albin Announcement

Today I have the awesome Gennifer Albin stopping by with a pretty awesome announcement. If you novel New Adult, you'll want to check this out!
I was putting on lipstick when the idea for Catching Liam popped into my head. I've always loved contemporary novels, but I was scared to write one myself but the story wouldn't leave me alone. So I called my agent who generally supports my insanity and pitched it to her. She enthusiastically told me to go for it, and so I set out to become a hybrid author.

When I first published Catching Liam I decided to use the pen name Sophia Bleu, because I didn't want readers to go in expecting science fiction and get a steamy coming-of-age story. It was never a secret and at some point juggling a pen name became a bit of a chore, so I sat down and thought about all the pros and cons of keeping the two separate.  My agent and I spoke and we both agreed that it was time to rebrand everything under my name. No small feat!

New Adult is a fledgling category in some ways, but a category a lot of authors feel drawn to.  Some people think that authors do it for the money or because it's a fad, but I think its because we have stories to tell about adults facing their first big life decisions. That's why I started writing Catching Liam. I'm excited about the New Adult genre, and I hope you are, too.

Make no mistake my New Adult books have mature content in them, but they also are about friendship, decisions, and growing up. So to celebrate I'm sharing my brand new, never before seen cover for my upcoming release TEACHING ROMAN.  This time with my name on it.

Jessica Stone has her life in perfect order until her perfectly boring boyfriend Brett puts things in perspective. So when she receives a call to action from her heartbroken best friend Cassie, she ditches her plans for Winter Break in gloomy Olympic Falls and sets off to Mexico for some fun in the sun.

Determined to use her oceanview to prep for her MCATS, she doesn't plan to run into anyone from Olympic State, least of all the cute communications prof she's been crushing on for a year. When he unexpectedly saves the day, the two are thrown together in a distinctly extracurricular activity.

Roman Markson doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows from Olympic Falls while visiting his family in Puerto Vallarta, especially not a former student. Although Jess Stone has a way of catching men’s attention, a relationship with her is strictly off-limits. However, the rules feel less strict in Mexico, so they agree to a plan: one week in paradise and nothing more.

But avoiding each other back on campus is harder than they anticipated, especially when they can’t stay away from one another. Neither is sure what they have to learn—and lose—before life teaches them a lesson they’ll never forget.

Gennifer is giving away a copy of her first New Adult title CATCHING LIAM to 3 readers!

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

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Gennifer Albin holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri. A recovering academic, she turned to writing her own books. Gennifer can be found in coffee shops, dreaming up new worlds. She lives in Washington with her family.

Follow @GenniferAlbin on Twitter
Visit her website at

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

What were some of your favorite picture books as a kid? If you have kids, what are your favorites to read to them?

I really liked the Dr Seuss books. The books I recall reading when I got a bit older were fairytales mostly. Oh, and I LOVED the books that came with cassette tapes (totally aging myself now). They were mostly Disney movies in book form. I could read those (and listen to the tapes) over and over.

Image from listing

Of course as I got older The Babysitter's Club, and the Sweet Valley Twins books were something I devoured.

I don't have children, but I do have 3 nieces and I am really excited to read Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series to them when they get a bit older.

Happy Weekend!

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
Release Date - September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  384 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.
The end of the world is imminent. What would you do? How would you want to spend those final days? Would you ever be able to prepare yourself for something like that?The focus is on the potential end of the world, rather than the aftermath. It's a unique perspective, and one that deserves to be explored. This incredible sounding premise leaves much to explore in this novel, but ultimately left me wanting more from it.

This entire premise practically begs for it to leave me in tears. I should be having massive bouts of feelings while reading this novel. Instead, I felt distant from the characters. I wasn't invested in them, and therefore the threat to them didn't hit me the way it should.

Alexandra Coutts writing itself wasn't an issue for me. I did however feel the novel lacked a sense of urgency that should have been there. The pacing was rather slow. If this had been used to really make the characters resonate it might have been more effective. Instead the plot felt drawn out. I felt the central storylines took longer than needed to unravel, with little payoff. The muted tone of the novel against such an extreme backdrop left it feeling disjointed.

The characters all had a similar tone, and voice. It's told in three different perspectives, but they all sort of blended together. Nothing capture me about any one of them particular. Their motivations and the whys behind their actions were something I didn't feel came through. The actions felt muted and underwhelming for what was happening. Perhaps I wanted to see more hysteria, and panic. The whole world is about to be devastated and everyone seems to be numb. It's that sense of urgency, and emotion that was missing. It's what would have cemented the story as something gripping. I wanted to feel the unease with the characters, but never saw that they felt it themselves.

The ending packs a bittersweet emotional, and subtly beautiful punch that I wanted from the rest of the novel. The characters were finally connecting with me, but it was too late. I saw a lot of promise in that ending, and it made me long for what might have been if the story had been fleshed out a little more.

A novel that I wanted to feel something from, but ultimately left me feeling disinterested. It was a book that, for me, didn't quite live up to the phenomenal sounding premise. A novel that could have been powerful, but instead felt rather underwhelming.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Broken Pre-Order Special and Giveaway

CJ Lyons' YA debut, Broken, is getting a special price for pre-orders! The ebook will be $4.99 and is available NOW right up until Nov 5th. Feel free to spread the news about this special promotion, and take advantage before the end date!

If you've missed hearing about this one, here is the official synopsis
New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons makes her YA debut with a fast-paced thriller sure to keep readers guessing to the very last page

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.
If you want to found out more there is more information up on Goodreads.

If you wish to pre-order, here are a few places that have the 4.99 price available now

I also have an Advance Reader Copy up for giveaway. The publisher, Sourcebooks, kindly has a signed one available and all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below.

The giveaway is USA and CANADA ONLY!

Good luck!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston

Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Release Date - September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Penguin
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating - 2/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

An ice covered world, a New Vegas that is still an enticing place, and a hint of magic. Frozen seemed to have all the elements that would make me immediately want to read it. Sadly, this novel turned out to be not a book for me.

The writing felt disjointed. I am not sure if it's the result of two writers with very different styles trying to mesh together, or something else I can't put my finger on. It felt stilted and not fleshed out. It felt like a draft that needed more information added in to connect everything properly together.

I found myself lacking a connection with the characters. I've mentioned many times that I am a very character driven reader. I need to be invested in some way. I need to understand their motivations. I don't have to like them, but I certainly have to feel SOMETHING for them. I found myself disconnected, and often pushed away by them.

There are female characters who are not confident. They tend to have problem fathoming why the cute love interest would be interested in them. They consider themselves plain, and not noticeable. These types of characters are often given grief for this by readers. The flip side are the characters who are aware of how attractive they are, and their effect on the love interest. This character is also given grief but for different reasons. This character is Nat. She makes a comment referencing the fact that half the guys on the ship probably have a crush on her. We are to take that she is teasing the person she is saying this to. She may not believe it fully, but she has the confidence in herself to say it. I found this to be a nice change from the 'plain but actually gorgeous' YA trend. It's one of the few character traits that I found refreshing.

The entire plot, and the characters themselves felt very formulaic. It read, to me, like the characters were created by giving them characteristics that they would be expected to have, rather than because it was pertinent to the character. The twists and turns the story took also felt expected, rather than the natural course for the story.

A few inconsistencies were found throughout the novel. As I was reading a unfinished copy, they might be corrected in the final version. The biggest seemed to be a character who supposedly unable to read does just that a little later on the book. I tend to let these slide in uncorrected proofs, and hope that any of them would be corrected in the final draft.

There are some promising plot elements. I enjoyed the magic aspect, and the hunt for 'the Blue' had some exciting moments. Overall though, these were not enough to turn the novel around for me. I ended up unsure if I will continue with the series.A premise with a lot of promise, but for me, failed to meet that promise. A book that, sadly, was just not meant for me as a reader. I do hope you check out some more positive reviews before deciding to read it. Goodreads has some 4 and 5 star ones that will offer a different perspective.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date - September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Scholastic
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
Maggie Stiefvater has created a magical world that drew me in completely while reading The Raven Boys. The Dream Thieves takes the world she's created and adds to it, but also turns it upside down. She adeptly avoids the dreaded "second book syndrome" and leaves you spellbound, and breathless.

The writing in this novel is some of the best I've read this year. Maggie Stiefvater ignites feelings with ease, and brings forth her character's personalities effortlessly. She manages to up the ante from The Raven Boys by creating dangers that are not just outside influences, but personal demons as well. Each of our beloved characters is grappling with something, and Maggie never lets you forget that a ticking clock around them is pressing as well. This novel is an unraveling of sorts. The characters are becoming increasingly unstable, just like the ley line. More and more power is coursing through the town, and the inevitability of something big happening is suffocating not just the reader, but the characters as well.

The characters have fully worked their way into my heart, so much in fact that this book left me a mess of feelings. The connection as a reader is effortless. You naturally want to embrace these characters, flaws and all. You want to protect them from themselves, and most importantly, you want to join them. You want to take this journey with them, regardless of how much it hurts sometimes.

Ronan is the primary focus in this novel. I knew his tough exterior hid a much  more broken center. We learn a lot about him, his family, and what is hidden underneath his bravado. After Ronan's admission about Chainsaw at the end of The Raven Boys, he was the one I was most interested in getting to know more about. The Dream Thieves does not disappoint. I finished with a deeper understanding of Ronan's motivations, and secrets.

Allowing us to see a different side to these characters is something Maggie Stiefvater does extremely well. In this novel, Gansey especially shows different sides to himself. The complexity of all the characters is stunning. The attention to detail, the research, the plotting, and the way everything weaves together is mind blowing. The foreshadowing that allows clues, but still manages to keep the novel's secrets until the author is ready for you to know them is another testament to Maggie Stiefvater's talent.

Blue grapples with her curse. She doesn't want to fall in love. Doesn't want to be responsible for the kiss that would kill her true love. She grapples with the secret she has - that Gansey will be dead before the next St. Mark's Eve. The ways in which this impacts her are heartfelt and authentic. She is quickly becoming one of my favourite female characters.

The romance in this is not what I anticipated at all. Maggie Stiefvater throws what could be a possible romance triangle and shows us why she doesn't need them to create drama. She uses other means to rip her reader's hearts out. Kisses (and almost kisses) have never been more devastatingly heart crushing than in this novel. Each kiss, and almost kiss is destroying for different reasons.

A stunning series filled with magic, heartbreaking kisses, and more danger than anticipated. Finding Glendower will not be without sacrifice, and I for one can't wait to join Blue, and her Raven Boys on the rest of this twisted journey.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New To My Book Closet

It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews). 

A total surprise arrived in my inbox. An eARC of Kresley Cole's Endless Knight! A huge thank you the marketing department that liked my review of Poison Princess enough to send this my way. Excited to get started on it!

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole (Goodreads)

Happy Reading, and Happy Weekend!

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


Third Book In The Royal Circle trilogy by Katherine Longshore

We have a title!! BRAZEN will be the final book in the trilogy, and I can not wait for more details. Details, and a synopsis will be coming from Penguin shortly, and I can't wait. I am curious to learn more about the main character, and what events may be woven into the story based on the timing. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads to get all the details when available.

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The Castor Chronicles is getting a spin off! Ridley and Link are taking centre stage in this New York City set companion series to Beautiful Creatures. I am excited to see what's next, and this gives me an excuse to finish the first series ASAP! You can add this to your Goodreads, and check out the full synopsis.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

A Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is not the hero? SIGN ME UP! Deadline, who announced that the CW has optioned this for a TV Show described the  book/show this way
the magically-ever-youthful Dorothy has stayed in Oz, presiding over a now fascist fairyland with her perfectly manicured iron fist and the help of her henchmen - the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But when another young woman from Kansas is swept up in a tornado and magically dropped into this war-torn Oz, our hero discovers a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings only to learn that she is destined to lead their people in the fight to reclaim Oz from a power-hungry Dorothy's ruthless clutches.
Yup, pretty much LET ME HAVE IT NOW! I am going to be really excited when this comes out in April 2014. This one has flown under the radar a little, but I expect that is about to change. Also, keep an eye out for this in my 2014 Most Antcipated Reads event *wink* . If you haven't already, be sure to add it to your Goodreads.

Cover of Sisters' Fate by Jessica Spotswood 

I love this series, so much. The last book ripped my heart out, and left me a mess when all was said and done. I am dying to get my hands on this one. The last little bit of the synopsis? SHIVERS! *Obvious spoilers for the first two books in the series in the synopsis, so tread carefully*. I am also in love with this cover. The colours are so pretty.


Dexter Series Finale

We're saying goodbye to Dexter. This makes me sad. Watching the following teaser for end made me anxious and terrified as to what is going to happen.

Dexter saying "This is all my fault" and the FBI closing in on Hannah! EEEP! Poor little Harrison better have a happy ending in all of this, that's all I am saying. 

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Friday, September 13, 2013

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date - September 17, 2013
Publisher Website -  Harper
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.
The grass is always greener, or so we would like to believe. 3:59 explores the notion of lives we wished we lived, and how they aren't always what they appear to be.

Josie is your typical highschool student. Her life has hit a bit of a rough patch, and she's instantly drawn to the allure of having a 'do over'. I might of over sympathized with the situation with her boyfriend, and so she instantly appealed to me. Something about her life will strike a cord with the reader. They'll either relate directly, or it'll remind them of someone. This creates an instant bond with the character, and I felt it added to the story.

Jo on the other hand wasn't as developed as I would have liked. This is Josie's story, but Jo has a LARGE part in it, and I wanted her version. Everything we learn about Jo is from Josie and her perspective. It's tainted. As we know there are two sides to every story, and I felt that Jo had more to tell.

The science fiction aspect of the story was exactly what I hoped it would be. Gretchen provided enough details to allow the reader to follow along, and yet kept it open enough that your imagination could fill in the blanks. The descriptive nature of the portal that allows the swap to take place made imaging it all too easy. She raised the creepy factor by having the portal close rather rapidly and the descriptions of the portal's 'in between' stage was chill inducing. Comparing it to hardening concrete brings to mind horrors of being buried alive, and it was captured by Josie perfectly.

The romance is going to be hit or miss for some. I can see both sides of this. It does come across as rushed, but there are factors that would lend themselves to a quick attraction. By the end of the story I was invested in it enough to care, and that is what matters to me. I wish we had a little more to go on, because this relationship does have it's sweet (and not so sweet) moments.

The meshing of horror and science fiction is a perfect blend. Some may be surprised by the inclusion of something decidedly not science fiction based, something that is semi paranormal in nature. This inclusion felt warranted to me, and it added an element of danger to a story that needed some higher stakes.

The ending will be debated, and perhaps disliked. It's not the ending one may hope for, or like. It, for me, ends the only way this story could. The build up, and nature of the story dictated that certain events had to happen, and this is the follow through.

Gretchen once again shows she can scare and captivate. I wanted a little more from this book, but still found it's writing and presentation enjoyable. Fans of Gretchen's previous novels will want to grab this one.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

It is up to you to do a Kickstarter campaign for your favorite book!!! Who are you casting for the main characters?

Um...This is hard because I have a lot of books I really like. I am going to have to go with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I would cast Kaya Scodelario as Mara, and Max Irons as Noah Shaw.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Release Date - September 3, 2013
Publisher Website -  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
Imagine a world where vampires are the ultimate celebrity, death is alluring, and living forever may not be as long as you think. Holly Black has taken something classic, and paid it the respect it deserves in her own, unique voice.

A vampire novel being sexy and sensual may not be surprising. It meshes the allure of living forever, with the brutal truth of death that surrounds these immortal beings. The world Holly Black has built takes center stage, and seduces us. It's mesmerizing, and addicted. It excels where the characters didn't. I got lost in the world, and that is what kept my interest. The Coldtown itself, and the image shown to the outside world contrast in a way that created intrigue and drama. She captures the wickedness, the decedence, and the loneliness of these immortal beings. She showcases why, time and time again, we are drawn to stories about them.

The lore, and backstory to vampires is a mix of the usual. Holly Black's version of how you become a vampire is filled with the horror these creatures are known for. It's also fairly unique. The blood lust that consumes a newly born vamp is terrifying, especially deadly to those unfortunate to be near them. The blood flows and coats everyone's hands in this novel, it almost becomes a river, but it's a nice change. These vampires are monsters. They feed, kill, and have little or no remorse for what they do. It takes you back to the original stories that left nightmares dancing in your head.

Tana is not the hero of the story, far from it. However she is resourceful, resigned, and shows a tremendous ability to judge people by their actions. She wants to save everyone, which is immediately endearing. She's someone who doesn't mind walking on the wild side, and at the same time would do anything for her family. She's much more complex than I anticipated and first. She follows a decision through, and is quite determined. Even at her most overwhelmed she is able to rally herself, and go on. Her past haunts and drives her in a way that almost consumes her.

Some of the characters felt like they were there to fit a certain role, and nothing more. Winter and Midnight, two vampire obsessed kids Tana meets along her journey, fit such a description. They show the allure these Coldtowns posses and are the embodiment of the notion of 'everyone wants to live forever'. They are naive, and sadly, unprepared for the truths that come with being part of this world.

Creepy, disturbing, but at all times mesmerizing, Holly Black has expanded her short story to a fine novel that could stand on it's own, and yet there is the possibility of a series too. Her writing talent is evident and on par with her previous works. It's the little details that make this novel, from the celebrity like fever of the vampire craze, to the haunted past that keeps Tana on her path. Holly Black knows caring about characters, even if it's just one, in a sea of madness will humanize the whole story, and she does it to great effect in this.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a love letter, and homage to classic vampire tales of years past. It's a twist on a tale that is both familiar, and loved. Holly Black fans will be sure to devour this one, and hope for a revisit to Tana's world, even though she ends this particular story in a perfectly imperfect place.

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