Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Everneath - Brodi Ashton

Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath (#1)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Pages: 370
Read in: 2 days

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

A Teenager's Perspective:

If we may, we'd like to start this review by saying, that Everneath was ... absolutely mind-blowingly amazing! Like ... sag-in-your-chair, and-forget-you-have-to-go-to-school- good. This is the first book we've read by Brodi Ashton, but we can assure you, IT WILL NOT BE OUR LAST.

Okay, so the book starts off with Nikki leaving the Everneath, and Cole,this unbelievably sexy guy, (... we might've stayed!). Don't worry we'll get to him later (; So, Nikki is "sucked" back into Earth, where she tries to fix all her mistakes, and let the people who she hurt, know that she loves them. Do you hear that cracking noise? That is our hearts, breaking slowly ...

Nikki only has a little bit of time, before the "Shadows" come for her to take her to this Underworld place. Of course there's an easy way out, but that will require the defacation of Nikki's moral values. Clearly, Nikki chooses the higher road; sacrificing herself, for the chance to say goodbye — for real. But when she falls back in love with her ex-boyfriend, her decision, becomes their decision.

We LOVE how Brodi Ashton gives us a perspective for each character. It kind of gives you the ability to draw valid conclusions about what you think about a specific character. While we love Nikki, our favorite character is Cole!

Okay, so he's arrogant, cute, self-centered, cute, and impulsive. Did we mention cute?! He is portrayed as this bad-boy-kind-of-guy who wants what he wants; but even then, we still found ourselves cozzying up to him. Why? We don't know, the teenage mind seems to work in mysterious ways ...

Overall, this book was a 5 star all the way. We have the next novel on our to-read list. It's name hasn't been released yet? But we'll stay tuned. Plenty of Cover Love, no doubt.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Cryptic Cravings - Ellen Schreiber

Author: Ellen Schreiber
Series: Vampire Kisses (#8)
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Release Date: March 17, 2011
Pages: 211
Read In: 2 days

The morbidly monotonous Dullsville has finally become the most exciting place on earth now that Raven is madly in love with her hot vampire boyfriend Alexander, and a crew of vampires has taken residence in Dullsville's old mill. Raven discovers Jagger's plan to open a new club, The Crypt, right here in Dullsville. But is it her dream come true, or her worst nightmare? Raven and Alexander have to figure out what the nefarious vampire has in store for Dullsville's teen and vampire population. Can Raven convince Jagger to listen to her plans to make the Crypt the morbidly magnificent dance club it could be? Will it be safe for mortals and vampires alike?

And as Sebastian and Luna's relationship heats up, Raven wonders about her own amorous fate: Will Alexander ever turn her? Does he crave her and does he want to spend eternity together? And what does she really want?

With cryptic secrets and cravings, this eighth installment in the Vampire Kisses series is a romantic and mysterious thrill ride.

A Teenager's Perspective:

Our latest read is part of the on-going series, "Vampire Kisses." Before sharing our thoughts, and feelings about "Cryptic Cravings," we would just like the clear the air about some things we've been reading on book reviews from the Vampire Kisses series.

Despite what some select book reviewers may think, Vampire Kisses isn't a series for only goths, or loners. Any reader can make a connection to this book, or Raven, the main character; if they're willing to. She's a bit impulsive, with a one track mind that wants what she wants, but in the end, everyone has a goal they want to reach, and whether they choose to let someone distract them from that goal, doesn't ---- shouldn't determine whether they're seen as selfish, or "bratty." But what do we know, we're just three teenagers who LOVE this series, who have a social life, and don't constantly wear dark clothes, and/or make up. We're pretty sure we're an exception to this "belief," and if there's one excpetion, then imagine the the numerous amount of possibilities!

Okay, enough rambling, so... "Cryptic Cravings." The 8th book to the on-going series, Vampire Kisses. *...and the crowd goes wild* We absolutely ADORED this book! Ellen Schreiber as usual, teases us a bit with the plot, and leaves us with another painfully crippling cliffhanger. We're starting to get used to this pattern, not that we're complaining, but leaving readers constantly frustrated at the end of your books, only to release the next novel for next year? Now that's just cruel, and unusual punishment.

The novel begins, with Raven admitting that her hometown, Dullsville, is no longer "dull." All the crazy stunts, and situations that Raven, and her vampire crew pulled, leaves Raven with this new-found respect for vampires, as well as, her town. Her vampire boyfriend, Alexander, struggles with the decision of turning Raven into a vampire. Him being the down-to-earth, think-before-you-act, responsible guy in the relationship, he tries to warn Raven of what she's getting herself into, while facing his never-ceasing temptation to drink her blood. Raven's deepest, and darkest desire is to run off all vampire-couple, married to Alexander, living her happily ever after. The end. However, over the span of the book, we find that Raven becomes more paranoid, insecure, and doubtful that Alexander still loves her, the way he says he does. The longer Alexander takes to change Raven, the sooner Raven develops this needy-girlfriend alter ego -- which we soo aren't so fond of.

Lucky for Alexander, there's a distraction/slide plot. Oh my, my will Luna and Jagger ever give up?! These two antagonists, build up this idea that they just want to make "peace," and have a normal, good ol' vampire diet. But as Ellen Schreiber's long-devoted readers all know, there's something they're hiding. Their usual antics, somehow bring the whole town together for something big, while managing to put Raven, Alexander, and other people she cares about in harms way.

This novel is ESPECIALLY, a must-read! We think that Schreiber is in order to receive a congratulatory applause. She is one of the few writers, who has still managed to keep the readers interested, despite the on-going series' span. 8 books? And.. we're still reading? We usually get "iffy" around trilogies, but this? This series, and this novel is perfection in the making. Anyway, we'll be sure to keep our ears to the ground for when the next book, "Immortal Hearts," is released.


Review: Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella (Madeline Wickham)

Author: Sophie Kinsella (Madeline Wickham)
Series: Shopaholic (#1)
Publisher: The Dial Press (Random House, Inc.)
Release Date: February 16, 2001
Pages: 348
Read in: 2 days

Meet Rebecca Bloomwood.
She’s a journalist. She spends her working life telling others how to manage their money.
She spends her leisure time … shopping. Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can’t. She tries Cutting Back, she tries Making More Money. But neither seems to work. The stories she concocts become more and more fantastic as she tries to untangle her increasingly dire financial difficulties. Her only comfort is to buy herself something – just a little something… Can Becky ever escape from this dream world, find true love, and regain the use of her Switch card?

A Teenager's Perspective:

Rebecca Bloomwood (also known as Becky) works as journalist writing articles about how to manage money and savings but she’s got a big problem – she can’t seem to work out her own finances. Shopping solves all her problems, well emotional ones that is. Becky gets into a bunch of debt and tries concocting schemes to save her, but in the end she can’t seem to stop shopping. Despite all these consequences, she manages to gain a special someone who just might be her true love. And she finally stops shopping… well for a little while at least.

This novel was just so fun to read! We breezed through it like there was no tomorrow. Becky was such a down-to-earth and bubbly character that it was such a thrill to read about her. The humor and liveliness of the book made it a quick and easy read. We burst out laughing so many times we lost count (we got some strange looks from people lol). Kinsella made sure that Becky’s life was full of action and absurdity to keep us reading. Definitely, if you need a cheerer-upper or a full on laugh-out-loud moment check this book out! You won’t regret it (;

You won't have to shop around to find a more winning protagonist. - Ireland on Sunday


Review: Flawless: Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard

Author: Sara Shepard
Series: Pretty Little Liars (#2)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 19, 2008
Pages: 352
Read in: 5 days

Four pretty little liars have been very bad girls.
Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. But their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.
And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive.

A Teenager's Perspective:

Spencer, Hannah, Aria, and Emily are back in the second installment of the Pretty Little Liars series. And A’s back too with even more threats and secrets. A wants revenge even more than before, and they won’t stop at anything. These four girls better watch their backs ‘cause it won’t be long before all of their darkest secrets are exposed.

In our opinion, the second book was interesting but harder to get into than the first book. This time there was too much talk about who A was. The suspects kept changing from Ali, to Toby, and then to undecided. The plot thickened, which was nice to see since the story needed more depth. Shepard definitely did a fantastic job of developing the plot towards the end of the book and always, always leaves the reader wanting more – to figure out whom A is.

And then the other burning question: What ever did happen to Alison? We think this side of the story has a lot of potential to become intriguing and mysterious and dark. We look forward to seeing how Shepard advances this idea. If you want something that is entertaining yet requires no thinking, then this is the right book for you. Be sure to watch for the other books! Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Desires of the Dead - Kimberly Derting

Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder (#1)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Pages: 355 pages
Read in: 2 days

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

A Teenager's Perspective:

As previously demonstrated in "The Body Finder," Kimberly Derting does an outstanding job constructing her characters, and the story's plot. However, when reading the sequel, "Desires of the Dead," we found ourselves ... let down. We know that second novels never measures up to the first or the last novel,but since "The Body Finder" went above and beyond our expectations; we were hoping "Desires of the Dead," might as well. Clearly, we were proven wrong once again.
We do give Kimberly Derting props, though. She gets 1,000+ points on our worth-while-radar, for originality. It wasn't hard to tell after "The Body Finder," that this unique series would catch the eyes of many YA readers around the globe. A girl who has a knack for finding dead things? A serial killer -- oops! our mistake ... KILLERS?! Perhaps that's why we found ourselves disappointed with "Desires of the Dead," maybe the standards were set too high, and as a result, the "AVERAGE" standard wasn't good enough.

The novel begins with a shocking discovery, by the readers. Jay's not dead! Hooray! We both let out a sigh of relief, and FINALLY, we could breath again. Our lives were complete then, I think if the book ended like that, we would've been satisfied. Unfortunately, it didn't.

After a few chapters, we realized how much Violet changed. She was braver, more independent, and FINALLY beginning to accept her extraordinary ... "talents." We were glad to see her character grow stronger as a whole, as well as, her blooming personality. (Yay, strong-willed women!) Although this newly formed independence is appreciated, she seemed to irritate Demitra the most. Demitra thought that Violet put herself in danger soo many times! Although, we love Violet, we both agree on that one. We noticed how her independence developed into ... isolation. Or something short of it.

Anastasia almost chucked her copy of the novel, across Starbucks, because of the way Violet was treating Jay. Don't even get us started! Jay is too perfect in this one. He manages to put up with all of Violet's secrets, even when he sees her with another guy. Are you freaking kidding me?! Despite all the times she gets jealous, he doesn't even question her about it; or at least not much. She offers no explanation and while she knows Jay is "upset" he still puts his arm around her and tells her that it's going to be okay. Really? Hmmm.... Another thing we noticed, was how Jay's character seemed to fade more into the background. His specific character traits weren't openly displayed. Only his relationship with Violet is really displayed. As much as we're all for Team Jaylet, we really wanted to see Jay's character grow as well.

Some new characters are introduced! A brother, and a sister. Mhmm ... Do you smell that? It's drama! We get a perspective from one of them, but we won't spoil it for you; so, we'll keep are mouths sealed tight. We also get an some inside information on these siblings, but never really enough of description to draw our own conclusions about them. They weren’t a huge part of the story;yet, without them nothing would have happened.

At times the plot slowed down,but then it picked back up again. We were disappointed in the ending, because we wanted to see some kick-ass action (Excuse our french?), sadly that didn't happen.However,we must admit that "Desires of The Dead" was a book full of heart-wrenching anticipation. In the end, originality won us over. Also, any author capable of making Anastasia shudder, has our complete, and utter respect. So, will we read the sequel, "The Last Echo"? To read or not to read, that is the question? (;

(We've been working on English Lit. overtime.)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay
Publisher: Dutton Books (Member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.)
Release Date: April 9, 2009
Pages: 196
Read in: 2 days

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 heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

A Teenager's Perspective:

If I Stay, is truly a heartwarming story that readers never forget. Mia gets into a terrible car accident and is then trapped into a coma. She has an “out of body” experience where she watches as her family gathers around her in the hospital and what happens to her. Mia has to make an extremely tough decision – wake up and endure a life of excruciating pain or fade away and die. What will Mia choose?

We were literally in tears about twenty pages into the book. This book was so moving and inspiring because Mia really had to go through many hardships as she watched her family and friends gather around her to make her choice – life or death. All the time, we were hoping for Mia to cling to her life even if her life wouldn’t be the same as her old life was. Mia’s character was very relatable to us because she had the same insecurities about fitting in with her family and friends like most teens do.

Adam and Mia’s relationship was loving and complicated. We felt so sorry and sympathetic for Adam because he was devastated about Mia’s situation. They had such different personalities that it made their relationship interesting and complex. Rebellious rocker boy matched with quiet classical-playing musician.
The one thing that really stood out to us was how the author used music as a major theme in the book. If you don’t read this book, something is wrong with you. This is an amazing, awe-inspiring, and stirring story that will touch your heart.

Don’t forget to read the sequel Where She Went!