Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mini-Review of Insurgent by Veronica Roth


If you know me at all you know that after reading one amazing book, I had to read the next in the series! So of course, shortly after putting down Divergent I ran out to my local Barnes and Noble and picked up the next book in the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, Insurgent.

Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)
 In Insurgent, we continue the story of Tris Prior.  "[She] must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love." (Synopsis adapted from

The factions are on the brink of war, and with people she loves in all factions.  Tris has to decide whether faction really is more important than blood.  Even more importantly, she has to decide where she stands in the war and what she's going to do about it.

Insurgent was addicting and amazing and everything I wanted it to be.  It definitely left me wishing the third book of the trilogy was already out!  Until then, we'll have to be consoled with a scene from Four's point of view, Free Four.  

Alright, I can't give anything away, because I don't want to ruin it.  Just read it already!!!

The next book in the series,  which is currently untitled, is due out fall of next year.  Hopefully we'll get some sneak peeks along the way!  Keep your eyes peeled, people!

Get your copy of Insurgent RIGHT NOW at Barnes and Noble or Amazon!

And don't forget to check out what other readers thought at

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review of Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent Series #1)As you know from some of my reviews (of The Hunger Games, Starters, and Article 5) I like dystopian stories.  I think the premise is really interesting and the fact that everyone has their own idea of what the world would look like is fascinating to me.  Of course, even though I'm 23 I really like the young adult genre, so I'll stick to dystopian young adult fiction for now!

So this week, I read the first two books in Veronica Roth's Divergent series. 

Divergent is all about choices and being different, and choosing to be who you really are--not who you ought to be.  "In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all." (Synopsis from

What's refreshing about this book is that it's not about love.  Although there is the YA mini-romance, it's more-so about Beatrice (Tris) figuring out who she is, who she wants to be, and who her family wants her to be.  She has to diverge from her family unit and go out and make her own way in the world.  It's interesting because it's not all about some silly romance and it's not all about action.  There's a great mix of family values, identity, growing up, action, conspiracy, and awesomeness all rolled into one beautiful 487 page package.  I loved it--every minute.

After earning 4 stars on Goodreads and being named the Goodreads Choice Award Favorite Book, I knew this was going to be a good choice.  BookPage says "You'll be up all night with Divergent, a brainy thrill-ride of a novel," and I've got to tell you.  They are so right!  This book was amazing.  It was a page-turner, and cliff-hanger, and an all-around fabulous use of my $10.  I highly recommend it.  This is probably my second favorite--only behind The Hunger Games in this category of YA fiction. 

Get it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon now.

And find out what other readers thought at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review of Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful, #2)Life Eternal is the second book in the Dead Beautiful Series.  In case you don't remember from yesterday, Dead Beautiful is the story of a young woman who is sent to an unusual boarding school after her parents mysteriously die. 

So I can't give too many details on the story of this book because doing so would give away important details of the ending of Dead Beautiful.  But I will say that Life Eternal was a lot better than Dead Beautiful.  After reading the second book of the series, I feel like the first book took too much time explaining things instead of just telling the story. 

The second book, Life Eternal, had a lot of plot!  Character -driven plot and it was awesome!  This book is a prime example of why I love YA.  It is a typical coming-of-age story with the twist of fantasy that I drool over.  The main character, Renée, is learning all about herself.  She's asking serious questions--Who am I?  Where do I fit?  Where is my future going?  These questions are all typical of any young adult--even some really old adults are still trying to figure this out!

 And then there's the love story between Renée and Dante.  And they're working together (and sometimes apart) to figure out what they want to be together.  And then there's the third side of the triangle (I'm not telling you who!) who perfectly confuses everything.  The story is compelling, interesting, heart-stopping, and gripping.  I literally started this and could not stop. 

Of course, Woon is trying to kill everyone by making us wait an entire year for the publication of her currently untitled sequel.  But, keep your eyes peeled people, because there will be news on it soon.  I hope.  When you get to the last page of this book, you will know what I'm talking about. 

Learn more about Yvonne Woon on her website!

See what other readers thought at
Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful Series #1)Dead Beautiful is the story of a young woman who is sent to an unusual boarding school after her parents mysteriously die.  After living in boarding school for several weeks, she learns that the real reason for the school has nothing to do with classical methods.  But uncovering the truth of the school, Gottfried Academy, means learning more about herself and her boyfriend Dante than she is ready for.  Now she must choose what her love for Dante is really worth.

The main character, Renée Winters, is a believable but not incredibly strong character.  Because I tend to favor strong protagonists, she wasn't my favorite.  In certain parts of the story I felt I knew what was going on before she did and I don't like to be in that position.  I like to be "with" the character at all times, with the plot unfolding as "we" move forward.

That being said, Woon has created an extremely interesting world that these characters live in.  There is a lot of mystery behind Gottfried Academy, Renée's grandfather, the death of her parents, and even Dante. 

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful, #2)Overall the story is intriguing.  There is mystery, fantasy, and romance.  For me, these are all of the best components.  The story was intriguing enough for me to download the sequel, Life Eternal, onto my iPhone.  I'm interested to see what the world Woon has created will bring for Renée and Dante.

What to anticipate in Dead Beautiful?
Just what Publisher's Weekly said; "a Harry Potter start and a Twilight finish."

See what other readers thought at
Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mini-Review of Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Into the wee hours of this morning, I was up reading a fantastic new book by author Kristen Simmons called Article 5.  Article 5 is a post-apocalyptic story about a young woman's search to find her mother after they are both violently ripped from their home.

I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble as part of a display of books called "If you liked the Hunger Games…"  Simmons takes a totally different point of view of what government will be like after the collapse of America.  She perfectly creates a new government obsessed with opression, gender consistency, and an ideological moral code.  There were several instances where I literally got goosebumps and feared that the FBR were going to knock down my door for my own indescretions!  The whole "One whole country, one whole family" idea is petrifying to me!

After literally staying up all night to read it, I can safely say this is one of my new favorite books.  I've been thinking about it all day!  The story flowed seamlessly!  This is a great example of character-driven fiction; which is my favorite! 

The main protagonist in the book, Ember, is a strong character that will do anything it takes to find and save her mother.  When she reunites with her childhood love, Chase, they have to learn to work together even as they both fight the urge to run away.

At times this story is full of sorrow, hopelessness, and even anger, but then as if a light is turned on in a dark room, our heroine finds a sliver of hope and does what we least expected her to do. 

I 100% recommend Article 5 and I am highly anticipating the second book in the series, Breaking Point, which is due out in 2013.

Check out what others thought of Article 5 on Goodreads!  Plus snag your copy online at Barnes and Noble

Excited for news about Breaking Point?  Keep your eyes on Goodreads for new info, plus check out Karen's blog!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review of Fifty Shades of Grey Series

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1)I've just finished the entire Fifty Shades series by E.L.James, which includes Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.  I have to say, it was pretty amazing.  I was quite skeptical at first because it is an erotic romance novel.  I've read some erotica and I've read some romance but this was absolutely the best of both worlds all wrapped up with some suspense, fun, and humor.  It was great!

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades Trilogy #2)If you're not familiar with the series, it's all the rave right now!  It took a week for me to find it at Barnes and Noble because they kept getting sold out.  So once I got my copy of the entire series I was thrilled!  There was, and still is, so much excitement around the series.  Even the news stations have picked it up, with interviews of the author.  Apparently, some people think the series' content is very controversial.  They clearly haven't read very much erotica--it's nothing out of the ordinary for the genre. 

The series has been compared to Twilight, but I don't think the comparison is fair!  This series is one of its own class.  It's the best of the romance, erotica, and thriller genres.  It's intoxicating, addicting, and one you'll go back to again and again.  I definitely recommend it for those readers who like romance and a little grime (if you know what I mean)!

It's rumored that Fifty Shades of Gray, the first book in the series, is to be made into a movie by Focus Features.  James is already at work on a new romance series.  Keep your eyes peeled folks, this woman is a force to be reckoned with (no pun intended).

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades Trilogy #3)I'd have to say my favorite of the three in the series?  The last one, Fifty Shades Freed.  Why?  Because this book shows how much the two characters, Ana and Christian, have evolved.  I love when characters grow.  Character-driven fiction is definitely my favorite! 

Laters, baby!

Check out what other readers thought at
Pick up your copy of the series at Barnes and Noble! (on nook) or in paperback here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review of Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)
Starters is one of the best books I have ever read.  Readers of the Hunger Games, check this out!

In this post-apocalyptic world, nothing is as it seems.  At first glance, the world created in Starters is pretty strange.  But as the reader learns more and gets a closer look, everything is what we would expect it to be in a future collapsed United States. 

As a collapse researcher, I've read many books about what the future may hold after this world, as we know it, collapses.  But this is like nothing I've ever seen.  In this world, the bodies of the young are rented by the elite "enders" or old people!  These old people drive these young bodies around doing reckless and horrible things. 

But that is all about to come to an end when protagonist, Callie Woodland, discovers their secret with the help of her ender friend Helena.  In this fast-paced thrilling adventure, Callie and Helena must try to save their future from corruption and try to save the future of young people everywhere. 

Get your copy of "Starters" at Barnes and Noble.

Nothing is as it first appears, so keep reading!  The sequel to "Starters" is entitled, "Enders" and is due out December 4th, 2012. 

Check out what other readers thought at

Review of Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter

Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2)Awake at Dawn is the second in C.C. Hunter's Shadow Falls series.  I loved this book!  I thought the story was compelling and different than the average YA fantasy novel.  I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story line and the back-story of romance.  I like that the protagonist chooses not to focus on romance.  It allows the reader to focus on the plot as well.  I LOVE that the plot is not the romance!!  There's an actual story here, people!

My only gripe is that it took me a wee bit longer than I would have liked to get used to the southern phrases like "darn it."  I'm from the East Coast, people just cuss here.  We don't use childish phrases like that.  After I read the first book, Born at Midnight (review coming), I read about the author and realized why those phrases were in there. 

Future readers of this series should prepare for all species of the supernatural. Prepare for a look into what that life as a supernatural would be like. And get ready for a beautiful look into self-exploration. Because supernatural or not, protagonist Kylie Galen is a young woman getting to know more about herself, her past, and who she will become.

Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3)Check out what other readers thought of "Awake at Dawn" at

Hunter's next book, "Taken at Dusk" is due out tomorrow, and as usual...I can't wait!  I'm a series addict!  I love books that continue into another!  I always want more and that's exactly what I get! 

Check out the trailer for "Taken at Dusk" here

Preorder your copy of "Taken at Dusk" at Barnes and Noble.

Learn more about author C.C. Hunter on her website

Review of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)Many will know Melissa de la Cruz as the author of the infamous Blue Blood Series. Late last night I finished her first adult fiction novel, "Witches of East End." This is de la Cruz's first book of her new series, The Beauchamp Family. I'm pleased to report that the Witches of West End was not what I expected it to be. It was much better! To be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of books that are just about witches, vampires, werewolves, etc. So I was refreshed by this new spin on the same old witch. This story isn't just about witches!

Witches of East End follows the Beauchamp family--a family of two sisters and their morther who are immortals. To be specific, they're goddesses! De la Cruz uses Norse mythology to create a story rich in culture and history. This is so interesting! In this life, the Beauchamp women are witches, but their lives are rich and intense and it makes for a very interesting story!

Although I have not read the author's previous series, Blue Bloods, I am very much intrigued by this new series. Although some other reviewers will say that things weren't falling into place in the beginning, and that there was a middle lul--I don't think that's true.

We meet the three Beauchamp women, Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid. All three women have special gifts. Joanna is a healer and resurrector, Freya is a lover and partier, and Ingrid is a healer and predictor. As we learn more about each woman, we learn more about their personalities, their gifts, their loves and their losses. We learn to love each one for different reasons and our heart breaks when their hearts break. This drawn-out description sets the reader up for some huge enlightening moments.

We learn that these women have gone through so much in their long lifetimes. As the story twists and turns we are shocked again and again. I am very intrigued by this story and very much look forward to seeing it continue!

Serpent's Kiss: A Witches of East End Novel
The next book in The Beauchamp Family series, Serpent's Kiss, is due out next June and I don't know about you, but I can't wait! You can preorder it now here!
Witches 101: A Witches of East End Primer
You can also learn more about all of the characters in The Beauchamp Family series by checking out de la Cruz's Witches 101: a witches of east end primer. Check it out here.

For more thoughts about Witches of East End, check out
I got my copy at Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born WickedJessica Spotswood's premier novel, "Born Wicked," is a historical fantasy about the Cahill sisters of New England. Life is already hard for these three sassy, independent, educated girls growing up without a mother. Their father is never home, they live in early 20th century New England during a time where religious freedom means witch hunts, and they're being watched by the Brotherhood--the local clergy and government. When the eldest, Cate, finds a letter from her mother, written shortly before her death, everything gets even harder. Now Cate must decide what her future will hold and how she's going to keep her promise to keep her sisters safe.

This is Spotswood's first published novel and the first of The Cahill Witch Chronicles. I will say that "Born Wicked" isn't what I expected it to be, to say the least. I expected something more action-packed but what I got was drama. I've fallen in love with protagonist, Cate Cahill who is everything I hoped a witch and woman would be in early 20th century New England. She is independent and staggeringly aware of the prejudices against her type by the over-pious Brotherhood. She is what I think I would have been in that time. She is fiercely protective of her family and would do anything to keep them safe, even if that means giving up her own future.

Spotswood really makes a statement in "Born Wicked." She uses Cate's thoughts to send a message to readers about feminism, women's rights, and prejudice in general. She tells a story of growth, new beginnings, making choices to protect the ones we love, and a sad love story. Cate makes sacrifices larger than any other 16 year old I know is willing to make. Others will say Cate is dislikable, but honestly, that's what I like about her. She's stubborn, disagreeable, and yet she's absolutely lovable.

To me, "Born Wicked" was a definite hit. I can't wait for the next in the series. The next book, Star Cursed is due out next February and I can't wait! I hope there are more twists and turns, just like in "Born Wicked." As far as I'm concerned, Spotswood is an author to keep an eye on. Big things are coming.

Check out the Book Trailer right here!

To learn more about Jessica Spotswood, check out her website here!

See what other readers thought of "Born Wicked" on

Snag your copy of "Born Wicked" on or at Barnes & Noble!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mini-Review of The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Cameron Stracher's "The Water Wars" follows two children in a post-apocalyptic world ruined by Water Wars. The world invented by Stracher was everything I think the world would be like if Water Wars ruined it all--which many have said is what the future looks like. However, I feel Stracher got too caught up in the description of the world and preconceived set actions that the characters weren't the ones pushing the story forward. In the end I was left disappointed. The Water Wars
Mayby it's just me, but character driven fiction is the best and most believable. From the beginning all the way to the end I had to push myself to continue reading. I wasn't intrigued by the never-ending detail. I longed to be pulled into the action, but there wasn't enough! I guess I also hoped there would be some resolution in the end, but I finished the book wondering what the point had been.

All in all, if you're looking for a post-apocalyptic gripping novel, this isn't it. Maybe you should go back to reading the Hunger Games where the author gives enough detail to hook you in, but leaves enough room for the imagination to do the creating.

To see what other readers though of "The Water Wars" check out

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mini-Review of Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3)Patricia Briggs' book, "Fair Game," is different than the usual werewolf, witch tale. This book doesn't focus on the fact that they're werewolves, although that definitley affects the plot. Instead, there is a story altogether different from their species. The story is a murder mystery, thriller, forgiveness, and love. All of these story lines are alive in the real world of humans and thus the reader doesn't have to move from "this world" to "that world" as with in the Twilight novels and others in the genre. The reader can simply read and enjoy the story without making any huge leaps. Briggs does an excellent job with creating a complex story and I look forward to reading more.

See what more readers think at!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review of The Hunger Games movie adaptation

This weekend, my fiancé and I went to go see the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'd like to say that as far as movie adaptations go, I'm usually disappointed. This movie, however, definitely delivered!

For those of you who haven't seen the book and haven't seen the movie yet, The Hunger Games is the story of a future world called Panem where children from each district are offered up in a fight to the death, as a reminder and a punishment of a past rebellion. The main character, Katniss Everdeen, is a great protagonist. The movie accurately portrays Katniss as a stand-offish character with a ferocity towards pretty much everyone. The set designs, costumes, and makeup were beyond the wildest imaginations of avid readers, like myself. For those of you who've read, didn't you think that cave was EXACTLY as you imagined it?
After making $152M in opening weekend box office sales, the makers of this series has a lot to live up to in the future. Check out this website for more info on The Hunger Games movie, before going to theaters! This is, of course, the first book in The Hunger Games series, which also includes Catching Fire, and Mocking Jay.

Fans old and new will be thrilled to know that the second book, Catching Fire, is already in the process of movie development! The movie is set to debut late in 2013. Check out this website for up-to-date info on all of the movie adaptations to come!

'Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor."