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[Flashback friday] - #22

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released that we're dying to get our hands on...

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title:  Tiger Lily
   Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
   Release Date: July 3rd, 2012

     Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

     Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

     Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

     With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

     From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

My Stance:

      Tiger Lily came to me from Goodreads, and a fellow blogger wrote a rather great glowing review on how great this book was. And I have to say that from the synopsis, the book sounds great. When I was little I enjoyed fairy tales, I am not sure if that's because I wanted to fly or just be part of their worlds. Either way, this book brings back some great memories and I hope this book lives up to that youthful standard.

     I'm sure we all know who Peter Pan is, if not go Google it. This is the book about Tiger Lily, who Peter Pan dated or whatever, before Wendy appeared. I enjoy this concept and how the book is setup, because not often do you get a look at the beforehand of the famous fairy tale characters. At the same time though, there isn't that many tales about traditional fairy tales that I would say has a unique and inspiring concept.

     Lily seems to be this girl who falls hard for Peter, and while she's so enthralled with him, the book leads to more of a hard heart-break. And I wonder what happens to Lily when Wendy shows up. I am curious to see if there is any animosity between the two, and just what does Peter do to break up with Lily. There is so much curiosity about this heartbreak of a novel, that I have looked at it numerous times and every time I don't pick it up, I end up regretting it.

[Book Review] - The Farm by Emily McKay

Title: The Farm
   Author: Emily McKay
   Series: #1 - The Farm
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: December 4th, 2012
   My Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

      Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

     And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

     Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

My Review:

     The Farm, this book for me was the first book in which one of the main characters has a disability. While Mel was a unique and refreshing character, I didn't feel that her part in the book, or her disability made it better or worse off than the others. I felt throughout the end of the book, that her role in the book was lacking, I didn't feel that she was all that important. Which was sad, because I was looking to read about what a girl with a disability in a post-apocalypse.

    I have to say that this book being compared to Resident Evil mixed with The Hunger Games was either an all out lie, or a very large stretch in the wrong direction. Resident evil bit I could have understood, but the love story was a stretch if that's the bit of Hunger Games you were going for If you are seeking a book that, as vampires and zombies, in a post-apocalypse world, this isn't too shabby, but I'm nearly positive there are better books out there.

     The world in this book is rather lackluster. The camp that the book starts in, and the ending city is the extent of this book and frankly I was hoping for more destruction and chaos than what this book actually gave. Than throughout the entire book there is this abductura the vampires are looking for, and they believe that person is Lily. Okay so yes that's Carter's agenda, and frankly it's annoying. I hated that, the person they are trying to find is the reason Carter sought out Lily. It makes the whole relationship start, a little unbelievable.

     Lily and Carter were the best redeeming factor in this book. Their relationship was actually rather good, and a good representation in my opinion of what a relationship in a zombie apocalypse would be. I loved how they nearly argued constantly throughout the book, and at the same time it was part of the biggest disappointment I had in this book. I was looking at the relationship when I was done with the book, and I hated how they really didn't have a good deep romance. But typically of apocalypse books, you would be more afraid and running for your life than worrying about who your boyfriend is. But their relationship lacked something a bit more passionate.

     Than there is the zombie or ticks as they are called in this book. I am not sure how anyone else felt in this book, there were times when they were scary and you actually were on the edge of your seat looking for their next appearance. I wished there was more of the grotesque gory zombies that normally show up in this type of genre. That was a huge disappointment as well. I wanted more thrill out of this book, and it just wasn't there.

     The best supernatural part of this book was the one vampire in the book. I need to express how just badass these vampires were. I am probably going to get hated on by everyone that loved the ticks in this book, as opposed to the Vampires. I understand that the ticks were brilliantly described and looked really horrible. However, I didn't find they were menacing. There is a difference between looking menacing and actually being menacing. In the case of The Farm, and to the main characters over and over the vampire that traveled with them knowingly was holding his thirst back from eating one of them. That threat to me, was more impressive than the chance at the ticks showing up.

     I am going to go back and talk about one of my favorite scenes near the end of the book. The church with the rotting corpses. I loved that scene and it shows just how desperate the person was, in achieving their goal. I loved the scene and the reactions by Lily, Carter, and Mel. It was just a fantastic scene and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. However, the book was just mediocre and I hope the next book in the series brings some death to the ticks.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #22

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

      I have to say I am going to have to start doing movie reviews on books that I have read, watched Beautiful Creatures not too long ago, and I was actually shocked at the details. I haven't read the book, but the movie inspires me to pick up the book off my shelf and start reading it. I want to know, what the book has been hiding away from movie. Like in The Hunger Games, there is were subtle differences, but still the same overall principle

      I am making more headway on the books that I have got over time. This week, a series of books that have peaked my interests, and I hope they do the same for you. This is the series I actually look forward to every week. I enjoy sharing my shelf with everyone, with those that keep up to date with everything, and visit on a daily basis.

Just One Day
Through the Ever Night
Déjà Dead

Mailbox Pickup:

   Author: Marissa Meyer
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 3rd, 2012

     Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

     Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

      Cinder has been on my list for a decent length of time, and I finally got a hold of a copy. There's not much to say about this book, and the estimation on what I feel about this selection. Everywhere, I've seen this book among various bloggers/readers favorite lists, and I have to say I haven't read it yet, and part of me is ashamed to say that.

     If anyone out there watches Anime, this book reminds of a series called Texhnolyze, but not as messed up and confusing. I love android/cyborg based novels. And I thought Cinder, was a unique and driven character. I hope to dive into this book and see completely her story and the mysterious past she has. As well there is the romance with the Prince, and there is another interesting question, what is the motive he has in story for Cinder.

Title: Just One Day
   Author: Gayle Forman
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 8th, 2013

     A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

     When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

     Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

      I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay and Where She Went, so there was no chance I was going to pass this up. I love the emotion that Forman can instill in her audiences and readers, if you haven't read either of those series, I suggestion you pick them up and keep some tissue handy. But there is a raw realness to her books, a sense of belonging and wanting the entire world to be alive and completely immersed in that world.

      In this book, there is a spark of romance that brings to live a budding relationship that seems to just end in tragedy. I hope not, and I hope that the story is much like If I Stay and Where she went. As well, Allyson is a normal girl who finds herself attracted to an actor, and in a day, the entire world seems to change. I can feel the emotion already in this book, and I hope it keeps that expectation up, I love Gayle Forman's books!

   Author: Veronica Rossi
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: January 8th, 2013

     It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

     Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

     In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

     Through the Ever Night, I did read the Roar and Liv ebook novella, and it brings to light some of the characters I hope to see more of in this book. I have to be a bit girly here, the cover is amazing, however I don't picture Perry looking at all like that, nor Roar even, so I don't understand who this person is on the cover. As well, the relationship between Perry and Aria is put to the test, and I love books that push the boundaries of their relationships. I hope it persists, and that the aether storms don't swallow a good relationship.

     As well, Rossi does a great world building in the first book, so I am looking forward to seeing what she can do with this book. From what it sounds the storms are getting worse, and I hope see the destruction and chaos that they have caused, new lands and people that haven't been explored or touched yet. A sequel to such a great book!

Title: Angelfire
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: February 15th, 2011

     First there are nightmares.
     Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

     Then come the memories.
     When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

     Now she must hunt.
     Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

     Angelfire I came across when I was looking at other reviews and books that they enjoyed. I loved this synopsis and how the book is setup. It twists on the notion that angels are the perfect and pure bodies we all thought, instead here they are dark and hunting. I am curious to see what Ellie is, is she an angel? It would be a  great twist, kind of like the daywalker Blade series.

     Ellie and Will, a romance that morphs into a Buffy the vampire relationship? I don't know if I like the sounds of that, but Moulton has her work cut out for her. I am looking to see how the relationship turns out, and just how badass Ellie is. I am looking for something along the lines of Katniss or Saba personas in a Fallen series setting, I wonder how that would turn out. Someone should write that, or maybe it has been.

Title: Déjà Dead
   Author: Kathy Reichs
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: September 2nd, 197

     Dr. Temperance "Tempe" Brennan spends her days in the autopsy suite, the courtroom, the crime lab, with cops, and at exhumation sites. Often her long days turn into harrowing nights.

     It's June in Montreal, and Tempe, who has left a shaky marriage back home in North Carolina to take on the challenging assignment of director of forensic anthropology for the province of Quebec, looks forward to a relaxing weekend.

     First, though, she must stop at a newly uncovered burial site in the heart of the city. One look at the decomposed and decapitated corpse, stored neatly in plastic bags, tells her she'll spend the weekend in the crime lab. This is homicide of the worst kind. To begin to find some answers, Tempe must first identify the victim. Who is this person with the reddish hair and a small bone structure?

     This isn't my typical book, and its the first book in the Temperance Brennan series. For those of you who don't know, Kathy Reichs, is the screenwriter for Bones. And here is where the TV show gets some of its inspiration. Yea you probably could have figured it out on your own, but I have to put it down cause it's fascinating to see your work turn into a TV show and gives some of those other authors out there hope that there is recognition and the fans support you no matter how far you want to go, not just at the words you put on a paper.

     But here at The Paper Critic, I focus on the books and words. So Tempe, it almost sounds like Kathy is trying to tells us some of her stories she did while working, but I figure stuff like that would be confidential at best, so some creativity with personal knowledge and experience goes a long way. As well, as leading to a fantastic thriller and mystery series. The question though I have for the series, is there a underlying mystery to solve between the books, or is it just one case per book? Would be cool to have that underlying issue, but may be too hard to do as well. Let alone keep track of. 

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #19

          Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title:  Dark Triumph
   Author: R.L. LaFevers
   Release Date: April 2nd, 2013

     Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

     But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

     This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

My Stance:

     LaFevers comes back and it sounds strong! I haven't read her first book, Grave Mercy, but I am in such love with the synopsis of that book, that I couldn't stop or hesitate but to read the synopsis. LaFevers I don't know what you're drinking to make your brain come up with all this, but I want some. Your brain must be on crack or some other hyperactive thought inducing serum, to come up with a plot, something that's not only inspiring and thought inducing, but so romantic and heart throbbing.

     Sybella, from where I am standing and my knowledge, is an assassin who is being used and pulled in different directions from both her father and brother. In this book there is talk about a god of Death, so would be there be a god of Life? Multiple gods for different emotions? So if Sybella is a daughter of this god, what is it she's wants? and I doubt that she has to follow what her "father" says, or what he has planned for her. Destiny for her...

     So I am going to look forward to this series when I get around to it. I want to get into Sybella's world, understand who she is, and her brother and father don't get to leave the picture either. I want to understand why her father is so controlling, has nearly uncontrollable anger and brutality; than there is her brother whose love is endless and sounds to be suffocating. The world, and the relationships are large and in charge here, and I applaud you LaFevers.

[Flashback Friday] - #21

     Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released that we're dying to get our hands on...

See something you like here?
Click the book title to add it to your Goodreads TBR List!

Title:  Ironskin
   Author: Tina Connolly
   Release Date: April 2nd, 2013

     Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

     It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

     When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

     Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

     Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

My Stance:

      Well I was going through my wishlist, and trying to clean out some of the books that I have bought and just forgot to remove. In the process I came across this book, Ironskin. I don't exactly know why it was there, or how it got there in the first place, and I am beginning to think it was one of my moments when I went on a cover spree, and started desiring every cover that just caught my attention on Goodreads.

     Now going over the synopsis, I honestly can say that I don't remember this book at all. I am still interested in this book, but the cover just looks too good, compared to the story. Jane seems like an adult and not actually part of a teenager, so why would this be geared to that audience? I am confused on the age, I mean if she's falling in love with someones father, that's some age difference, I would image, or the main character is just older than what I am picturing or I am missing something entirely.

     Aside the whole robbing the cradle bit, I am looking at the story and trying to guess the premises. "Looks aren't everything," going with that story again, trying to fall for someone and hiding behind the mask, just because you are curse. I am going to laugh if Edward happens to be a fey, and that's why he's turning all the girls pretty. I am curious to get into this book and I want to get through it. I want to know if this story even good, but from what I'm looking at my hopes aren't high.

     Now I am going to address one thing before it goes crazy. Some of you are probably wondering why I am posting this, and highlighting it, when I am not even sure if I am going to enjoy the book. Okay true, I may not and yes, I am highlighting it, but there are books that address the fey, like Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey series, that are excellent and show the fey world. So this book, in all hopes should hold up to the same comparison. I just don't believe or think that Connolly will hold up to Kagawa's claim to fame.

[Book Review] - Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Levithan
   Author: Scott Westerfeld
   Series: #1 - Leviathan
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: September 24th, 2004
   My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

     Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

     Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

     With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Review:

     Levithan was my introduction into the world of Scott Westerfeld, and I have heard a lot of praise of this book. First off I will say that this, I want to thank everyone who wrote the great reviews on Goodreads for this book, I didn't have anyone at the time (when I picked up this book) that had reviewed this book so I could get some perspective on what to expect

     Scott Westerfeld is on my favorite author list after this book. Leviathan kept my attention throughout the entirety of the book and I didn't want to put it down at all. This may not have reached my highest ranking, but that's mainly cause while I thought the book was great and that everything seemed nearly perfect, I was hoping for more of a romance between Deryn and Aleksander, maybe there will be in the other two books. As well, the ending seemed sort of incomplete; by that I mean, the book makes me want to read the next, because there doesn't seem to be any good closure. For this series, I am going to say that this book lacking the closure I seek is more of a good thing than a bad thing, because it presses you into wanting to read the next book and continue the story.

     The characters were so diverse that I enjoyed both Aleksander and Deryn. At first I thought Deryn was a boy, which is fantastic because Deryn is a girl who's disguised as a boy to go into the military service. Now with Deryn and how she gets aboard the Leviathan, I found it rather cheeky and unique, but it's a corky and makes the story keep going. Aleksander's story is much more aggressive, and his is the one I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting more of the suspense and action.

     How Scott creates a creature like the Leviathan and makes the entire ship / living creature work, is beyond my knowledge but makes seek and want to read the other two books. I have both books on my shelf, and I will get around to them jumping between the various series I have going at the moment. Than the mechanics of the walkers and the land behemoths that come from the machinists, seem so complex that my mind makes the rest of the connections and holds on to their world and rough shapes.

     Than there is the pictures from the illustrator that occassionally pop up throughout the book, and they add to aid in the imagination and help create an understandable world. The images in my point of view enhance the world and the building experiences; I have to say that the world Westerfeld was building was complex and the images make the story hold better in your mind. As well they add to the descriptions that Westerfeld is doing and help build the Walker that Alek, drove/rode through all of Austria.

     Leviathan has been added to my favorite books of all time, and even if it didn't earn the 5.0 Rating that I would normally give books to my favorite, there wasn't that much that held it back from that rating, and I have nothing but praise for this series and can't wait to finish the series!

[Update] - 3/18

      Well today, I finally got something I wanted to do working. If you don't have javascript running on my site you may not see it, I have a widget or what you would call a widget on the side. A Favorite Quotes, in which I have a file, that contains all of my favorite quotes and the javascript randomizes them. Right now there is about 36 quotes, but as I add more quotes to it, they should be automatically update. I hope you all like the widget as well.

     I am working on updating the arrows on the carrousel, they are kind of hard to see, or I could do a background, but I don't feel it would work that well with where it is. Or I could just forget it and leave it, and just leave it at the latest five book review I have done. Or there is an idea that I could do a larger slider, that would show a bigger image (the entire width of the main blogger view area [wrapper]), but that would require me to do do more work. I would have to create the image that would go into that slider and personalize it more. If I had more free time I think that'd be a better alternative, so maybe in time. That's a decision I will come to at a latter date.

     The other thing you may notice, is I did a complete overhaul of the blog. I wanted cleaner look, but something that just catches peoples eyes. I found this blog on bTemplates, which you can find in the credits section, and if you aren't that great with blogger templates, it's a great place to check out. As well gives some good ideas for personalizing your page as well.

     Another thing, I have a new Twitter account! If you want to know what's going on with the blog, follow me @ThePaperCritic. I would appreciate it, as well, it would help keep you informed of what I am doing! I may not check it often to see what other people are doing, there is just too much going on :P and frankly I am not a great Twitter user. It's more of an option that I am better at using Facebook than Twitter.

     I want to thank all of you for stopping by and visiting. I hope you keep coming, and visiting!

[Stacking the Shelves] - #21

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

      So the headway continues while I am working on the Mailbox Monday list. Not much else to report, oh yeah! I will post an update, with something I am working on and again I look forward to all the suggestions you have. I hope to hear from all of you and the books that you are reading!

A Touch Mortal
A Touch Morbid
Ashes of Twilight
Clockwork Angel

Mailbox Pickup:

   Author: Leah Clifford
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

     Eden didn't expect Az.

     Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


     So long happily-ever-after.

     Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

     She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

     And that's only the beginning of the end.

      Well the start of another series. I picked up the first two books in the A Touch Trilogy; I have the last one on the way, but for now I will list the two that have shown up and give my stance on the first book. So here is A Touch Mortal, and frankly I love the cover. Most have teen books have this preppy, pretty/gorgeous girl that every guy's mouth waters over. This girl is different, she is pretty but not your typical skinny girl pretty. I love the hair, and how just one eye is staring at you, almost begging you to get closer.

     Rereading the synopsis, I realize why I fell in love with this book. Eden sounds like this independent, strong-willed girl who screams badass. As well, being a paranormal romance type series, I found this to be a better stronger version of the Fallen series. For one Eden seems to know what she wants, and frankly isn't afraid to go after it, or say what she thinks either, unlike Lena. I have high hopes for the characters in this book, and I am curious to see what the drama is, what the battle between heaven and hell is in this book.

   Author: Leah Clifford
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: February 28th, 2012

     Eden won the battle-she saved her true love from the darkest evil. But the war has only just begun. With secrets swirling around her, powerful allies unraveling, and life-and death-as she knows it eroding, Eden and those she loves tread dangerous ground. Can she trust anyone? Will her unearthly powers be her salvation or her downfall? A sweeping, dark, and sexy paranormal romance that will haunt readers with an inventive mythology and a cinematic New York City filled with shadows and longing.


   Author: Kristin Cashore
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: May 17th, 2011

     The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Graceling and Fire

     Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

     Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

     The great high-fantasy novelist is back! Kirstin Cashore comes back strong with Bitterblue the companion to Graceling and Fire. Now while I haven't read those books yet, I have finished Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and well you'll have to wait on that review, but it was a great read. Now when I picked up this book, I hadn't heard of Finnikin of the Rock and I was going to use this as my introductory into the genre. However that may have been true, but Melina took the spotlight, unintentionally.

     Bitterblue has a simple message that makes me smile, I love books that turn their head and take a look at their past , and ask a simple question of "Is there anything we can learn from." This book does just that and it makes me smile, just because there is always something to learn form the past. Even in your own universe.

   Author: Kassy Tayler
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: November 13th, 2012

     Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue." What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

     A dystopian novel based on living in a hole. I was wondering though, who decides to live in a coal mine anyway? I mean it just seems silly to me. But I'll give you that, if you knew that the end of the world would be by a comet, and there was a nearby coal mine, I would more than likely take my family there as well. However, I don't think I would stay there as long as what they have. It's an escape plan, not a hope for a new home. I would like to come out of the hole in a while and try to find my home and rebuild and start over.

     In this book though, it's not that simple. Society is a dome in a coal mine? That makes almost no sense, and when Wren's friend escapes he's burned alive? That's just gruesome, but I am wondering did the society do it, or was it something with the atomsphere? Well the next line answers that, "The sky is blue." So the society burns their own people as a warning message. That's a great start for a dystopian novel, and I hope that this book holds up. 

   Author: Cassandra Clare
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: August 31st, 2010

     Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

     When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

     Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

     Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

     Clockwork Angel by the fantastic Cassandra Clare. She put out a series that's still going, the Mortal Instrument series, and this is the start of a new series, the Infernal Devices series. I picked up the following books in this series, and not the initial book, because there was a time when Barnes and Noble put the other too books on sale, and kept this book at regular retail price. Now I'm not saying I'm cheap, but I just didn't have the funds to pick up the series in the correct order; which saddens me.

     My question with this series, is it a companion series next to the Mortal Instrument series or is it a whole new universe? I bet the feeling it's a companion series, which saddens me. I just hate seeing stories that don't have an end in sight. If the story is going on for a long duration, I would ask that the story being superb. Look at the Dresden Files series, because of how great the series, and how well the books intertwine together the series is still going strong. So if this is going to be anything of a decent duration, please be superb and don't lose that hope for any reason!

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #18

          Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

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Author: Jane Nickerson
Date: January 29th, 2013

     The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

     When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

     Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

     Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

     I look at this book and see a romance that's more than likely not supposed to happen. I haven't ever heard of the bluebeard fairy tale, so I have no idea what this story is about or the premise to the one it's compared to. So I'll take my own stab, at what the story tries to do for itself; this book got my attention right away. When I finished the synopsis, I had to reread it and make sure I wasn't see the overly romantic sense this book posses, but it's not a typical romance that I see happening. It's more of that creepy romance, where a girl starts falling for a guy, but as she slowly pieces things together, and the community she lives in fill in the remaining holes, what's left is a creepy man that leaves her no option, but to run.

     I view this a bit differently than to a Romeo and Juliet. There is a romance that starts, but it slowly dies because of some history with Cressac. I am curious to see what his past entails to be honest, I hope it's a bit twisted, and almost murderous so there is a good suspense and something to get the blood pumping. But at the same time, I think the betrayal of the romance will do that as well, if it's done correctly. The book just sounds so great, and the potential is rather high with how the synopsis is written; here's to hoping it fulfills that potential!

[Flashback Friday] - #20

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released that we're dying to get our hands on...

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   Author: Nancy Farmer
   Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

     At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón's bodyguard, "How old am I? ... I know I don't have a birthday like humans, but I was born."

     "You were harvested," Tam Lin reminds him. "You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her."

     To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy field lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico--Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

     As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister, grasping cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family. He is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards and by the mindless slaves of Opium, brain-deadened 'eejits' who toil in the poppy fields.

     Escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. Around every turn in this vivid, futuristic adventure is a new, heart-stopping surprise.

My Stance:

      This sounds like an unique book to add to my ever growing collection of books, but I feel it needs to be there. First a book where cloning is part of reality, and being told the tale through the clone. I enjoy the idea, I mean it gives you perspective that because we can grow a clone doesn't mean it'd be right to kill them and use them for personal gain or to prolong your life. The clone is human, no matter which way you want to look at it.

     This is a great fresh look at what it would be like, to be thought of as a product and not a person. For Matt that's a daily thing, and I get the feeling he doesn't quite see it that he's thought of as someone else's property and not a person. Even the people around the community believes he's less than human, and he struggles with that reality, and to make it worst is the family he is "bred" into is extremely power-hungry.

     Okay I understand that I haven't been great with telling my stance on this book off the bat, but frankly, it's won three great awards and the synopsis tells the story and the introduction better than I could do. The only stance that I am curious on, is there someone he CAN trust? There is so much going against him, that there would be a good relief to see something that helps and benefits him. And I'm not just talking about getting off the estate.

[Book Review] - Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

   Author: Patrick Ness
   Series: #3 - Chaos Walking
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: September 24th, 2004
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     "War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.

My Review:

     The end of the series, and with great sadness I have to say I didn't want it to end. This is the most recent book that I have to say I still yearn for another book, to find out what happens to the characters afterwards. There is closure in the ending, yes, but it leaves you with that open ending, wondering if things are okay with how they are left? What will happen to the characters, and frankly I found myself attached to the characters more in this book than the other two books prior.

     I have to agree with Emily, a blogger over at The Book Geek, Patrick Ness does a great job blurring the lines between a great adventure and political and natural humanitarian moral issues as well. There are times where Ness makes the line between who is a villain and a hero very hard to discern, and makes this book even more enjoyable. Constantly you'll find yourself wondering if Mayor Prentiss is the one everyone should follow, or if he's just another communist bent on trying to provide better for the larger group, even if casting aside a small number is needed. And there's Madame Coyle who poses a whole new broad array of questions, pulling your ideals at who and what a terrorist is.

     I found myself questioning the personas of Todd and Viola the entire time, could you really pinpoint on if they were the correct people to follow, or did they happen to be at the right places at the right time. Todd's character takes the front seat in this book, from where I viewed the book. I don't want to give anything away about the ending of this book, but his persona and characterization is the may draw, and the main reason I wish there was another book. Viola I was happy with, she brought light and a sense of strength to the book like I hadn't thought of.

     Than there is a new persona in this book that adds to the dimension that I hadn't thought Ness would captivate, yet he does in a superb manner. The good vengeance of 1017 pierces the heart and his relentless need to seek and destroy those who put his people in harm. The reason I fell in love with this character, is he's a lot like humanity than we'll admit to. We all have some vengeance in us, that we can't see, and 1017 helps us realize that sometimes if we let go, and stop and think maybe just maybe we could learn from our mistakes. Maybe that's what happens to 1017 at the end of the book, and maybe it's too late for the lessons to be learned by him, who knows.

     At every turn there is an astonishing twist and a world devoted to war and trying to do the right thing in times of crisis, while trying to still preserve some sort of humanity. This is a great thought-provoking book, and an important piece in the series that I hope everyone considers to put on their shelf! It's far far from a child's book, and I hope everyone gets passed that label. I won't forget this book any time soon.

[Stacking the Shelves] - #20

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

      Still going strong, and I am amazed at how twenty Mailbox Mondays have gone by. It seems just like the other day that I started this segment, and I hope it keeps going. I want to thank everyone who visits and makes this place a stop to read the reviews and catch up on the books that I'm following. I want to ask everyone to pass my blog along, I would love to see new faces and hear from everyone as well.

     Aside that I hope you all liked the series last week. I took a different route this time and got a few individual books, new series that I've added to my shelf. I won't hold you back, so here is to the books this time, and I hope you all enjoy this series.

Great Tales of Horror
The Farm
The Darkest Minds

Mailbox Pickup:

   Author: Fiona Paul
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: October 30th, 2012

     Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

     When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

     Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

      Venom was the first book I really pre-ordered in advance, by a significant amount. I thought the whole romance was a unique spin on some of my more action packed novels, I have been stuck in. However I don't care for the infidelity in this book, however I could be wrong in thinking her fiance is worth sticking around for and there is other relationship issues/problems I'm not seeing yet. The whole mystery with who her fiance is and what type of person he is, and if he suspects anything is changing in her behavior. I would love to see it play out in a struggle and she's pulled in two directions, she deserves it.

     However I am wondering why type of book this is. Is it a mystery where she is trying to solve her parents murder or the murdered woman, or is it a romance novel where she's trying to find the perfect love? I am wondering in this type of book if one will overpower the other, or if Fiona Paul can manage to blend the two together and make it work. I hope it works together!

Title: Shadowfell
   Author: Juliet Marillier
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: September 11th, 2012

     Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill--a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk--Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

     During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death--but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban's release from Keldec's rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.

     Here is another fantasy novel, but nothing compared to Twilight. I hope the book is raw and dark; I want the land to drip blood and the book to be so black and bleak that I want to cry and beg for light. That's how I picture Shadowfell based on this synopsis. If Neryn is homeless and pretty much isolated to herself, I would assume that she would have trouble finding food, unless she hunts. This book just seems to scream dark and deep, if you want to know what I'm talking about look at Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey.

     The struggle and lack of trust in this book is always something to keep an eye on. And the character Flint is something of interest, I want to see what he's like and if there is a possible romance or deception in his persona. At the same time there is the Good Folk, are they faeries? What are they? I am curious to see what creature comes form this and hope that the story of trust and escape reaches far beyond my expectations!

   Author: H.P. Lovecraft
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: May 17th, 2011

     H.P. Lovecraft wrote horror stories like no other author before or after him. In the pages of Weird Tales and other pulp-fiction magazines of the 1920s and '30s, Lovecraft pioneered a new type of story that fused the thrills of supernatural horror with the visionary concepts of science fiction. His unique style of cosmic horror revolutionized the modern horror tale through its depiction of a vast universe indifferent to human existence and populated by incomprehensibly alien monsters.

     This volume collects twenty of Lovecraft's best-known horror stories, including several that laid the foundation for the Cthulhu Mythos, a pattern of myth and lore that represents the high point of his writing and one of the most original contributions to fantastic fiction of the past century. Selections include:

     "Pickman's Model" The monsters in Richard Upton Pickman's paintings were so hideously lifelike you might easily believe that they had been painted from real life.

     "The Rats in the Walls" The nightly scramblings of foraging rats in the walls were disturbing enough -- but what horror did their destination belowground suggest?

     "The Call of Cthulhu" An island risen from the depths of the Pacific Ocean houses a denizen whose emergence in our world portends the end of life as we know it.

     "At the Mountains of Madness" In the wastes of Antarctica, an exploration team discovers the remnants of an inconceivably ancient pre-human civilization -- and evidence that whatever wiped it out may still be at large.

     H.P. Lovecraft: Great Tales of Horror is your passport to unique worlds of wonder and terror as only one of the greatest horror writers of all time could imagine them.

     Now this isn't like my typical books, but H.P. Lovecraft is a great horror author and I love Edgar Allen Poe, so I had to see what Lovecraft could do in comparison. I bought this from Barnes and Noble for about $5 and it will be worth every cent when I finally get around to reading it. There is a series of tales in this book, and some of his greatest work!

Title: The Farm
   Author: Emily McKay
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: January 17th, 2012

     Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

     And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

     Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

     Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

     The Farm is a book that when I picked it up was compared to The Hunger Games and Resident Evil, and even said it was the two combined. I love both series, and I wanted to know if this book could hold up to that comparison; I hope. Now my first concern there is Before and an After. What's the cause of the Before? Okay vampires, but that doesn't explain a lot; I am looking for more detail and curiosity is just brooding my my mind at that premise.

     Lily and Mel, being twins I thought they would be more identical and more like each other, and I get the feeling I am going to be wrong. Mel being almost incapable of talking due to her autism, makes this a hard concept to understand. I hope that her disability doesn't cause something bad to happen to her, just seems more of a cop out, than a good plot. Than Carter, I am curious on what his motive is with Mel and Lily. What is he after, and why is it he seems to know about the outside that Mel and Lily do not?

   Author: Alexandra Bracken
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: December 18th, 2012

     When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

     Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

     When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

     When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

     The Darkest Minds speaks to me on different levels; I am not sure if this book is a paranormal/fantasy, or a dystopian. It has both aspects with whatever power these teenager/children possess, and I am curious to see what type and the extent of their powers. However, I feel I am going to label this a dystopian, simply because while it does have a decent amount of fantasy qualities, I believe the primary focus is on the government control of these teenagers and their abilities.

     Ruby's parents abandoned her, and with anyone that abandonment will stick for a long time. Even when a new boy is falling for her, Liam, and she's trying to keep herself at a distance so she won't get hurt again, and I can't say that I don't blame her. At the same time though, the hope that the world will get better in their journey across the land to East River, their destination and hope may be the downfall and final abandonment that Ruby faces.

     Now I look at the synopsis over and over, and realize each time that Ruby seems to possess an ability that everyone is fighting over. See I don't understand that. It's like in Shatter Me, everyone seems to want her power as well, and there a huge war and panic to try to control this girl. I hope that this book spins it a different way, and doesn't go for the same plot and scenario that Shatter Me did, I want something fresh and new!

[Waiting on Wednesday] - #17

          Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

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Title: 17 & Gone
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Date: January 29th, 2013

     Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

     This is a new book and with a debut from Nova Ren Suma, I am looking forward to this thrilling tale of abduction. I heard about this book through Goodreads and the synopsis caught my eye. It's got a supernatural envisioning of girls who go missing, and without a trace other than Lauren's visions, what does it mean to the girls. The question I have, is rather simple, I am curious to know if the girls are alive. 17 & Gone sounds like a simple book that weaves in some complex issues.

     I wish I had more to add to this book, based on the synopsis but I don't. The synopsis does a great job explaining what the book is about and the motive behind some of Lauren's actions. I am looking forward to this book, and want to add it to my shelf. And yes normally there is more to a book, that peaks my issue than this, but it sounds like an unique tale, that I just can't pass up the book!

[Flashback Friday] - #19

Flashback Friday is a weekly event, hosted here, that highlights a past released that we're dying to get our hands on...

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Title:  Aftertime
   Author: Sophie Littlefield
   Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

     Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many weeks have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.And with her, nearly all of civilization.

     Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters—people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.

     In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety.

     For the Beaters are out there.

     And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world….

My Stance:

      Aftertime has this resident evil perspective to the story, however I don't think Alice ever became a true zombie and came back. So let's address that first; HOW can a person die and become a zombie, than through some act or miracle become human again? I thought in order to be a zombie, you would have to die in the first place, and from what I understand you can't escape death completely and once dead, you kind of stay dead. Okay so this book may have a bit more Hollywood in it than what I initially thought of, and I just hope the rest of the book is better than this poor premise.

     Cass being this girl who wakes up from a coma, I will use this instead of pretended she was like the second coming of Christ, wakes up in a world that's changed dramatically. First thing, I would be freaking out; and rightfully she does. However, it's because he fried Ruthie isn't there. Now that's just odd, I would be freaking out about my surroundings, and time first before I really realized my friend isn't around; it's all in what people take in first, and I'm not saying that's selfish or anything, its just what is perceived first.

     The book takes place in California and I couldn't think of a better place for a zombie apocalypse to take place. There Cas is determined to find her friend, and she finds her savior, Smoke. Smoke to me sounds like the bad boy that every teenage girl wants, and I hate to say it, but OVERDONE! I want to see more out of this book, and it's on my wishlist and not because of how bad it sounds, but because it has potential. I hope I am wrong about this book, and I hope that there is a better reason for bringing a girl back from being a zombie; I still don't buy it.

[Book Review] - Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

   Author: Melina Marchetta
   Series: #1 - Saving Francesca
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: September 24th, 2004
   My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

     Francesca used to think her biggest problem was transferring to St. Sebastian's--a school only recently turned coed: "What a dream come true, right? Seven hundred and fifty boys and thirty girls? But the reality is that it's either like living in a fish bowl or like you don't exist."

     But now there's this matter of her usually vibrant and annoyingly optimistic mother Mia refusing to get up in the morning. Her taciturn father doesn't have much to say on the subject, her beloved little brother Luca is anxiously looking to her for answers, and her so-called friends from her old neighborhood seem to have abandoned her. So, Francesca keeps it all inside--her frustration with school (there aren't enough girl's bathrooms and no girl's sports teams); her fear making new friends (with the few girls who do go to St. Sebastian's); and her overwhelming hatred of the smug Will Trombal, who despite being completely infuriating, is also incredibly cute. Keeping this to herself when all she wants to do is spill it to her mother is killing Francesca, but with Mia trying to make herself well again, Francesca will have to figure out how to save herself.

My Review:

     Well when I initially reviewed this book I gave it a 4.5 out of 5.0, and in the process of redoing the blog, which by the way I hope you like, I thought about this rating and I just couldn't help but leave it there. It got raised because is does deserve it. Saving Francesca comes from a great and wonderful author, and the more I think about this book and Melina, the more I want to pick up her work and continue reading. Marchetta has this way with taking an ordinary time of depression, okay maybe it's not entirely normal, but she can turn it into a masterpiece of emotion and tell a story of self discovery and believing in yourself.

     Saving Francesca is a book about a girl who understands that her mother is strong willed, her father is more care free than he probably should be, but together they make a great couple that has stood the test of time. However, as one day shows, her mother doesn't wake up entirely from the night and the world collapses on her. Now, if I was Francesca, I too would be asking questions. Why is she still in bed, what's wrong? Depression and deep set depression is hard to explain to a teenager and what it exactly does to someone.

     Francesca is stuck trying to struggle and pull her family together, as they slowly split apart trying to understand the situation with her mother. At the same time though, her school is anything but comforting. In a school where girls are trying to put their foot down and show they have a choice and a right as well as the boys, Francesca is put center stage for their motives. At first I believe that Francesca doesn't want to be their center and go to figure, but still she believes just as they do that their action and causes are for the better.

     As the days slowly go by and she begins to reveal what is wrong with her mother and her family starts to coupe without her mother helping and functioning and supporting her mother through her time, Francesca finds not only herself but friends like she's never head. At the time, when I was reading I wasn't sure they were friends but when the book is down and you think back to the story, Melina just weaves it together so perfectly that you don't realize the building emotions and relationships behind the characters. It's a fluid and gentle build that I love, it feels so natural and she does it so perfectly.

     As much as I wanted Will and Francesca to have a good romance, it wasn't what I was thinking or thought i  would be. However, the romance left you feeling good and complete about the relationship that did play its course through Francesca. Ultimately I believe it's through Will and her friends that they push her to forget her past, forget the wall she built up trying to be someone she's not and open up. It's friends like those, that make you appreciate who you are, that everyone should have. Melina, I want to thank you for this story! It's a work of art, and I can't wait to start your other books!
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