by admin

February 4, 2023

31 January 2012

Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish to share each other’s top ten lists. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday features:

Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

I haven’t participated in Top Ten Tuesday in a while, so this will be fun. Here are my picks:

  1. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  7. Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1) by Gregory Maguire
  8. The Host (The Host, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
  9. Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
  10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

30 January 2012

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


by Brodi Ashton
384 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Source: Review copy
My Rating: 4 Stars

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

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

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

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

What do you get when you take Greek mythology, sprinkle in some paranormal, some ancient Egyptian elements, and transport it to modern day society? You get Brodi Ashton’s Everneath. I enjoyed this book so very much although in the beginning I was quite confused and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. The book starts out with the main character, Nikki, coming back from the Everneath (a world between worlds, between life and death, where you could live forever) and constantly changes point of view, from the time before she was gone and what led up to it, and what happens after.

Nikki is a 17 year old girl who one day just up and disappeared without a trace. Six months later, she comes back, looking very different and acting very strangely. What no one knows is that Nikki has been gone for a century (in Everneath, and not human years) and is only back for a few months before she has to go back. She also didn’t come back alone. A boy named Cole who was the one responsible for her going to the Everneath is back looking for her, trying to lure her back and not taking no for an answer.

Nikki’s time on the surface is limited and she uses it trying to mend relationships that were severed upon her mysterious disappearance. Her relationship with her father after her mother’s death, her friendship with BFF Jules, and most importantly her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Jack since that was the biggest reason for her returning. Once her time is up, she must choose to either return to the Everneath with Cole, where she can be an Ever-Living all the while draining energy from unsuspecting humans in order to survive, or go to the tunnels, she she will be stuck forever in darkness.

I felt very heartbroken for Nikki once it was revealed what was the series of events that led to her demise, and now that she was back she was trying to hard to get her life back, all the while knowing that she couldn’t really stay, no matter what she did. She wanted to be with the ones she loved, but at the same time didn’t want to build their hopes up at her return, because she knew she wasn’t going to be around for long.

The love triangle in this book is sort of unique. Nikki is not head over heels over Cole, she actually hates him, but is tied to him in very profound ways. He will not leave her alone and becomes her shadow, when all she wants is for him to go away and leave her alone. Jack, on the other hand, is the boy she actually loves and cares for, and he’s the one who she came back for. He had a lot to do with her disappearance and he will do anything he can to get her back, the problem is that Nikki is keeping her distance, so as not to hurt him. Can she trust Jack with her truth? Can she escape her fate of going back to the tunnels or to the Everneath? Can she actually get her life back?

I highly recommend this book. It was very well written, the words flowed, and the plot had very nice progression. Although you got bits and pieces at a time, you actually felt like you were going to get the whole story eventually. I’m glad I stuck with it and I can hardly wait for the sequel. 4 Stars.

29 January 2012

On My iPad and In My Mailbox {18}

Inspired by The Story Siren’s “In My Mailbox”. Every week I will be posting all the books I’ve acquired either by purchasing at a bookstore, sent to me for review via mail, sent to me via email, etc., and will be showcasing them here.

27 January 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop – Win a 2011 GoodReads Choice Awards Best YA Nominee Book

It's book giveaway time at "I Am A Reader, Not A Writer" and "Down The Rabbit Hole" and I am joining in on the fun by giving away one copy of the "2011 GoodReads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction" nominees.

There are a total of 20 books to choose one from, including some of my favs (Divergent, Silence, Wither, Unearthly, City of Fallen Angels), but you can pick any one of the ones on the list.

To view the list of books click HERE or you can view the screenshot below:

RULES: To participate fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You can win only choose one book out of the selection. Open in the US an Canada ONLY (sorry International folks, I'll get you next time). Winner will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

23 January 2012

Book Review: Tempest by Julie Cross


by Julie Cross
352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Review copy
My Rating: 3 Stars

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Jackson Meyer is our time traveler hero, who knows about of his ability, but not quite aware of the extent to which he can it. In this story, time travel as Jackson knows it, does not affect the future. He could jump (or travel through time) half an hour into the past, make a big change, then come back to the present and everything would be right how he left it. No consequences, no repercussions. That is until the day Jackson and his girlfriend Holly are attacked and during the struggle Holly gets shot. Jackson panics and attempts to jump, not sure of when (not where) he is jumping to, and finds himself two years in the past, in 2007.

Jackson tries without success to jump back to 2009, but every attempt takes him even further into the past, where he tries to make a connection with his now deceased sister. Each one of these attempts are temporary and brings him right back to 2007, where Jackson is realizing that he is stuck, and no longer able to make it back to his own year 2009. Jackson tries to make the best our of a bad situation and seeks his girlfriend Holly (who isn’t yet his girlfriend in 2007) and his friend Adam who he had confided to in 2009 about his time travel abilities.

Friendships are renewed, romances rekindled, and family loyalty becomes questionable in Jackson’s new world. He finds that his abilities entail more than he could even dream of and he is forced to make a choice that could mean the end of the world as we know it, or his happiness.

I normally, scratch that, most of the time, find books about time travel very difficult to read and comprehend. Tempest is one of those books that start off slow, keeping you guessing, not quite understanding where the plot is going, until it picks up in a big way towards the end. I think Tempest will be one of those books that will be better as a movie, although as a book it was pretty good as well. Though it is a very interesting plot, I believe it will most likely translate better visually, than it does on paper. I applaud Julie Cross for tackling this subject and keeping a consistent timeline. I think I would have enjoyed this book more had it been more past-paced towards the beginning, or even the middle. The fact that it started off so slow caused me to loose a bit of interest in the story. It didn’t quite grab me at the start, but it packed a bunch of action at the end that was indeed very entertaining. I give this book 3 stars, because even though it didn’t start out as my favorite, it proved worth it in the end.

22 January 2012

On My iPad and In My Mailbox {17}

Inspired by The Story Siren’s “In My Mailbox”. Every week I will be posting all the books I’ve acquired either by purchasing at a bookstore, sent to me for review via mail, sent to me via email, etc., and will be showcasing them here.

What did you get in your mailbox…or on your iPad?

17 January 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda


by Megan Miranda
264 pages
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Review copy
My Rating: 3 Stars

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening

Delaney was supposed to be dead. After falling through the thin ice of a lake, she was under water and without oxygen for exactly 11 minutes. Even though she is being kept alive by machines, the doctors and everyone else has dismissed Delaney as already dead or basically just a vegetable. After 6 days, Delaney miraculously wakes up from her coma and surprises even her doctors when she is coherent and seemingly completely normal. A catscan reveals that Delaney’s brain is mostly damaged and that scientifically there is no explanation for her looking and acting like she was never brain dead.

As Delaney physically recovers from her accident she discovers that she now has a physical reaction to when someone around her is going to die. Her fingers start shaking and she feels a strong pull toward the dying. Following this pull brings her face to face with Troy, another accident victim that died and miraculously came back. Troy lost his entire family in the accident that almost took his life, so in turn he is very disturbed and has taken it upon himself to show Delaney what they are meant to do with this ability of being able to know when someone is about to die. Problem is, that Delaney doesn’t agree with Troy’s methods and philosophy and wants to believe that there is another way.

We are introduced to a love triangle as well. Delaney’s friend since they were kids, Decker, was the one who pulled her out of the lake and performed CPR on her until the ambulance got there. He is possibly the reason she is still alive and her best friend in the whole world. He is also the first boy that ever ever kissed her (although it was on a dare) and the only person who understands her. There is a lot of awkwardness and tension between Decker and Delaney as they both discover that they cannot live without each other.

“What would you do if you only had one day to live?” is what Delaney wants to know of the people around her as she watches her loved ones fall apart under the pressure of Delaney’s almost-death and her behavior ever since she came back. Although Delaney is back from the dead, she is not the same Delaney everyone knew. Death had changed her. I quite enjoyed this book, although I was lost at times with Delaney’s inner monologue and her train of though felt disjointed at times. I would recommend it though for the paranormal element and give it 3 stars.

Audiobook Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


by Cynthia Hand
435 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Source: Audiobook
Narrated by: Samantha Quan
Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
My Rating: 5 Stars

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

I’m a fan of books about angels, and when I read Unearthly’s synopsis I just knew I had to read it. I had received a review copy of Unearthly’s sequel, Hallowed, and of course couldn’t very well review the sequel without reading the first book so I purchased the audiobook. It was simply one of the best decisions I ever made.

Unearthly introduces us to Clara, a young California girl who is anything but ordinary. She is an angelblood, a descendant from the union of an angel and a human, or in her case, of another angelblood and a human. This mix makes her a Quartarius, or 1/4 angel and 3/4 human. There is no secret as to what Clara is and what is expected of her. From a very young age her mother, another angelblood, revealed to Clara and her brother that they are angelbloods and that they will start seeing visions of their “purpose” or what they were put on this earth for. Every angelblood has a purpose and it is known to them that they are supposed to complete it, no questions asked.

Clara begins having her visions which involve a guy and a forest fire. Clara is unsure of what her vision is telling her to do since the visions come in pieces, revealing more and more each time she has one. With her mother’s help, they figure out that the vision takes place in Wyoming. This revelation prompts her family’s relocation, and Clara goes from being a popular Cali girl to the new girl at Jackson Hole High.

The story progresses as Clara meets the guy in her vision, Christian, and does anything possible to get his attention, to the point of becoming obsessed with him. Her vision becomes more detailed and comes on at random times, frustrating Clara as she doesn’t know exactly what is expected of her, but she assumes that she is supposed to save Christian from this forest fire.

Clara’s purpose is thrown for a loop when another guy injects himself into Clara’s life, becoming her new focus and in the process angering her mother. We as the readers are introduced to a love triangle as well as a whole new world of angels, good and bad. Should Clara follow her heart or follow her destiny?

I for one adored this book. I loved the story and loved the characters even more. Clara’s mother is at the top of my list, being a mother myself, level-headed and wise although she did frustrate me many times with her secrecy, not revealing to Clara information that seemed key to her figuring out her purpose. Clara’s brother reminded me so much of my own son, sports obsessed and unwilling to to hold back just to seem normal. Clara’s friends who welcomed her to a new school with open arms. Finally Tucker, oh forever Team Tucker.

Cynthia hand does a marvelous job with this book. Wonderfully well written and captivating, you will be unable to put this book down, or in my case, to press pause. The audiobook’s narrator does a great job as well with Clara’s voice, keeping within the slower tempo of the story, and with changing her voice over to the different characters, making those who are older sound older, etc. I give this book 5 stars. It simply blew me away and I totally recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the Hush Hush and Mortal Instruments series, or just simply likes to read a well-told coming of age story.

Book Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

by Cynthia Hand
416 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Review copy
My Rating: 4 Stars 

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

NOTE: Please read my review of the first book in the Unearthly series, Hallowed, HERE. This review contains some spoilers from the first book.

I picked up Hallowed right after listening to the Unearthly audiobook. Never in my life did I imagine I was going to be taken through such an emotional roller coaster. Major tissue paper alert with this book! You have been warned. 
The story picks up right where Unearthly left off, right after the fire and Clara’s uncertainty about what she was supposed to do on that day, save Christian (who didn’t really need saving) or save Tucker, the guy she’s in love with. Clara rightfully feels like destiny’s playing a mean trick on her.

Clara suddenly begins to have a new vision, which she is at first unsure is actually a vision since she’s having it during her sleep, like a dream. Her vision imvolves a funeral and seems to tell her that someone close to her will die. Judging by the people not present in her vision, she assumes this person is Tucker.
Meanwhile, Angela forms an “Angel Club” and recruits Clara, Christian, and Clara’s brother as members. They begin to learn thins about each other and what they can do as angelbloods, as well as compare notes and opinions on what Clara’s vision means. Eager to help her is Christian, who has developed an obsession with Clara, convinced that she is his purpose and destiny, while Clara refuses to reciprocate because she is in love with Tucker. Clara vows to watch over Tucker and prevent at all costs what she sees in her vision to come true, going against her purpose and causing a lot of friction between her and her mother.

We are suddenly thrown into the world of black wings, whom we were introduced to in book 1, and Clara struggles to find a way to battle them using Glory. Clara has sudden moments where she feels sorrow, a sign that a black wing is nearby, throwing an element of suspense throughout the book. Clara’s mother revelals a bit more information to Clara, but always holding back, not giving more than she thinks is necessary, and irritating Clara to no end.

There is a big revelation towards 3/4 of the book that I will not mention in this review (you will have to read the book), but it’s HUGE and it involves Clara’s estranged father. We also find out more about Clara’s vision and who is the person that the funeral is for. This is where the tissues will come in handy.

The end will leave you with a sense of yearning and loss that I myself have only experienced with a handful of books. I became so attached to all the characters in this book, and although this book is not the last in the series, it had an air of finality, like I’d lost a loved one myself. It moved me deeply and I may or may not have cried like a baby when I finished this book. I give it 4 stars. Excellent, EXCELLENT sequel. Can’t wait to read the conclusion to this very moving story when the third book in the series comes out.

14 January 2012

The Girl in the Box by Sheila Dalton Blog Tour (Review + Author Interview)

by Sheila Dalton
392 pages
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Release Date: November 28, 2011
Source: Review copy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Caitlin Shaughnessy, a Canadian journalist, discovers that Inez, a traumatized young Mayan woman originally from Guatemala, has killed Caitlin's psychoanalyst partner, Dr. Jerry Simpson. Simpson brought the girl, who may be autistic, back to Canada as an act of mercy and to attempt to treat her obvious trauma. Cailin desperately needs to find out why this terrible incident occurred so she can find the strength to forgive and move on with her life.
Inez, whose sense of wonder and innocence touches all who meet her, becomes a focal point for many of the Canadians who encounter her. As Caitlin struggles to uncover the truth about Inez's relationship with Jerry, Inez struggles to break free of the projections of others. Each must confront her own anger and despair. The doctors in the north have an iciness that matches their surroundings, a kind of clinical armour that Caitlin must penetrate if she is to reach Inez.
The Girl in the Box is a psychological drama of the highest order and a gripping tale of intrigue and passion.


Every once in a while you read a book that mimics real life, the stuff you hear in the news, the stuff you never think can happen to you or someone you love. This is that kind of book. Sheila Dalton tells us the story of Jerry Simpson, a Canadian psychoanalyst on vacation in Guatemala; Of Inez, a young mute Mayan girl who he found chained up and locked up in a shed that resembled something like a box (thus the title) and whom he rescues and brings to Canada with him; And of As Caitlin, Jerry's partner back in Canada, who after getting close with Inez and caring for her, one day finds out that Jerry has been murdered and Inez is the likely culprit.

Dalton has a way with the written word and with telling this heart-gripping story about hope, love, and doing what's right. What would you do if you suddenly found out your loved one was killed by another person you cared for who is mentally unstable? Would you condemn the killer or would you try to understand him/her condition? Caitlin is torn between helping Inez get the help she needs or get justice for Jerry, the love of her life.

I was a bit hesitant when I started reading this book, mostly because the issues it deals with (murder, autism, immigrant status) seemed too somber and difficult to read about, but as I kept progressing through the book, I realized this book is about more than that. It is about compassion and the human condition, about loving someone unconditionally, and about doing what's right. This book is an absolute great read.


13 January 2012


This week on JJ iReads

The Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book
Blog Tour & Review: Destiny’s Fire by Trisha Wolfe
On My iPad and In My Mailbox {15}
Goodreads Beta-Testing Group Reading Challenges (and possibility of personal challenges in the future)

TGIF at GReads is a meme hosted by Ginger from Greads. The object of the meme is to every Friday answer a question she proposes and to re-cap the week’s posts.


2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list to be read this year (new or old releases)?
So many books, so little time. The ones on the top of my list are:

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Every Friday a blogger is featured and a question is proposed.

This week’s featured blogger is Book Den . Hop on over and give her a visit.


Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

I love music, and I also love to sing (in the shower and Karaoke). I even went as far as trying out for X-Factor last year. I like a lot of spanish music, pop and top 20 music, but my favorite are usually the songs that speak to that romantic in me. These are my favs:

About the author 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}