Monday, March 30, 2009

Win an ARC of Along For The Ride!

Win an ARC of Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen! Click the badge above for more details. This is bound to be an AMAZING book!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nightworld: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.

Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

I bought this book after reading the back a few months ago, intruiged by the stories of vampires and witches. I'll admit, being a huge fan of paramnormal romance stories and vampire stories in particular, I'm very happy about the surge of vampire novels that seem to be everywhere after the success of the Twilight saga. I understand these were released years ago as seperate books with different covers, but I had never read them and the new eye catching cover played a big part in why I picked this up.

Each book is fairly short, providing a quick and easy read. The characters were interesting and fun and each story was unique. I really liked that although each book featured a different plot and cast of characters, the Nightworld tied them together. Minor characters that had mere 'cameos' in one story were the leads in the next. I am especially interested in what happens to Ash, and really hope that his story is not over and I that I am able to learn something about what happened to him and Mary-Lynette in the future.

This series is obviously one that has stood strong with the test of time, as it's gained some popularity years after publication. I look forward to starting the next installment, and definitely recommend it to fans of the YA paranormal genre.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne

I see him and know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.

Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying—and thrilling—gene that will change her life forever.

Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Like many others in my collection, I picked this book up because of its pretty cover. When I saw it was about werewolves, I purchased it immediately. I haven't read much from the werewolf genre and was excited to add to my growing collection.

This is the first novel I have read by Hawthorne, and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick, fun read and I really enjoyed her take on the werewolf universe. I really liked the idea of involving sherpas, and the connection with the werewolves and nature right from the beginning of the story. Even before Kayla discovers who she is she has the strong feeling that she "belongs" in the forest. I also really enjoyed the tattoo angle. I only wish that these things had been expanded upon a little more.

Moonlight is the first of three novels currently planned in The Dark Guardian series and I'll definitely be picking up Full Moon and Dark of the Moon when they are released. From the hints of future plot lines given to us in the first installment, the next two stories should be good as well :o)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Retro Reads: The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

It seems as though lately there are a lot of YA novels getting makeovers and being reprinted in order to appeal to today's audiences. Examples include the Night World and Vampire Diaries series by L.J Smith. This gave me an idea to maybe do an article once and a while here at my blog, featuring different novels/series that seem to be making a comeback, or books that I believe should be republished in order to give today's readers a chance to read them.

During one of our endless phone conversations last week (we now live in different provinces), my BFF of nearly 20 years and I were talking about our past obsessions with R.L Stine and Christopher Pike. Even during sleepovers we would stay up for hours laying next to one another, reading until we had to fight to keep our eyes open. She was a huge fan of The Last Vampire series by Pike:

We continued to chat about how obsessed she was and how amazing the books were and how we've been looking to repurchase them, and I mentioned how awesome it would be if they repackaged them as they've done with a lot of other series recently. The next morning I went online to search for the books, and found this:

I was beyond ecstatic to discover that they indeed are re-releasing The Last Vampire, into two volumes which each contain three of the original six book series. I do believe I actually let out a little squeal. I picked up the phone and told my friend to go online, I sent her the link, then she let out a little squeal. I'm fairly certain this may prove that we're in fact nerds, but who cares? It's The Last Vampire!
Please comment! I would love to know if anyone else has read and enjoyed these books. Also, feel free to let me know about any other books that you would love to see re-released.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast

Enter the dark, magical world of The House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change--and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends. (From the back of the book)

When I started reading this book I was completely pulled into the story. Things got moving quickly, and I really enjoyed the Casts' new take on the vampire world. The school setting, with its unique rules, structures, ceremonies, and night classes gave the book a fresh feel. I found myself having a lot of fun reading Marked, and enjoying the little details of the story...things like the classes the fledglings take, the physical appearance of the school and the rules, regulations, and traditions set up for the students. I felt like the authors created a believable setting for their characters and the physical descriptions were easy to visualize, from the layout of the dining hall to each vampyres individual 'mark'.

Another factor that made this vampire series unique is the involvement of ceremony and worship, and how the whole vampire existence ties in with Greek Goddess Nyx. Definitely something different from what I have read in a while.

While I loved the plot and descriptions in this book, a few things got to me. Some of the characters tended to annoy the heck out of me (*cough*twins*cough*) and it seemed like at times the Casts' were trying too hard to make Zoey and her friends There was an overuse of teenage slang that sometimes felt like a middle aged parent trying to fit in with their teenage child by talking like them. I mean, poopie? Boobies? Loser kids? I'll admit it frustrated me.

Despite these annoyances the story itself intrigues me enough to continue reading the rest of the series. I just finished Betrayed and I can't help but feel eager to know whats going to happen next in the House of Night.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.
I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is. (

I fell completely in love with this novel. It captivated me within its first few pages and held me, spellbound, until the closing paragraph.

It was lovely to see how Whitman took the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades and turned it around to make it a story of love, strength, and independence. The author took the important details of the original story, such as the pomegranate seeds, and weaved them together beautifully to create a story that felt rich with history and legend.

I very much enjoyed the authors writing style, which often felt poetic. Descriptions were detailed and full of beautiful imagery. Whitmans words pulled me in, I wanted to turn my hands in the soil of the garden, and feel Hades' arms wrapped protectively around me.

All in all this was a wonderful debut novel, and I sincerely hope to read more from Emily Whitman in the future.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.
Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .
I thoroughly enjoyed Melissa Marr's first YA book, Wicked Lovely, and was very much looking forward to this companion novel. Not only did Ink Exchange meet my expectations, it far surpassed them.
I am a firm believer that a novel just isn't great without memorable, complex characters. Ink Exchange was full of them. The main character, Leslie, was believable and I found her easy to relate to, even if I haven't been through the sort of difficulties she experienced. I fell in love with and felt so much compassion for Niall, and had very conflicted feelings toward Irial. I enjoyed the angst that the story brought out in me, as a book that brings out my emotions is always a winner in my opinion.
I loved that Ink Exchange took us deeper within Marr's world of fae, and I once again appreciated the physical descriptions she gave us about how everyone looked, from the color of their hair, the way they moved, and the shadows that surrounded them.
Not only is Ink Exchange a dark and wonderful story of a beautiful and dangerous faery world, but it also touches upon very real and human situations and emotions. The trauma that Leslie experiences and how she does and does not deal with it is a powerful message. This book deals with love, sacrifice, healing, and the power of independence and choice.
I love this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes to read from the urban fantasy/faerie/paranormal genre. In fact, those who don't normally read within the genre will probably enjoy it as well.
I CANNOT WAIT for the release of the next in the series, Fragile Eternity.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My First ARC! :o)

I got my first ARC delivered to my door yesterday. I know it might not seem like a big deal for those of you who receive them on a regular basis, but for myself it was a rather exciting event! It was Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman, sent to me from Harper Collins Canada after I applied to 'win it' on their website. I honestly wasn't expecting to be selected so when I opened the package and saw it inside, I let out a little squeal. Everything else in my reading pile is now pushed back so that I can start reading it and finish my review immediately. YAY!

So there you have my nerdy outburst of the day.
From the back of the book:
Persephone is no cowering maiden, but a young woman with a choice. And she chooses the lord of darkness.
From Harper Collins Website:
Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, finally gets a chance to set the story straight. She wasn’t taken to the underworld against her will—she fell in love with Hades, and chose to be his queen and leave her overbearing mother behind. But when her mom Demeter takes out her grief by turning the whole countryside barren and letting thousands of peasants die, Persephone knows she has to do something...