Friday, September 30, 2011

Review - The First Days (As The World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy #1) by Rhiannon Frater

Title: The First Days (As The World Dies: A Zombie Trilogy #1) (Amazon)
Author: Rhiannon Frater
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Release Date: 2011 (first published in 2008)
Pages: 335
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

Rhiannon Frater's As the World Dies trilogy is an internet sensation. The first two books, The First Days and Fighting to Survive, have won the Dead Letter Award for Best Novel from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book ExaminerAmericanHorrorBlog calls Rhiannon Frater "a writer to watch."

The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni's stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town.  There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form. 

Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, 
The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy. (Goodreads)

Kim’s Take – I absolutely love post-apocalyptic books and this one was excellent! It was actually the first zombie related book I have read. I was disappointed when I got to the end and didn’t have the next two books to read right away. Of course, I ordered them instantly. I have to know what happens!

The book takes right off from the first page with Jenni trying to escape from her husband and two sons. Her husband had been bitten the night before without them knowing what was about to happen. Jenni awakens to find her husband eating her toddler.

Katie is in town waiting to go into work when she is attacked and manages to escape. Fleeing home to her wife, she arrives only to find that her wife has already been infected. Katie happens to run across Jenni who is trying to escape her own family and they set off not knowing where they are going or what they will find. Nowhere is safe.

Along the way, they meet up with an older couple who live in a fortified hunting equipment store. Ralph and Nerit have systematically taken out their small town of zombies from their rooftop and welcome Katie and Jenni to stay. But they have a mission to get to Jenni’s stepson who is at away at camp. They learn of a settlement of survivors in a small Texas town and barely make it alive. These survivors have gone to amazing lengths to protect themselves. And all without any guns.

This was just one of those books that is almost all non-stop action. I loved that the main characters are two women who are strong enough to survive despite all of the emotional baggage they each carry with them. Katie is bi-sexual and feels an instant connection to Travis though she can not get over the death of her wife. Jenni does not seem to miss her husband, who appeared to be emotionally and physically abusive, but misses her children terribly. She was the character who changes most throughout the story.

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who is into post-apocalyptic or zombie stories. I can’t wait to get the other two and will let you know how the story unfolds!

Kim’s Rating – 5/5

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review - The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) (Amazon)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 2008
Pages: 390
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behavior. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…
(Goodreads)

Kim’s Take – This book just didn’t really do anything for me. It wasn’t a wasted read but I found myself trudging through it and hoping it would get better.

There were a lot of unique characters who have powers that are never fully covered and I guess that left me wanting more information. I’m glad this is a trilogy because, despite this first book, I will read the next just to see where the story goes next and to learn more about the powers each of the characters possess. Maybe the trilogy just had a slow start. The book started out pretty good but I lost interest the farther I read. With the exception of the last few pages which had a few exciting surprises. Enough that I hope the next book picks right up with the same excitement.

Again, it’s not a wasted read and it has gotten a lot of great reviews.  I hope you like it more than I did and will let you know if things improve in the second book.

Kim’s Rating – 3/5

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review - Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors #1) (Amazon)
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release Date: 2006
Pages: 337
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. (Goodreads)

Kim’s Take – This book was awesome, but at the same time, depressing and scary. It just felt so believable, realistic, and possible, that you can’t help but wonder what you would do, or how you would fair, during a life and earth changing event such as this.

Miranda is living a typical teenage life, when a meteor hits the moon. An event that was supposed to be awe inspiring turns tragic for the earth almost immediately when the meteor hits much harder than expected and moves the moon closer to Earth. A desperate fight to stay alive becomes the new norm.

The book takes you through Miranda’s fight for survival in a world where basic necessities such as food, heat, and water become luxuries. Without technology that keeps you connected to the world, Miranda and her family have no idea how the rest of the world is fairing as their own town begins to fall apart. People are dying, starving, and others have left for the south, where they believe conditions are not as bad. Basic services, such as police and fire stations, no longer exist and there are very few doctors left at the hospital to treat patients who are dying from spreading illness. Everything becomes “survival of the fittest”.

I really like the characters in the book, with the exception of Miranda’s mother. I don’t know exactly what it was that I didn’t like about her, but I found her extremely irritating to the point that I just wanted her to die off. I’m evil, I know!

At the end of the book, it appeared that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, so I can not wait to read the second in the series. This is a book that I think everyone should read to help you realize how we take the earth for granted and how one seemingly harmless incident can change everything.

Kim’s Rating – 5/5

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review - Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) (Amazon)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: 2009
Pages: 391
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
(Goodreads)

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Kim’s Take- This book was so good. Sexy and mysterious doesn’t get any better than this!

Nora is an intelligent rule follower. Patch is the definition of hotness! I fell in love with him instantly. Dark, mysterious, and self-assured, he is absolutely irresistible. 

When Patch enters Nora’s life, strange things begin to happen that make Nora question her sanity. But it quickly becomes obvious that she is in danger.

The problem is figuring out who is intent on harming her. Nora is soon led into a world of angels. It was such a welcome change from all of the vampires, wolves, and demons of late. We find out the workings of the angel world through Patch, and also find out his mission here on Earth and his attraction to Nora.

The story made me flip-flop back and forth so many times when trying to determine whether Patch was a good guy or bad. That added so much mystery to the story and really keeps you interested. You just have to know!

The ending was very good, and I found myself very happy this is a series because I am drooling for some more Patch!

Kim’s Rating – 5/5

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway – Angeline Kace


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Today we are lucky enough to have Angeline Kace, author of Descended by Blood stopping by to give us her thoughts on creepy legends! Check it out!

Creepy Legends

If you've read Descended by Blood, you know there is a secret compound where some of the vampires live, called The Base. The Base is a facility provided by the government but is controlled by vampires. This facility is so secret that it has signs posted around the outside perimeter, saying if you trespass, you will be shot on sight.

Most of the things I write into my stories, I like to think are believable. Yes, we all know that vampires aren't real (or are they?), but I write the story from the point of view of a teen girl who finds out she is actually a vampire, and how I REALLY think she would act in the real world had that happened. But a government facility with a sign threatening to shoot trespassers on sight? That seems a little extreme, right? Maybe not in fiction, but in real life, yes, it does. However, there is a place, far out in the dry and lonely desert, that might actually exist.

This place, to me, has the same intrigue and speculation that you get from the spooky house down the street that you and your friends always thought might be haunted. You've never actually been in the house, but your friends tell you stories about how they saw the lady in white in an upstairs window, or how a friend of theirs, who was brave enough to sneak in and stay the night, saw a ghost.

For me, these stories of the secret government place started when I was a teenager. I worked in a medical office, and one of our patients worked at a facility out in the desert, but he couldn't tell us where it was. However, he did say they carried loaded weapons and could shoot people when they got too close. That right there piqued my interest. Where was this place and what was was so secret about it that they could shoot at people to make them stay away?

A few years later, I told my friend, recanting it like you would your spookiest ghost story. Well, they did one better and told me that they actually knew where the place was. This person used to work not too far off from that place and mentioned that they had seen the signs threatening to shoot trespassers, and if you did get too close, dudes with guns would drive up in white Jeeps. Freaky right?

So, of course when I needed a secret place with intrigue and fear, I thought, "Why not take that and make it my own?" Some of the best touches in fiction come from urban legends and camp fire stories.
In my research, I went online and Google Mapped the place where my friend said it was. And you wanna know the crazy thing?

There is a place, out in the middle of nowhere, that you can see on these satellite images. Roads wind in and around this spot on the image, but there is also something stranger. The image looks like someone put it into PhotoShop and used the erase tool to create a fake road and to white out certain areas around it. Like someone didn't want people to see in the photo what was actually there. Right in the spot of the desert my friend said this place would be.

So, is there a sign out there threatening to shoot trespassers? Can people really shoot you if you veer too close? I have no idea, but the creepiest legends are the ones that could be true.

Thank you so much Angeline for taking the time to stop by and tell us about this creepy legend! It seriously makes me want to find out where the heck that place is and look it up on a map!
 
GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!
 
Now onto the giveaway. We will be giving away an ebook of Descended by Blood, 1 Nook or Kindle skin, a signed bookmark and a nail polish! 

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This giveaway is US ONLY! To enter just leave a comment with a way to contact you. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Wed 9/14!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway - The Willows: Haven by Hope Collier

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Title: The Willows: Haven
Author: Hope Collier
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Release date: 2011
Pages:
Genre: YA

Summary via Goodreads:
When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.
Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is. To run may mean war, but is she strong enough to stay?


Missy’s take -

Let me start off by talking about the amazing cover. From first glance I thought that it was absolutely beautiful! I have a thing for water covers. After reading the book I can’t tell you just how fitting the cover really is. It is perfect!

The story follows Ashton who, after finding out about a death in the family, heads out on a road trip. In the beginning of the book I was slightly indifferent to Ashton. She seemed slightly selfish, but as the story progresses you learn a lot about why she is that way. I loved her growth as a character from the beginning to the end. As a matter of fact I really enjoyed all of the characters as a whole. She takes all these crazy changes in her life with complete stride.

There were so many twists and turns I could hardly keep up! Don’t get me wrong though, I love that in a story. I love it when I am kept guessing to the very last page and that is exactly how it is with this one. You can never be too sure of anything because on the next page something totally unexpected will happen. I think that is why I was so completely engrossed in this book and could not put it down. Everything flowed so well and it was perfectly paced.

The ending is left at a cliffhanger, but is also gives you slight resolve as well. I like not having to wait until the next book to have some of my questions answered so I think it ended perfectly to open up for the beginning of the next.


Overall I thought that this book was amazing. I loved the growth of the characters, the twists and turns that the story provided. I couldn’t recommend this more. I do, however, suggest that when you do read it you set aside enough time to read it in one sitting. I was pretty much glued to my seat until the last page!

It's hard to review this book story wise without giving things away so you will have to take my word for it and read this book! You won't regret it!

Missy’s rating – 5/5

GIVEAWAY!

I am lucky enough to be able to giveaway an ecopy of this amazing book! All you have to do is leave a comment with a way to reach you and you are entered. Easy right? Entries end at 11:59 pm on Sunday 9/11/11

Also make sure you check out all the other amazing stops on the tour below -

09/01/11
The Wormhole
http://wormyhole.blogspot.com/
Interview

09/02/11
Me My Shelf and I
http://www.memyshelfandi.com/

09/03/11
Writing Crazy Me
http://writingcrazyme.blogspot.com/

09/04/11
Stuck In Books
http://www.stuckinbooks.com/
Excerpt

09/05/11
Books Over Boys
http://booksoverboys.blogspot.com/

09/06/11
Mocha Latte Reads
http://www.mochalattereads.blogspot.com/
Dream Cast


09/08/11
Two Readers Review
http://tworeadersreviews.blogspot.com/


09/10/11
We Fancy Books
http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/
Character interview with Gabe

09/11/11
A Tale of Many Reviews
www.ataleofmanyreviews.com

09/12/11
A Casual Reader’s Blog
http://ellsey.blogspot.com/

09/13/11
Songs and Stories
http://liedermadchen.blogspot.com/



09/16/11
The Light of Asteria
http://www.thelightofasteria.blogspot.com/
Guest Post

09/17/11
Paper Cut Reviews
http://papercut-reviews.blogspot.com/

09/18/11
Cicis Theories
http://cicistheories.com/

09/19/11
Literature Monsters
http://literaturemonsters.blogspot.com/

09/20/11
Letters Inside Out
http://www.lettersinsideout.net/
excerpt

09/21/11
A Written Rhapsody
http://awrittenrhapsody.blogspot.com/


09/23/11
Book By Book Review
http://bookbybookreview.blogspot.com/


09/25/11
YA Bound
http://yabound.blogspot.com/
Character interview with Ash

09/26/11
Young Readers
http://youngreadersathome.blogspot.com/
Excerpt

09/27/11
The Ending Unplanned
http://theendingunplanned.blogspot.com/

09/28/11
Meghann Daugherty
http://absconditas.com/


09/30/11
Megan Curd
http://www.megancurd.com/
Guest Post

10/01/11
Cup of Tea Reviews
http://cupofteareviews.blogspot.com/


10/03/11
The Awesome Magic Attic
http://theawesomemagicattic.blogspot.com/

10/04/11
Tori Scott
http://www.toriscottya.com/

10/05/11
Jessie Harrell
http://jessie-harrell.blogspot.com

10/06/11
A Tale of Many Reviews
http://www.ataleofmanyreviews.com/
Video interview with author

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday & Cover Reveal

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It lets us spotlight what upcoming books we can't wait for! 
 
This week my WoW is mixed in with a cover reveal of a book that I can’t wait for!
 
Here is what I am on this week -
 
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Asylum (Casual Echantment #2) by K.A. Tucker
Release date: January 2012
 
Summary via author:
Tucked away in Sofie’s wintery asylum with no hope of release for years, Evangeline must come to terms with her situation: the curse still plagues her, she’s now hunted by a two thousand-year-old vampire, and the guy she’s in love with tried to kill her. Plus, she’s locked up with a cranky Max and the Forero kids—two people everyone seems to prefer dead over alive. Things aren’t looking good.
Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, Sofie struggles to keep forty trapped and bloodthirsty Ratheus vampires at bay and a desperate Viggo from killing Evangeline’s friends, all while hints stir outside the walls of the NYC vampire asylum of a war brewing between the Sentinel and the witches.
Is there any hope for Evangeline and Caden? Can Sofie control the rival powers? Is the fate of Earth predestined?
Find out in Book 2 of the
Causal Enchantment series, a sequel to ANATHEMA.

If you haven’t read Anathema do it now! It is a fantastic read and you can check out my review of it here! To celebrate the cover release the author is giving away 1 signed print copy and 2 ecopies for Anathema HERE. Just fill out the form and you are entered to win!

What are you waiting on???

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (30)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that allows to showcase the books that we have received/purchased over the past week.   

So I realize that I am a terrible book blogger and that things have been quite sporadic the past few weeks. I have had an insane amount of things happening in my personal life including a possible job change. I am so sad that it is hard to find the time to fit blogging in. I promise things will be back to normal soon though. Just as soon as life starts to slow the heck down!
Anyway here is what I got this week! 

Review - 
 
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Dreamland (audiobook) by Alyson Noel
Anna Dressed in Blood (finished copy) by Kendare Blake

(Thanks to MacMillan & TorTeen!)

Bookswap -

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Code Name: Nanny by Christina Skye
Code Name: Princess by Christina Skye
Code Name: Baby by Christina Skye
Code Name: Bikini by Christina Skye
Code Name: Blondie by Christina Skye
Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich

Gifted -

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Can’t Hurry Love by Christie Ridgway
(Thanks to my awesome friend Ashley!)

So that’s all I got this week! What was in your mailbox????

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Review - Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout


Title:  Half-Blood (Covenant #1)
Author:  Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release date: October 18, 2011
Pages: 281
Genre: YA
Source:  ARC from publisher for review



Summary via Goodreads:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure-bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:


Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.


Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

 
Missy's take - 

Where do I even begin with this one? Half-Blood was everything that I love in a book. There was romance, action and drama! I would not change one single thing about it! This book quite literally took my breath away! It pulled me and didn't let me go until the final page. Actually, it never really let me go because I am completely aching for the next in the series. I have no idea how I am going to able to wait. 

I suggest that if you haven't read the prequel, Daimon, you do so first. It gives you some back story about what's happening and Half-Blood picks up right where Daimon leaves off. I always love getting a little back story.

I am going to start off by gushing a little okay? This book has some crazy amazing characters, ones that you totally fall in love with and root for. It has you go through a million different kinds of emotions people! There were times I laughed, wanted to cry, etc. You name it and I felt it at some point in the story.

Alex is a half-blood, the daughter of a Hematoi (a pure blood) mother and a mortal father. In the world that she lives half-bloods are pretty low on the totem pole. You pretty much have to prove your worth or you are forced into a life of servitude. This is not something that Alex is willing to accept. After her mother is killed by Daimon's she is brought back to the Covenant, the same place that her mother ran from with her 3 years prior with no explanation.

Alex is thrown back into a life of training to prove that she should be able to continue where she left off and not become a servant, but instead a Sentinel, who is trained to hunt and kill Daimon’s. Her need to become a Sentinel is even greater after her mother is killed by Daimon’s. Alex is an insanely strong character. After basically witnessing the murder of her mother she still is able to push forward. She doesn't let anything get in her way. She doesn't take crap from anyone and always has a witty comeback. This is another thing that I loved about this novel, the dialogue. It is always so refreshing when a YA novel has dialogue that relates to the characters. There were words and phrases that you can actually hear them saying.

The relationship between Aiden and Alex was so intense. Anytime they were together I could feel the tension between them. Since Aiden is a pure and Alex is a half-blood any type of relationship between the two of them is completely forbidden. I think this is why I loved this part of the story line so much! Forbidden love? Yes, please! More, more, more! It wasn't really what I would call insta-love either, which is nice because that is something that I generally don't care for. While Alex was totally attracted to Aiden in the beginning, I think that her feelings for him progressed in a pretty average manner. My stomach did little flip flops every time they were together in anticipation that something was going to finally happen between them!

Of course, as the story continues on, there are several twists and turns which I love, love, love! We end up learning why her mother ran away with her so many years before and what the consequences of her sticking around might be.

I really don't think that I can recommend this highly enough. Pre-order this people! You will not regret it! It is one of my favorite books of the year so far. I might even go as far as to say one of my favorite of all time. Yes, it really was THAT good! The whole flow of this book was just insane and perfectly paced and I didn't want to put it down for a minute. The fact that I have to wait for its follow up, Pure, is probably going to kill me slowly. I cannot wait for it!

Missy's rating -5/5