October 31, 2012

Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late.
 I read and loved the first in this series. So, it only stands to reason that I'd have a similar reaction to this book. I was amazed at how much of a ʺpage turnerʺ this book turned out to be. I loved everything about it. At first the main character was a little whiney and helpless and frightened of her own shadow. She quickly grew out of that mind frame. Not a moment to soon either. After that, the story was wonderful. Exactly how I had it all worked out in my head. I honestly can not describe how good this book is. I'm at a loss for words. The only 2 things I can say for certain are I loved it and anyone who likes mystery, betrayal, death, romance, jealousy and undying love in their Vamp story has to read this book!
Publisher-Harcourt Children's Books
Reviewer Rating: 5 STARS!!!
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your Futhure book program!

Review: Definace by C.J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
Brilliantly written, completely mesmerizing!!! From the very first sentence I read, I was hooked. Once I stepped into the dizzily swirling whirlwind that is the world of Defiance, I found it increasingly difficult to step out again. If I haven't gotten my opinion across, here it is..... WOW!! I absolutely, positively loved this book. It is definitely a one of a kind. Rich vivid details will steal your breath away and leave you gasping for air. I was so absorbed reading this story that reality disappeared for 2 days. This author really knows how to make the story flow. Going from one action packed plot point to the next leaves no room for dead spots or disinterest. Every time I thought I knew what was going on Wham! I was blindsided by another turn of events. The main character is such a strong willed, vivacious young heroine. I instantly found a connection of the heart to her. All the characters play their parts perfectly. Thank you Lora, for making a special trip to deliver a book you felt I'd enjoy. I more than enjoyed it, I adore it! This book would have over 5 stars if it were possible. Highly Recommended!
Publisher-Balzer + Bray
Reviewer Rating: 5 STARS!!!
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the publisher  for the donation of this book to the Read for your future book program!

Review: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
 Often times people are afraid of what they do not understand. It is always easier to make fun of someone who is different than trying to understand where that difference comes from. Anyone who engages in this type of behavior only does so out of their own insecurities. In this story the author details all these behaviors and more. This is a very heart felt and emotional quest for acceptance and understanding. The main character is a beautiful person both inside and out. She grows in both self awareness and self acceptance. It is very encouraging to anyone facing these types of obstacles to have a hero such as this one. This book would be a wonderful educational tool for teens in all walks of life. Everyone could benefit from the courage that is displayed in this wonderful story.
Publisher-Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program!

Review: By the time you read this I'll be dead by Julie Anne Peters

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www. through-the-light.com.
While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.
Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?
National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.

 It is a shame that in today's society the occurrences in this book are true to life. However, the author does a wonderful job of putting a positive spin on this problem. Many more people experience this type of abuse than is ever acknowledged. It is a very real problem that I feel more people should be aware of and concerned with. No one, especially children, should have to go through the daily horrors written about in this book. The main character in this story finally sees her own self worth. She becomes strong enough to help herself and others. Sadly, in real life, that is not always the case. This book would serve well as an educational tool. To make more people aware of things going on right under their noses. It is a real eye and heart opener. A very emotional journey. One worth taking.

Reviewers Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your future book program!~

Dystopian Giveaway Hop

A girl goes on an epic journey through a bleak landscape in the first book of this post-Apocalyptic trilogy. Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. She has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

October 24, 2012

Review:Legions (The Watchers #2) by Karice Bolton

As the magical holiday season is disrupted with an afternoon of horror, it becomes apparent that the Legions have begun their uprising around the globe, and Ana does her best to stay strong even though her world has been shattered. It is up to Ana to find the strength within and not fall prey to the dark side as she begins her chase to reclaim what’s rightfully hers.
Realizing that Ana’s visions alone are not enough to protect them, her family begins her training immediately before she is targeted once more. The Legions will not quit until they get what they want, and they have made it clear that mortals will not be spared, leaving Ana little time to figure out what it is the demons are after.
As Ana balances her time between chasing after her destiny and spending her time relearning how to fight demons, she learns something about her past that could change why she’s fighting for anything at all. Clues continue to unfold in the form of yellowed letters she finds from Athen buried within an old Tudor home; and her future is signaled in a lone, white rose left for only her to see giving her the strength to persevere. She is determined to not give up faith that she will have it all once more.
 A wonderful continuation of the first book. This story is like a fun roller coaster ride. you are catipulted from one emotion to another in the span of a couple of pages. The energy flow never stops. The main character is the same likeable creature potrayed in the first book. She keeps growing in strength and honor. Her supporting characters do a wonderful job of filling in the blanks. They all suffer from one heartache to the next, yet come out better for it in the end. All stand strong in the face of evil even when it's the last thing they wish to do. Now that's dedication to the people you love. I only hope the next book will be as goos as the first two. This is a series worth reading.
Publisher-Purely Persistent
Reviewers Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program!

October 22, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Review: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by R.L. LaFevers

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
 I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, with it's deep historical aspect. From the first glimpse into the main character's world, I was lost. I could empathize with her negative outlook on her life. I instantly loved her personality. Even if she does prove to be somewhat out of touch with her womanly wiles. That fact just makes her even more endearing. The book has a good strong storyline, wonderful characters and beautiful settings. This book has all the elements to be an Outstanding read. There is the main character assasin who's fathered by death, a hugh love story, the politics of Court life with revenge & so many other factors thrown in for good measure. It was exciting to watch Ismae go from a naive, little girl to an interesting young lady. This book ha sso many things going on at once it's impossible to get bored. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Am I ever glad to have given it a chance to change my mind!! I encourage anyone who has this on their to-read-list to bump it straight to the top.   
Publisher-Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the Publisher for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program!

Review: Nightspell (Mistwood #2) by Leah Cypess

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.
In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.
Darri’s sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister... if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.
In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?
  At first I thought this book was just a continuation of the Mistwood. I'm pleased to say that it is not. This book can definitly stand on its own. Although, I would love to read more about the characters from the first book. I'm glad to have had the chance to read this one. I really liked the magnetic personalities of the characters in this book. One of the main things I found interesting about this story was the creepy factor of it. I even had chill bumps. The things that transpire behind the fair facade are quite jarring. The shock factor of the storyline , with it's magic spells, was a surprise in itself. I found myself often wondering ʺwhat the hoo-nanie is going on hereʺ. The main character is willful, blunt, sarcastic and wonderfully entertaining to read about. I can only hope to be able to read more about these characters and their antics. This is a good book to curl up with on a cold, rainy night. Just make sure you're prepared to stay up late. You won't want to put this one down. Happy Reading!!
Publisher-HarperCollins Canada / Other      
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the publisher for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program!

Review: Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance by Various Authors

It does not necessarily take a fist to create a punch in the gut. This fourteen-story YA fiction anthology delves into the experience of being bullied—socially, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and sexually. The school hallways, walks home, and house walls are no longer the boundaries for intimidation and harassment. With the rapid-fire response time of social media and smartphones, bullying has lost all limits, and the lines among truth, lies, and real accountability have become blurred. Featuring some of the hottest voices in YA literature, both bestselling and on the rise, Cornered includes works from Kirsten Miller (New York Times bestseller The Eternal Ones), Jennifer Brown (Hate List), Elizabeth Miles (Fury), Jaime Adoff (The Death of Jayson Porter), Lish McBride (Morris Award finalist Hold Me Closer, Necromancer), Matthue Roth (Losers), Sheba Karim (Skunk Girl), Kate Ellison (Butterfly Clues), Zeta Elliot (A Wish After Midnight), Josh Berk (The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin), and James Lecesne (Absolute Brightness and founder of the Trevor Project).
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. There are several authors, which exposes the reader to a wide variety of writing styles. This book is composed of several short stories, some of which I enjoyed more than others.
Many of the stories dealt with bullying or other harsh realities of life, and I liked how nothing was too sugarcoated. It shines a very harsh light on some difficult subjects, and I feel that is important if anything is ever going to change for the better.
Publisher-Running Press
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Megan Blankenship (Student at Franklin High School)
~Thank you to the publisher for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program!~

Review: Harmony by Sonya Bria

Watch the trailer: http://bit.ly/HarmonyVid
Buy the paperback at: http://bit.ly/HarmonyStore
Kindle version available through Amazon.
A Curse.
It started with a curse centuries ago placed upon the House of Ulster:
One more powerful than I will come,
She alone will break the spell.
With her as guide the dark will align.
If someone told you that you were the key to an ancient tragedy, what would you do?
Sophie is a high school senior with only two things on her mind, graduating from Jefferson High, and moving on, leaving the death of her mother firmly in the past. But the past is not done with Sophie, and she finds herself suddenly thrust into a tragic, Irish love story centuries old. Does she have the strength to accept her part, confront her own past, and rely on someone long forgotten?
Ian is a vampire with only one thing on his mind...Sophie. For years, he has watched over Sophie, and protected her from the darkness surrounding her mother's death. He would like nothing more than to forget the past, but his fate lies with Sophie and her destiny. Can he help Sophie confront her nightmares and not fall in love?
Choices.Sophie and Ian will discover that they also have a connection-something that could bind them together forever or rip them apart. What will they choose?
Only time will tell.
This is their story
 It has been a while since I have read a good vampire book. I am glad I decided to give this book a try. It's not the usual Vamp story. I liked the way the author mixed old legend into a present day setting. The storyline in firmly intertwined with myth and lore. While keeping a secure grasp on the present and the future. The main character has a cute personality. She has a lot to deal with and comes out an ordinary, if not flustered, teenager. Once she gets all the facts she turns into the heroine that everyone needs her to be. It's nice to see a teenager become a well rounded young adult. At times I was holding my breath just waiting for the next twist to pop up. I enjoyed this book so much I read it all at once. The end didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped. Maybe there will be a sequel to clear the mess up. I'll be waiting for it. This was a very good book. Worth taking the time to read. Hope you enjoy it too!
Publisher-Cambio Publishing
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Star
Reviewed by~Mechele
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your future book program!