Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Situation – April 30

Happy Saturday everyone! It's time for a new Saturday Situation, hosted by Candace at Candace's Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination.

Here are this week's reviews:

Bumped & Demon’s Fall 

Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee -- Review (**18+over material)

Demon's Fall
by Karalynn Lee

Publication Date: 10/25/10
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
Thank you Netgalley & Carina Press for the electronic ARC.

Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):
When Kenan, an incubus, finds a caged angel for sale in the Hellsgate marketplace, he sees her as a challenge. Certain that his skills in seduction will work as well on a heavenly creature as they do on mortal women, he buys Jahel, intent on having her soul as a novelty in his collection.

Knowing he must gain Jahel's trust if she is to come to his bed willingly, Kenan treats her more as his guest than as his slave. When she reveals what brought her to the mouth of Hell in the first place-retrieving the soul of a young girl she was guarding-he even offers to help her complete her mission.

Though he has promised Jahel freedom, Kenan soon realizes she has captured his heart instead. And as their passion for one another grows, they find themselves caught in a struggle between Heaven and Hell, one that will lead them to the very edge of the apocalypse...

Demon’s Fall is a sweet, almost novella-length paranormal erotica story where Kenan, an incubus, purchases a captured angel, Jahel, with the intent to collect her soul through his incubus powers – sex of course. Kenan collects souls, which once extracted from a person/being, become token coins. With the purchase of Jahel, he sees her angel soul as the ultimate soul that would be in his collection. These initial plans, however, do not go as planned as he becomes more and more enamored with Jahel’s physique, and also after he decides to be honest and truly trying to gain Jahel’s trust by offering to help Jahel with her mission which brought her to Hellsgate in the first place.

I found the angel-demon relationship and dynamic to be an interesting storyline – and I especially was fond of the originality of the setting and some parts of the mythology / Biblical references. The author provided very well written descriptions of the places and different characters and beings encountered in the story. The story’s time period is a bit unclear, but from Kenan’s mentions of his previous conquers and souls collected, it sounds like it could be anywhere from (what I think) the Middle Ages up to early/mid 1700’s. Though when this story takes place does not really have much, if any, significance to the story.

I really did enjoy reading this story. Though I thought it was going to have more elements of erotica in it, the scenes and elements that are found in the story are well written and fun and exhilarating to read. Though this book is put under the “erotica” genre, it pretty much only went as far as soft-core erotica, so for those that are looking for steamy sex scenes between angels and demons in every other page, this would not be a story for you. I’m a sucker for the forbidden love element, so the story delivered with Kenan and Jahel falling for each other. The ending was especially adorable, and a happy ending is always a plus.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: April 27 Edition

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publication Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers

Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):

Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?
Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.

 I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and am eagerly awaiting this third book. Though, seriously, it's really not for "young readers", but rather older young adults because of the sexual/explicit content matter. :)

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Ace Books

Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):

"With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . . "

 MORE ERIC! Need I say more? I am totally psyched for the newest book to come out. I have been a fan since before TrueBlood and even before the series itself got popular. I got into them when Ms. Harris was just releasing book #5 (Dead as a Doornail). I've had the great pleasure of meeting her and getting my 1-7 books signed by her at my local Borders, and each one has its own unique little message. Even more awesome:: Charlaine is coming to a neighboring town and will be at an Anderson's Bookshop event on May 5th - where, for a small fee, I get a copy of the new book, get it signed and get to see her/hang out with her again. I hope there will be a Q&A part. If so, is there any questions anyone is dying to ask, that I could bring with me and try to ask your question?  

Totally excited! *gleeeeeeee*

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. Be sure to head over to her blog and check out what other books our fellow book lovers are waiting for this week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Mean Girls in Books

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Mean Girls!!
These are not listed in any significant order (or degree of meanness) --  just listing what books come to mind.
1. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter: Underneath all that pink, tea cozies and portraits of kittens is a being who loves to embrace "It's good to be evil and dole out punishments." When Hermione and Harry lead her to the woods to get .... rid of her (I'm not going to say exactly what happens for those of you who have not yet read it), I just wish Harry had brought along one of those evil quills and force her to use it on herself. 

2. Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge from James and the Giant Peach: Telling your nephew the thing that killed your parents is out there and coming to get you. Giving James less than scraps to live off of. Locking James up in his rickety "room"- if I remember correctly was an attic? These B***s seriously need a smack down and then some.

3. Debbie Pelt from the Sookie Stackhouse Series/Southern Vampires series: She really was quite an animal (ha). But she got what she deserved in the end. I still find it extremely hard to believe Alcide actually was in love with her and thought that she wasn't that bad of a person. *sigh* Men...
4. Cecily from Lauren DeStephano's Wither (Chemical Garden #1): She acted like such a little prissy b** and so looking forward to sex, reading up on the Kama Sutra and pleasing her husband....she is just 13! That's all I'm going to say about her without talking about the rest of the book.

5. Melisande Shahrizai from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series: Though she pays well as a patron for Phedre, I was not a fan of her using "special" whips on Phedre, nor creating such havoc and trouble for Phedre and Jocelin.
6. Dorothea and Heketah SaDiablo from Anne Bishop's Black Jewel Trilogy: The evil, dark witches of the land intent on taking over Hell, the main female character (Janelle) and especially the Sadist.

7. Mrs. Coulter from His Dark Materials series: Way to be a mom and express some love.

8. War from Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series: Yes, yes I guess she does have to be a bit of a mean B** being called War and all - doesn't mean I hate her and feels she needs a smack down by the good guys.

9. President Coin from Mockingjay: Who all elected her as president again? She totally does not represent what the revolution stands for. Oh and I believe soooooo many people would not have died untimely deaths if it wasn't for her "leadership."
10. Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice: She totally epitomizes snotty B*** to the extreme. 

What female characters do you think belong on this list?

Teaser Tuesday (April 26)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser:
         "Paulie looked thoughtful. 'Well don't use Elmer's glue,' he 
              warned. 'It sure didn't work on the Blackberry.'" 
                             ~"Bleeding Violet" 
                                  by Dia Reeves

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bumped (Bumped #1) by Megan McCafferty - Review

by Megan McCafferty
Publication Date: 04/26/11

Rating: 1 / 5 Stars
Thank you NetGalley, HaperCollins, and Balzer + Bray for the electronic ARC.
Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.


I was excited to read this book, since the synopsis looked good and all the hype over it. I was sadly disappointed with Bumped when I did get to read an advanced galley.

While this dystopia is an interesting concept, I felt it fell short of bringing the "so what?" to the storyline. It seems that within the last/current/to-come months, there have been many fertility-crazed dystopian YA's that have come out (XVI, Wither - to name a few). Sadly, I felt Bumped did not bring very much to the table, in terms of having engaging characters (I will say that Zen and Melody were decent characters), a decent plot and being well written.

Within the first few pages of the book, I knew I was not a fan of the writing style - especially with all the made-up-for-the-book slang. I did not think that using "bumped" instead of referring to sex, pregnancy, and all the other normal terms, was an engaging or cutting edge/ futuristic way of talking about sex, pregnancy and breeding teens based on their genes. I actually found it rather annoying by about page 50 or so. 

I found the writing style to be choppy; specifically, when the author is switching back and forth and back and forth from Melody's perspective to Harmony's perspective. There were numerous times I had to go back to the beginning of a chapter to figure out who was narrating such and such part. And the narrative seemed to be quite rushed, so much that after I was done reading it, I was thinking to myself, there really wasn't very much happening in the book at all

There were also many lingering, pretty big questions that the author never addressed; ie, explaining the virus that causes humans to lose fertility by the age of 18, why the age of 18 specifically, how Goodside was developed/ the history or at least some background on its origins and separation from the rest of the world that became and is bumped obsessed, what happened to in-vitro fertilization and sperm/egg banks?

So, while the premise the author introduces in Bumped is quite interesting and has potential, it missed its mark in creating an enjoyable satirical dystopian story. 


Top 5 Sundays - April 24

First off,  Happy Easter to those who celebrate. I <3s cute lil' bunnies ^^

Hosted by Larissa from Larissa's Bookish Life

The theme for today is:
Favorite Dystopian Worlds!

(I have to say this is an awesome theme, since there are so many dystopian books coming out recently, and a lot of them quite interesting and fun reads)
My Top 5 (in no particular order):

The Giver


The Hunger Games Trilogy


Inside Out

Brave New World

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WWW Wednesdays - April 20

 WWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 My answers:

What are you currently reading? :     I am currently reading Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland. As of last night, I am 46% done (so says my kindle ^^).

 What did you recently finish reading?:   I recently finished reading City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. While I enjoyed revisiting old, fave characters from the first three books in the Mortal Instruments series, I did not enjoy this one anywhere near as much as I did the previous 3 books. It was a bit of a downer.

What do you think you’ll read next? :     I think I'm going to finish reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (I've been reading that on and off for a few weeks now), and either during that time or afterwards, I'm going to finish reading Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, because I kind of started it a few months back, and I'd really like to get it off my ever-growing-crowded bookshelves. :P

"Waiting On" Wednesday: April 20 Edition

Dark Descendant
Author: Jenna Black
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Pocket

Synopsis from GoodReads:

From the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist books comes the gripping first novel in a new series about a private eye who discovers, to her surprise, that she’s an immortal huntress.

Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy. But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

I absolutely love Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley series, so I am excited to read this new book and series. I hope it will be just as paranormal, fun, some kink here and there, and a kick-ass heroine.

Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Synopsis from GoodReads:

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to. Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

I am very excited to see how this second part of the Aura/Logan story plays out. The concept of seeing ghosts and shades, due to the Shift, is quite an interesting plot line.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. Be sure to head over to her blog and check out what other books our fellow book lovers are waiting for this week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Made You Cry!

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

These are not listed in any significant order --  just listing what books come to mind.

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling.

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

4. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

5. A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

6. The Everafter by Amy Huntley

7. The Gemma Doyle (1-3) series by Libba Bray

8. The Giver by Lois Lowry

9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

10. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Teaser Tuesday (April 19)

Hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

My teaser this week:
"It's a character flaw of mine," I said with a shrug. "But seriously, for all we know, Lida might currently be loaded to the gills with Xanax, which wold help with the whole image of not being worried."    

~On kindle:  "906 of 4259", "Secrets of the Demon (#3) by Diana Rowland

Monday, April 18, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels 
by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):
City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Where to begin...

Though I really enjoyed reading the first three books (aka the complete trilogy - not this "oh wait, let's write 3 more books for the series"), I was sincerely disappointed with City of Fallen Angels.

From the first few pages of the book, I thought it was going to focus on Simon and dealing with his new life, and vampire-sexiness. But no. I had to endure more "let's smash the happily ever after" between Jace and Clary. There are only so many times you can flip-flop from "he loves me, he loves me not" and "I live for her and love her, I should forbid myself to love her and even look at her". In my opinion, this scenario was already a pretty big plot line in the last three books, and like some other reviewers commented: you, Ms. Clare are over-doing; flogging a dead horse. Seriously, essentially every time this drama between Jace and Clary happened in CoFA (which was hmm like 80% of the book, give or take), I was rolling my eyes mentally cringing at Ms. Clare and skimming those parts of the book.

Oh, and because clearly we don't have enough soap opera love drama already, Simon has to deal with his lady issues -- and it really seemed just to be "pfht" and inconsequential.

There were two other big things that bothered me:

1) the growing biblical theme and introduction of Lilith:
While I thought that the first three Mortal Instruments series did not over do the demons/angels/heaven/hell topics and plots, I was thoroughly annoyed with this book taking those plots/topics one step too many. Ms. Clare should have really not went beyond the world and settings she had already created in the first 3 books. Isn't there enough material (aka monsters and races of characters) already within the mortal instruments world that could pose sinister plots and such?

2) the title:
"City of Fallen Angels" -- before reading the book, I assumed that the story line might be about *gasp* fallen angels, devils, or types of "demons" we had not yet been introduced to. Ummm... yeah.... there were no "Fallen Angels" in this book. The phrase is not even mentioned in the book.
I can guess some of you are about to argue "Lilith is a fallen angel" -- No, she is not. Her story was that she was Adam's first wife, gone done somethin' bad, and got kicked out of the garden of eden and into Hell - thus becoming a demon.
Ms. Clare, where are these Fallen Angels? With a title like that, I think this book might have had potential-success if it had a plot line and story involving or revolving around something to do with fallen angels. But alas, it fell well short of being a successful attempt at a continuation of the mortal instruments series.

Rating: 2 / 5 Stars


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Among Thieves: A Tale of the Kin by Douglas Hulick

Among Thieves: A Tale of the Kin
by Douglas Hulick

Publication Date: 04/05/2011

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):

Drothe has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers in the employ of a crime lord while smuggling relics on the side. But when an ancient book falls into his hands, Drothe finds himself in possession of a relic capable of bringing down emperors-a relic everyone in the underworld would kill to obtain.


I got this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway (Ty! ^^).

I was a bit optimistic about the story during the firs few pages, but as I got into it, it turned out to be surprisingly fun and an enjoyable read. I found the main character, Drothe, to be an interesting and entertaining. :)

The setting in a fantasy world that is filled with crime and chaos where the characters are set in reminded me a bit of Gotham city -- I don't know it just kind of gave me that vibe -- but just minorly.

I liked how the author did a good job in integrating fantasy and reasonable/plausible magical elements with mystery and thrilling sword fight scenes. I found the pace to be engaging, and not too slow or too fast paced, so kudos to the author for not rushing through or being long-drawn out in the story structure and writing.

I look forward to reading more from this author, hopefully in the near future!

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