Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Power

Title: Power (The Descendant Trilogy #1)
Author: Theresa M. Jones
Publication date: February 2013
Source: author

Rating: 3 stars

Thousands of years after the battle between the angels, when Lucifer was defeated by Michael in the Heavens, the war is still being fought on Earth by the humans who have their Power, the Angel’s Power. 

Allison Stevens is a 21 year old single mother who gets thrown into the middle of this battle when Damien, the Leader of the Rising, decides to hunt her down and kill her because he fears she is the descendant prophesied to save the world. 

David, a member of the Order, takes Allison under his wing in order to show her the ropes, and hopefully groom her into being the one they have been waiting for. The only problem is that they start to grow more attached than a teacher/student relationship should allow.

But that isn’t all. Damien wants to open the Seven Seals and bring about the apocalypse and it’s up to Allison to not only save herself and her family, but save the world, all while trying to keep her heart from breaking.

No problem… right?
Power follows the story of Allison, a 21-year-old single mother who, after a series of nightmares and painful power outbreaks, learns that she is gifted with power from the archangel Michael.

Now there have been quite a few Good vs. Evil (or Angels vs. Demons) types of books out there these past few years, but the concept of Power was surprisingly refreshing and kept me glued to the pages. Without a doubt, my favorite part about this book was learning about all the different abilities that these descendants of the Primitus had. What's more, I loved reading about how these descendants came to be about, how they became gifted with these special powers--not just them, I also enjoyed learning about how the bad guys, the leaders of the Rising, came to be. In this story, Jones has deftly weaved together elements of known Biblical stories with a touch of the supernatural to create a story that makes me want to jump into its pages and experience it for myself.

This book is written in shifting POVs, mainly between Allison, the main character, and David, the love interest, however there are also chapters told from the perspective of the bad guys. Normally, changing POVs really aren't my cup of tea, but somehow Jones has really made it work, made it into one of the books' strengths. I liked seeing the story unfold from multiple viewpoints and it also gave me more insight into each character's mind. Strangely enough, I ended up really liking reading from the villains' POV.......

Allison was a character that I don't often get to read about, mainly because I don't find many YA-ish books centering around a single mother. This facet of her character made her a lot more mature than I expected her to be. Overall, I thought she was a pretty strong character, though I couldn't help but think she had a few Mary-Sue characteristics.

Personally, I felt a little disconnected from the characters. As if I were watching everything unfold from an observable distance instead of actually experiencing it through the characters' hearts and minds. This disconnection might be attributed to the, at time, stiff and formal dialogue and an edge of instalove in the romance.

All in all: this was a good story! The plot was fast-paced, the supernatural element was really interesting to learn about, and the ending left me very curious to find out more about the world of the descendants.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Movie Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

"Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life."


It's very rare that a mind-blowingly good book gets adapted into a mind-blowingly good movie. Even rarer is the occurrence that said book/movie renders me speechless.

  The Perks of Being a Wallflower, book and movie, did just that.

This movie was perfect. Sure, I could get out my thesaurus and write a needlessly verbose description of its amazingness, but that sentence really does say it all. The actors were perfect, the character portrayals were spot-on, and, despite some scenes being taken out in the adaptation, the movie managed to stay true to the book. Granted, there were some deleted scenes that I wished they had included (especially the abortion scene with Charlie and his sister) but overall, this movie has really managed to retain the original essence of the book while simultaneously adding a new dimension to the story that made me fall even more in love with the characters.

 Let's start off with the cast because it was utterly flawless. Logan Lerman was the perfect Charlie. You can't even make an argument otherwise. Just no. Don't even. His portrayal was so good that I don't even know what to say. Lerman just embodied everything that was Charlie. His naiveté, his awkwardness, his turmoil of emotions, his desire to reach out and make a friend, everything was there. If anything, seeing Charlie as a living, breathing human instead of someone I imagined in my head made  his character all the more endearing. 

Emma Watson was exactly how I imagined Sam to be, but if I had to be honest, the one who really stole the show, aside from Logan Lerman, was Ezra Miller as Patrick.

So much.

In the books, Patrick was an okay side character. I mean, I liked him, but mainly he was just there. It was Charlie that I really fell in love with, and that is why I absolutely love movie adaptations because in a movie you see more of the other characters. You notice their little quirks and laugh at their one-liners and you get more attached to them than you did while reading. Ezra Miller not only brought out Patrick's hilarious sense of humor and happy-go-lucky personality, he also did a phenomenal job showing Patrick's emotional downward spiral when his relationship with Brad went south. Miller's acting was just amazing....and it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes.

If I had to answer the book vs. movie question, I will have to say that I preferred the book. In general, I just found it to be more powerful. I admit that cried while watching the movie. Twice. But I usually tend to cry more often while watching something as opposed to reading it. All the same, this movie did touch me on an emotional level--I ached when the characters were hurting and I cheered when I saw Charlie making friends and participating.

All in all:

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Nightmare Affair Blog Tour- Q&A with Mindee Arnett

Q: Where did you get your inspiration for creating a Nightmare?

The first time I ever came across a Nightmare as a creature was in a short story by one of my favorite fantasy authors, Jennifer Roberson. In her story, the “Nightmare” appears in the shape of a hellacious rodeo horse. Years later, as I was sitting down to do some brainstorming about potential monsters, I started to think about that story. A couple of Wikipedia searches later and I came across a picture of The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli.  The moment I saw it, I asked myself what it would be like if the demon and woman were reversed.  And presto-change, the idea for Dusty was born.

The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli

Q: Who was your favorite character to write about, and why?

Dusty is definitely my favorite character to write about. She sort of has to be because she’s the MC, and the story is in her voice. But my favorite non-MC character to write about is Dusty’s best friend and roommate Selene Rivers. Selene is a siren. Like all sirens, she’s utterly beautiful, but she dresses like a tomboy and spends a lot of her time campaigning against the sexual objectification of sirens in the magickind world. I love writing about her, because she’s cool and mysterious, but very smart, funny, and loyal to Dusty.

Q: If The Nightmare Affair were made into a movie, who would your dream cast be?

My dream Dusty has always been Molly Quinn. I think she’s so adorable and charming, but she can totally be a BAMF if she wants to. Also, her eyes are exactly how I imagine Dusty’s to be:

I’m going to cheat when it comes to Eli, because I’m just too damn old to lust after any actors of appropriate age to play him. I’ll leave that lusting up to the readers. And I can’t wait to see who they come up with!

Meanwhile, I’m going to pretend we can go back in time and snag a young Timothy Olyphant. This is what I imagine Eli might look like. Oh, and his character is a bit like a teenaged Raylan Givens from Justified—the kind of guy who might grow up to be a lawman with an outlaw side.

For Dusty’s best friend, Selene, I would pick Teresa Palmer only she would have to dye her hair black. Teresa’s mannerisms just remind me of Selene, the way she carries herself, her poise. It’s a nice fit

For Paul, I’m going to cheat again and go with a teenage Charlie Hunnam. Now, just who is Paul, you say? Well, all I’m going to tell you is that he’s an Arkwell student. You’ll have to wait for the book to find out more. It’s like River Song keeps saying to The Doctor: “Spoilers.” 

Q: Do you listen to music when you right? If so, what was your playlist for writing The Nightmare Affair?

I listen to music off and on when I write, but it’s primarily soundtracks. If I put in anything with lyrics, I tend to start singing along. But some of my favorite soundtracks to listen to when writing The Nightmare Affair are Sherlock (BBC) and Harry Potter. Really, even more than music, I tended to listen to Veronica Mars episodes a lot when writing. Sounds weird, I know, and I couldn’t do it all the time, but occasionally, listening to episodes really helped me get into the voice of the story.

But if you’re interested in a playlist about The Nightmare Affair, you can find it here

Q: Describe your book in three words.

Mystery, magic, and mayhem.

Thanks for such awesome questions! I had a blast.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I especially enjoyed seeing your casting picks! :)
Don't forget to check out Mindee's debut novel, The Nightmare Affair

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: The Mist on Brontë Moor

Title: The Mist on Brontë Moor
Author: Aviva Orr
Publication date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Source: author

Rating: 4 stars

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When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. 

Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage. 

Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.

Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

This book started out as an enjoyable and fluffy read, but holy crab cakes, that ending was an emotional gut-puncher that I did not see coming!!

The Mist on Brontë Moor was a refreshing blend of time-traveling, contemporary problems, and historical figures. Heather, the protagonist, was a narrator that I really enjoyed. She is diagnosed with alopecia, a medical condition that causes her hair to start falling out. Her voice was really relatable and I empathized with her fear of losing all her hair--I think most girls would be quite frightened at that thought! My favorite part about Heather was that while she had insecurities about her alopecia, about what everyone (boys especially) would think of her, but she was not a whiny character.

As for the Brontës, I loved reading about them! It's one thing to learn about Jane and Emily Brontë in my English class and another to actually see someone take bits and pieces of information about their personality from primary sources and bring them to life in this story. Branwell, the Brontë brother most people overlook, is given a spotlight in this book as the troubled yet charming love interest, and despite the fact that I thought his and Heather's romance was a bit rushed and unrealistic, I quite liked reading about his character.

This book had me hooked right from the get-go and once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. I haven't read a whole lot of time traveling books, but I thought this book handled the subject really well. There wasn't a huge deal made about the time traveling, it just sort of happened. The transition between Heather being in the present and her taken to the past was very smooth and I really appreciated that. Also, side note, but I thought it was brilliant that each chapter started off with a piece of Emily Brontë's writing.  :)  Definitely introduced me to some more of her poetry.

Before I end this review, I just have to talk about the ending a little (no spoilers, I promise!) because it was just so.... perfect! Not in a happily-ever-after kind of way, but in a realistic and right kind of way that just gave me so many emotions!! Ye-ah, in case you can't tell, I really liked the way Aviva Orr ended this book.

All in all: really enjoyed this book, and I'd definitely recommend it, if not to people who like the Brontës, then to people who like a fantastic protagonist, an English countryside setting, and a fast-paced story-line.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

HELP! URL Problems!

Back when I decided to create a book blog, it really was a spur of the moment kind of decision. I didn't really have any plans in terms of social media, blog designs, etc. The only thing that I really knew for sure was that I wanted to call the blog Joie de Lire because that name had been floating around in my head ever since I began considering entering the blogosphere. Plus, Joie is my french name, which has somehow become a nickname that many of my friends call me and I loved the idea of incorporating that into a blog name.

When I actually created my blog, the url joiedelire was already taken so, without thinking, I just went for one of the variations that blogger suggested to me. Thus, I got my current URL: joie-joiedelire
Only.... now I'm not so crazy about it.
Call me URL-conscious (I blame Tumblr for that) or just plain fickle, but I want to change it. 

Here's the thing, I love my blog name, Joie de Lire... I don't really know what I would change it to and,  truthfully, asking me to change the name of my blog is like asking a mother to rename her child. 

I was thinking of just changing it to (which, thank goodness, is a url I have saved in case) but the problem is that someone else a url and blog name that is insanely similar to mine.... so what do I do?????

Do I change the URL to joie-de-lire and keep the blog name?
Change the URL to something slightly different.... and maybe keep the blog name?
Change everything?!?! (Oh god, the horror!)

Yes, I recognize the fact that most *normal* people do not get this neurotic over something like an internet URL.... but if you guys would please let me know your inputs and opinions, I would be super grateful!  :)

Guest Post with Stephanie Wardrop--Advice Column for Characters

The Alt

Mainstream newspapers had their advice-dispensing twins, Dear Abby and Ann Landers.  We’ve got the Tell-Me-Your-Troubles Twins, freshmen Cassie and Leigh Barrett, here to answer all of your questions about life, love, and everything in between.

Dear Trouble Twins:
My boyfriend is great but he sticks to the “bros before ho’s” code too much.  Any time one of his boys calls, he’s off for a night of football, beer, and farting – even if we’ve already made plans!  Help!
--Lovelorn in Longbourne

Leigh:  I don’t want to be harsh, but no guy who calls a girl a “ho” is worth dating.  Jesus loved Mary Magdalene but your boyfriend is not treating with you the same respect.  You should look for a nicer, more polite boy, maybe at a church youth event.  That’s where I found mine! J
Cassie:  Ugh.  Assuming you don’t want to date a total dweeb like my sister suggests, you might want to see what you can do to keep your man focused on you and not on beer pong.  There’s a sale at Victoria’s Secret.  That’s a good start.

Dear Trouble Twins:
I follow lots of celebs on Twitter and tweet them all the time.  How can I get them to tweet me back?
--Tweety Bird

Leigh:  I’m not even sure what you’re talking about, but if it’s an internet thing you’re referring to, you’d be better off picking up a good book.  Or the Good Book.
Cassie:  As with all things boy-related (and I assume this is), the key to success is persistence.  And cleavage.  Why not post a pic of you in a yummy bikini?

EDITORS’ NOTE:  The advice offered in this column in no way reflects the views of The Alt staff and in some cases is downright opposed to it. Take it at your own risk.

About the author:
Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania where she started writing stories when she ran out of books to read.  She’s always wanted to be a writer, except during the brief period of her childhood in which piracy seemed like the most enticing career option -- and if she had known then that there actually were “girl” pirates way back when, things might have turned out very differently.  She currently teaches writing and literature at Western New England University  and lives in a town not unlike the setting of Snark and Circumstance with her husband, two kids, and five cats.  With a book out – finally – she might be hitting the high seas any day now.

About the book:

Title: Snark and Circumstance
Publication date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance
One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cover Reveal: Across a Star-Swept Sea

Across a Star Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2)
By Diana Peterfreund
To be published October 15, 2013 by Balzer + Bray

"Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine."

My thoughts:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2
by Maggie Stiefvater
To be published September 17, 2013 by Scholastic Press

My thoughts:

I don't know about you but I am in LOVE with the artsy style of these covers!! I think Ronan looks a bit cartoon-ish, but other than that this is gorgeous!

So.... Ms. Stiefvater....

Review: Medusa's Desire

Title: Medusa's Desire
Author: E.B. Black
Publication date: November 22, 2012
Source: author

Rating: 3 stars

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When Medusa was beautiful, finding a man to love her was easy. Poseidon fought for glances from her heavy-lidded eyes against hundreds of suitors who proposed whenever she left her house.

Athena grew jealous. She allowed Medusa to be violated in the Parthenon and turned her into a monster for her indiscretion.

Now when she stares into the eyes of men, they scream as their skin hardens into stone. A caress against her cheek will be rewarded with the poisonous bites of the snakes that slither on her head.

No man is brave enough to approach her, until Perseus is ordered by the gods to kill her.

When they meet, desire sizzles between them. They are willing to risk it all-death, the wrath of the gods, the destruction of their families-if it means they can spend one more night together.

This is not a book that I normally would've picked up, but, nevertheless, I was blown away by E.B. Black's unique take on the well-known Medusa myth.

Before she became the fearsome gorgon of Greek mythology, Medusa was the beautiful daughter of a gambler, forced to do many of less than honorable things to keep her her family from drowning in debt. Yet despite her family's financial situation, she refused to marry a man for money, refused to give anyone that kind of power over her. Medusa worshipped the gods and looked up to Athena more than anyone. But all that changed when Poseidon raped her in the temple of Athena.

As the story goes, Medusa's hair turned to snakes, her body became covered in scales, and her gaze could turn anyone to stone. She is banished to the Underworld, where she waits for the blessing of death, until Perseus comes, at the order of the gods, to kill her. Only instead of killing her, he falls in love with her. In this retelling, Medusa's death is faked and Perseus takes her back into the human world for a second chance at life and love.

I really liked the evolution of Medusa's character throughout the story, from the innocent yet stubborn human girl to the monster trying desperately to retain her humanity. This story was an emotional roller coaster, both for me as the reader and for Medusa as the main character. Her journey felt like one tragedy after another; each time something good happened to her, it was only a matter of time before she lost it. It was hard not to root for her happiness.

However, I am one of those people who needs to have strong, developed characters to really love a book, and in the case of  Medusa's Desire, I felt like the majority of the characters were quite flat and hard to relate to. It wasn't that they weren't tested enough to show growth, it's simply that I thought they did certain things because they had to in order to move the story along, not because it fit with their characterization. The reasons behind their actions seemed too weak to be plausible. And--I'm pretty sure this is just a strange peeve of mine--I was really annoyed by the fact that Medusa would constantly refer to Perseus as her boyfriend. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, this detail is pretty minor, but for some reason it just bothered me. "Boyfriend" is such a contemporary term that it was hard for me to think of the story as having happened in ancient Greece, but I also couldn't think of the setting as present day so it was..... very jarring.

In terms of mythology, I think Black did an incredible job of retaining the original Medusa myth, but spinning it in an extremely unexpected and original way. I also enjoyed how many other aspects of mythology were incorporated into this one story-- from Hades and Persephone, the "birth" of Pegasus and Chrysaor, and even the creation of vampires. I definitely didn't see that last one coming, but I enjoyed how it all came together, nonetheless.

All in all: I think anyone who likes Greek mythology and its various retellings would enjoy this story, and if you like romance too, then there's a bonus. There is some mature content in the book though, so I wouldn't recommend this for all ages.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Stacking the Shelves/In My Mailbox

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews and The Story Siren respectively

Only one book for me this past week..... but GUYS.


Oh yes, you read that right.
Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles #3) by Melina Marchetta


A HUGE thanks to Candlewick Press for sending me the ARC, and to the lovely ladies of 132 Minutes for coordinating this whole thing. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Review: Splintered

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Publication date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books (Abrams)
Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3.5 stars

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Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

The description of this book, like a delicious cake you might find at the Mad Hatter's tea party, was utterly irresistible. But here's the thing: appearances can be deceiving. Reading this book was like salivating over a delicious dessert only to find, when eating it, that the icing was too sweet and the cake too crumbly.

Splintered is the story of Alyssa Gardner, a descendant of Alice Liddell, who suffers from a family curse of spiraling into Wonderland-esque insanity. But events unfold, realizations happen, and Alyssa learns that Wonderland is absolutely real, but much dangerous and twisted than the Lewis Carroll story.

While in theory this book sounded like the coolest thing since nutella, the actual read was less riveting than I'd imagined. I think the author tried to include too many aspects, trying to afford each one equal attention that, in the end, the story was smothered by it. The descriptions of the Wonderland creatures, though brilliantly envisioned, were too detailed and lenghthy and were overwhelming to process. The overemphasized love triangle distracted from the plot and led to ill-timed frisky moments just for the sake of romantic development.

As for the characters, I couldn't connect with any of them. Not even the heroine despite being in her head for  nearly 400 pages. Here's the thing: I felt like Alyssa could have been such an epic character. The girl loves to skate, wears colorful dreadlock extensions in her hair, has electric eels for pets, and makes beautiful mosaics out of dead bugs. HOW COOL IS THAT? But unfortunately, my reaction to Alyssa ended up being rather MEH. Didn't love her but didn't completely hate her either. So many of her thoughts were taken up by her unrequited love for Jeb and hatred of his girlfriend and it was just annoying to read about!

I know this book is advertised as having a love triangle, however, despite Alyssa's attraction to Morpheus, it was obvious that Jeb was always the main love interest... And oh how I wished he wasn't!! No offense to the Jeb fans out there, but he was by far my least favorite character in the whole book. I found him to be way too controlling and overprotective (in a whether-you-like-it-or-not kind of way). And at times even douchey. I tried to like him, I really did! But nope. Just couldn't do it. Every time he showed up in a scene, I would mentally groan.

You know when you're reading a book and the main character and love interest have a Moment? Their eyes meet, there's romantic tension, and the whole time you're like:

And when they finally do...

Ye-ah, that wasn't the case with this book. Each time Jeb and Alyssa had romantic moments, it was just awkward to read about. I can't really explain it but it was almost like watching PDA in the real world.

What's more, there is a time and a place for making googly eyes at your crush. And that time, dear Alyssa and Jeb, is not while you are worrying for your survival with crazy creatures trying to hunt you down!

Personally, I much preferred Morpheus's character. The guy was twisted, mysterious, morally questionable.... and I kind of loved it! (Le sigh. I suppose I've always had a thing for the bad boys).

I will say that the world-building was probably the shining gem of this book. This Wonderland that Howard has crafted is so different from that of the original story... and I absolutely loved it! The sheer creativity and imagination that went into creating this twisted land with bizarre customs and grotesque creatures is truly laudable. From the wacky traditions to the Wonderland afterlife, I was fascinated and I dearly hope that there might be another book in the future exploring more of Wonderland.

All in all: I know most of this review has been me talking about the negatives of this book, but I really did enjoy reading this. Yes, the love triangle really wasn't my cup of tea, but I am really glad I read this book because the adventure was action-packed and the world-building was mind-blowingly fantastic.
If you're into Alice retellings, or just retellings in general, then I definitely recommend this book.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Switching from Paranormal to Romance- Guest Post with Kelly Hashway

The first two book series I ever sold were paranormal. I love that genre. I grew up reading paranormal and horror. I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Supernatural is one of my favorite shows. So when I told my agent I had an idea for a YA contemporary romance, she was a little surprised, but she encouraged me to go with it. I knew I was in good hands because I’ve read my agent’s romance novels and they’re amazing. What better person to help me?When I sat down to draft, I knew I could write romances between characters. All my YA books have them. But I learned that when you focus on the romance instead of using it as a subplot, it’s very different. I had to become sixteen again. I had to relive my first heartbreak, my first break up, the first time I was cheated on (yes, unfortunately it happened to me more than once), and my first love. Needless to say, I shed a lot of tears at my laptop. I felt like I was bleeding emotions. It was an experience like none other. It took so much out of me to write the story from start to finish, but when I was finished, I knew it was a story I needed to tell for the sixteen-year-old still inside me.
I was hooked. I wanted to write another romance, but my agent warned me that because I had two paranormal series under contract, I’d branded myself as a paranormal author. I was a little devastated. I wanted my YA romance out there. Luckily, I have an amazing agent, and she sold my story, which was reworked into a novella series for Swoon Romance. I was ecstatic. So much so that I wrote another YA romance and I’m working on another novella, too.
Writing in two genres has been great. It keeps things fresh for me and opens up more ideas to write about. I also think writing romance is helping me write paranormal novels because emotion is a great thing to get in touch with when you’re writing in any genre.

Thank you, Kelly for your wonderful guest post, and don't forget to check out her new YA release, Love All.

Title: Love All
Publication date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan wasn’t very lucky at love. In sophomore year, her idiotic boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker. Ouch! Now a senior, and with a little more self-confidence, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two guys at school. Lucky! Both attend her tennis matches, vie for her attention, and are each gorgeous in their own way. So what’s the problem? Meg has already chosen one of them, and the one waiting in the sidelines will do anything to change her mind. She’s enjoys the attention right up until it’s her heart that’s caught in the middle, and she risks losing both. Can Meg Love All, or will choosing be her undoing?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An Update: the Blogger is Back!

Hello, lovely bookworms!

So, as you might have noticed, my blog has been rather neglected last month. This can be attributed to college application deadlines, midterms, and college interviews.


 I found myself in a bit of a reading slump at the beginning of the year due to the fact that I was reading too many books at once and not making any progress in any of them. But I am back back and ready to start devouring books again and blogging about it!
Here's what my reading list has been:

Just finished/review to come:
Splintered by A.G. Howard
I have a draft of the review already written up so I'll edit a bit more and post it in the next day or two. :)

Currently reading:
Medusa's Desire by E.M. Black
I am so, SO close to finishing this book--I'll probably have it done by tomorrow or Thursday. Then I can write the review!

I'm about half-way through this one, but let me just tell you this: it is REALLY good. If you're a fan of Cassandra Clare's books, then I definitely recommend this, especially with the City of Bones movie coming out in a couple of months. 

To be read:
Florence by Ciyo Cho
This will be my first mermaid book in years and I'm really excited after having read so many glowing reviews.

Time travel and the Bronte family.... um, yes please!

Well, that's all for now! I just wanted to say thanks for all your patience while I've been busy doing school stuff, and I can't wait to get back into the blogosphere! 


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