Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Name of book: Half-Blood (The Covenant #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication: October 18th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Owned

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.

-- My Rating --

3.5 / 5 Oscars: Liked it..

-- My Thoughts --

     Okay, so don't hate me, please. I know I should have started reading this series much sooner, and because of all the hype the author was getting, I was scared that the book would not meet my sky-high expectations. I blame it on the blogging world, though, but fortunately, the book was amazing.
     Now, I am not writing a summery of such a famous book. But the first thing that intrigued me was the idea of half-blood and pure-bloods and their roles in the world. I loved it that the author concentrated on a small island , not a huge city, or it would have been confusing. The characters in this book were superb. Alex is such a kick-ass, stubborn female. She reminds me of me ( without the ass-kicking part, of course). I related to her and her conflicts. Between the two equally-awesome, HAWT love interests, I will definitely be Team Seth. Seth stole my heart away from the first scene he entered the book and I already love him. My kinda guy, indeed.
     One thing I can say about this book is GO READ IT. Don't be left in the dark like I was. I am pretty sure that the second book in the series will be even better and I get to see more of Seth! Yay!

Review: Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Title: Bloodspell
Author: Amalie Howard
Publication: June 1st 2011 by Langdon Street Press
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

-- My Rating --

3.5 / 5 Oscars: Liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     I have not been a fan of vampire stories after Twilight. They just never succeeded in adding something new to the mix of the paranormal genre. I appreciated this one because it combined the witch lore (which I love) and the vampire lore (which I am not a huge fan of).
     Victoria led a normal life, up until the day of her birthday. She is not a normal girl anymore, nor are the people around her. A vampire, a warlock, a witch and an auro-seeker. Her friends and enemies are not, and never were normal.
     The characters were typical in this book. The only word to describe them was typical. They reminded me of my friends, my enemies, and my family. It was a nice connection but there was nothing amazing or unique about them. The plot is moving fast-enough, but at sometimes, I felt like the romance between the two main characters, Victoria and Christian was too fast. They rushed at it, and it sucks, but it kinda reminded me of Fifty Shades of Grey (probably because of the main character's name)
     This book has a couple of flaws, but it was intriguing enough to keep me turning the pages up into the night. Which I appreciated. It kept me distracted, which was the point of reading it. I don't really know if this was a standalone or a series, but either way, I am eager to know more about.

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Name of book: The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publication: April 1st 2012 by Scholastic
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Won @JeanBookNerd

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

-- My Rating --

3.5 / 5 Oscars: Liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     This book was a pleasant surprise. I still don't know if it's middle-grade or YA, but I think it bends more toward the middle grade genre. And I have no experience in the genre, but this book was a perfect dose of mischief and action.
     Sage is an orphan boy with a mysterious past in a cruel and magical world. But one day, a lord takes him and three other boys under his wing. But the lord has a plan, a treacherous plan. A plan to make one of the boys, the lost prince of the country. And the three others won't get out of it alive. So Sage must use his one chance of survival. He MUST become the prince, or die trying.
     If that is not intriguing enough, then what it? Well there were a lot of things that I liked about this book. The first being the world-building, it was subtle, but when it was there, it was perfect. I loved it that the author provided a map of the country and its surrounding lands. The second thing that I liked was the characters. Sage is a wonderful, understandable teenage-boy. He is around my age group, so I could relate to him, though his bravery and sarcasm were over-the-edge at times.  Also loved the HUGE cast of supporting characters, specially Imogen and Tobias. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series!

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Name of book: Beautiful Creatures (The Caster Chronicles #1)
Author(s): Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Publication: December 1st 2009 by Little, Brown and Company
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Owned

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

-- My Rating --

4/5 Oscars: really liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     Fantasy has always been my genre. Add a bit of paranormal, a touch of romance, and everyone will get hooked. Although I am not a fan of long series, this one looks like it might get to the top of my favorites shelf. No wonder it's a New York Times bestseller...
     Ethan thought he lived in a small town where everyone knew every one's secrets. Where boredom lurked in the shadows and nothing new happened. But he was wrong. Everything changes in Gaitlin, when the mysterious Lena Ducheness arrives. She will turn Ethan's life upside down. Steal his heart away. And he will learn that his small town is build on secrets darker than a moon-less night.
     The mystery and the revelations were the first thing that captured me in this book. The anticipation of the end, of the first kiss, of whatever was next, was wonderful. I don't know how the two authors worked it out, but it flowed flawlessly.
     These reviews for the popular books are always the hardest to write, since there are so many reviews out there, that you don't know what new things to write about it. One thing that is sure about this is that I am dying to go back into Lena and Ethan's world. Such a diverse bunch of great characters...

ARC Review: This Is W.A.R. by Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker

Title: This Is W.A.R.
Author(s): Lisa Roecker, Laura Roecker
Publication: July 2nd 2013 by Soho Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

This is W.A.R. begins with a victim who can no longer speak for herself, and whose murder blossoms into a call-to-arms. Enter four very different girls, four very different motives to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan, and only one rule to start: Destroy James Gregory and his family at any cost. Willa's initials spell the secret rallying cry that spurs the foursome to pool their considerable resources and deliver their particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won—and the pursuit of the truth ultimately threatens to destroy them all.

-- My Rating --

4/5 Oscars: Really liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     I love thrillers, ones that make your skin crawl and your hear beat faster. Ones that make you wanna catch the culprit right now, even though you know he cannot be caught. I loved experiencing these emotions in this book.
     When friends; Willa, Lisa, Sloane, and Madge go out on a party in a yacht, they will never expect what happens. And when Willa drowns, everyone on the boat, including Rose Mcaann know that it was James Gregory who killed her. But when James doesn't get caught, it's up to Madge, Sloane, Lisa and Rose to do whatever they can to bring him down.
     These two authors have created characters that rhyme. That fit together. These four girls are so different, yet, you could see them as best friends anytime. The action in this book drowned you in it, you get immersed in the story and you just don't want to let go.
     I have to say that I didn't expect the ending, and some part of it was really messed up. I still don't know where the authors are planning to take this book in the next sequel, but it will surely be AMAZING. Just as this was.

Review: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Title: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Author: Bella Forrest
Publication: December 14th 2012
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind author...

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

-- My Rating --

3.5 / 5 Oscars : Liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     I have noticed, through these couple of years that I have started reading paranormal, many of the books that deal with vampires are replicas of Twilight. This one was not. It was a mixture of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and some other third material that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
     Sophia is a normal seventeen-year-old girl. But when she is kidnapped and taken to a place where the sun never shines, she will learn that walking all alone at night is never a good idea. And that the only way to survive in a place where everyone wants to drink your blood, is to make Derek Novak fall in love with her, head over heels.
     The characters in this book were typical. Sophia was brave, although sometimes i couldn't just fathom how she could be so calm when she had the chance of being eaten every second. I loved her calm manner, at times. Derek is a babe. He is a great guy but he reminded me of Edward, which I didn't like, at all. This book was enjoyable in its own way, but I had one complaint, it finished too soon. I felt like it was rushed, and the ending came too soon.
     Although not my favorite book, but i will continue with this series to see where Ms. Bella Forrest will take it from here.

Review: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

Title: Glamorous Illusions (Grand Tour Series #1)
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publication: June 1st 2012 by David C. Cook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Provided by the kind publisher..

When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

-- My Rating --

4.5 / 5 Oscars: Loved it...

-- My Thoughts --

     I have not read many reviews of this book and I had not heard of the author before, but I was totally missing out. I was not such a great fan of historical fiction, but this book made me want to read every single historical book that is out there!
      Cora's life was normal up until she discovered that she is the daughter of a copper king. And now, she has to go on the Grand Tour with his three arrogant. children. The Grand Tour is a tour of self-discovery and knowledge and Cora will learn much more about herself than she had ever dreamed. She will make new friends, possible love interests and might even fall in love.
      I absolutely adored the idea of the Grand Tour in this novel. I had not heard of it before, although it might not be called original, it was still a great introduction into that time frame of history. Ms. Bergren's cast of characters were versatile, unique and equally adorable. Cora is a girl you will root for, and eventually love. A girl you wish you were. Pierre and Will are genuine love interests and I fell for them both. Specially Pierre and his charm. I still can't decide which one I lean on to.
     Ms. Lisa has added elements of romance and history into a novel that is as memorable as an actual true story. I am looking most forward to reading the second book in this series, which will surely be even better...

Review: Second Stone by Kelly Walker

Title: Second Stone (Souls of The Stones #2)
Author: Kelly Walker
Publication: February 15th 2013 by Kelly Walker
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind author...

With her prince by her side, Emariya Warren begins the journey to Sheas to confront her uncle and bring her father home. 

Only days after leaving the castle, the devastating news of her brother's continued treachery threatens to tear Torian and Emariya apart. But before Emariya can try to repair the rift between her and her prince, she must first answer one important question. Why can't she wake up?

-- My Rating --

4/5 Oscars: Really liked it...

-- My Thoughts --

     I am always weary about the second books in series. New Moon (Twilight #2) was too depressing, Torment (Fallen #2) didn't capture me at all. So, you can guess my doubts about this. Fortunately, Second Stone was as intriguing and as lovely as the first book. 
     Emariya and Torian have tested the saying "love conquers all" a lot of times but their hearts are still in conflict. But suddenly, Emariya finds herself lost in darkness, in emptiness and she cannot seem to wake up. Will love truly conquer all or will their enemies finally be able to tear them apart?
     In this book, we are familiar with the characters. They have grown on us, so now, we can be able to tell them apart and root for them more. The character development of Emariya and Torian was inevitable. They got to taste the power of true love. But what really set this apart from me, was the secondary characters. They are unique and add so much to the story.
     Although this book was a little predictable at times, it's still very enjoyable. I loved what I felt through it, and I cannot wait to see what Kelly Walker is going to do for the rest of this series....