Anxiously Awaiting...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars false

Ok, if you read my review of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Obsidian, you know that I was incredibly excited to read Half-Blood. I loved Obsidian and I was hoping that Half-Blood would help ease my Obsdian withdrawals. After reading Half-Blood, I am happy to say I am officially a Jennifer L. Armentrout super fan. I freaking loved it.

Let us start by admiring that beautiful cover. It sure is purrddyy!

Now I would like to discuss the story. Right from the first sentence things start out being awesome. The pacing of this novel is very good. It is exciting and it keeps you hooked. There was never a dull moment. I like that this is an original spin on Greek mythology. It changes the idea of demi-gods and creates a new and interesting world. It jumps off mythology and takes off into it's own territory. I like the action and the way the story progresses. Nothing feels forced including the romance. There is no insta love or shallow attractions that are attempted to be passed on as true love.

The protagonist and narrator, Alex is a fun, likable, and strong character. I really liked her. She is able to provide the humor that really makes the story enjoyable. Plus, she can kick ass. She is a great character and a worthy protagonist. I want to be best friends with her.

descriptionThe rest of the characters are interesting and believable as well. There is one in particular I feel needs a moment of appreciation: Aiden St. Delphi. He is just plain awesome! I love him! I really, really do! Words cannot describe the intensity of my devotion! Seriously, Jennifer L. Armentrout should start a Guy Factory because she sure knows how to make em!! How can I even attempt to describe Aiden St. Delphi!? Hmmm...I need a minute to gather my thoughts...*blushes and faints*

Oh my, I think my brain got overheated!
Aiden has quickly risen through the ranks of my Hall of Book Boyfriends. Rumors have it that he is one of the most favored...I will neither confirm nor deny said rumor...but yes he is one of my favorites! He hangs out with Four (Divergent Series), Will (The Infernal Devices Series), Jace (The Mortal Instruments Series), and Daemon (Lux Series). I am happy to say that Aiden made it past the first round of the Y.A. Sisterhood's Crush Tourney. Aiden is one of the sweetest, strongest, hottest, awesomest, hottest, handsomest, sexiest, book dudes out there. He is the entire package! If he were real, he would need to have a restraining order with my name on it...not that he would enforce it, that would make our honeymoon a wee bit awkward...

Jennifer ArmentroutI want to take a moment to let my psychologist know that I am completely aware that Aiden is a fictional character...I am also aware that Aiden is pure perfection!!!!!!! But seriously, I have a firm grip on reality! No need to worry about me. On an entirely different note, if anyone knows where I can contact a wizard that can help me bring Aiden to life, please email me or leave a comment below. Thank you.

Seriously though, you cannot go wrong with Aiden. Everytime I think about him, I faceplant the floor. His hotness is overwhelming...I find myself waiting for him to show up, shirtless, and ready to show me how to kick ass...he would rush in and take me into his strong, muscular arms and tw... oops, there I go again typing every thought that pops into my head. Sorry.
Now back to Half-Blood. This book is officially one of my favorites. It is entertaining, funny, exciting, and AWESOME!! Reading this book made my happy.


When I finished it, I felt like I had just made a life changing discovery. I wish I could unread it and read it again. It was just such a fun read!!!!!!!! Trust me you have to read this book! Jennifer L. Armentrout knows how to write an entertaining and fun novel. Her way of writing makes you feel like you know the characters and it makes you feel like you are having fun hanging out with them; she makes you worry when your friends are in danger; and she makes you swoon whenever the hot guys (AIDEN!!) appear. I needs me some more of this Covenant series.
Now if you excuse me, I am off to read the sequel, Pure.

I've used this once before (see Obsidian review), but I need to use it again because it is truer now than it was the last time:

I love you Jennifer L. Armentrout, I really do!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What I am Currently Reading:

Today I include a look at what book I am currently reading. That's right, I read and tell!! I know I am such a tease! 

Review for this book coming soon!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

"Clever fun."—Kirkus Reviews
"Incorporating suspense and romance, this contemporary, edgy, Grimm-based novel is an entertaining and well-written entry in the crowded but popular genre."—Booklist
"Smart, romantic and inspired, Sarah Cross's Kill Me Softly is storytelling at its finest. She breathes new life into familiar tales, twisting them in fantastically unexpected ways. This book blew me away!"--Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series
 Description from Goodreads:
Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.
In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

My Rating: 3.8 of 5 stars3.5

Well hello! I didn't see you there! Come in, sit down, and lets talk books. Today is all about Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. It is a good book. Sarah Cross is a wonderful story teller. I enjoyed her new look at fairy tales. This book is a refreshing vacation from the real; it takes you to a place you used to know well: fairytale land. It was great fun getting to see familiar characters in a new light.I loved Cross's new take on fairytales. When I finished this book I gave the following appropriate reaction:

So why no five stars?
Well, first I would like to point out that if you were to take a look at the last couple of reviews, you would notice that I skipped using the star ratings. Well in those cases I was just too in love, too much in rapture, with those books to even concern myself with giving stars. How can you rate awesomeness? (Here is where you would say, "By giving it five stars!") Well thank you for that, I will keep that in mind for next time...however, I would like to point out that sometimes when you smack your face on a forcefield of pure awesomeness, it can be difficult to translate your feelings to symbolic stars...those books were, simply speaking, a slice of heaven with whip cream (a.k.a deliciousness). Also, I think that, through my excessive reactions, a five star rating in those cases was clearly implied...
Ok, well now back to the matter at hand. This books deserves to be rated on a star scale because I feel that is the best way to describe it. It was good. It is well written and beautiful. The story is refreshing and intriguing. I would have given it five stars if it weren't for one big reason--which is about to be explained more fully.

There are two problems I have with this book:
1) The main character, Mirabelle is annoying. If it weren't for her and her unreasonableness, her confusing logic, her hypocrisy, and her fickleness, Kill Me Softly would now boast a five star rating from me. I like, perhaps love, ALL the other characters, even the bad ones. The only problem is that the protagonist is difficult to comprehend. Her motivations seem shallow and unrealistic. I cannot understand what exacly is so special about her. I cannot, for the life of me, grasp any good reason for any boy falling in love with her. It just doesn't add up! The problem lies in that I do not like her as a person. It's completely personal. There were times when I had thoughts of the troubling kind directed towards this young lady. I will not go into detail... 
lets just say I felt she needed to ease up on the stupid and up her doses of common sense...
Important note: Even though the main character and I didn't see eye to eye, I still greatly enjoyed reading this book. It is really good. I like the tone, the style, and the story. I repeat the one thing I didn't like was Mirabelle. Everything and everyone else was bomb diggity. Sarah Cross has a gift for storytelling. She also has a beautiful imagination. I just expected more from the protagonist.
Now on to the second issue I have with this book...
2) Where the F*** is the sequel?!!
I think this book deserves, no NEEDS, a sequel. There were so many issues that remained unsolved and I would really, really LOVE to see where the characters go from here. Even though I just finished complaining about Mirabelle, her story interests me (damn her!). I really liked this book and I do not feel the story really came to a close. Sarah Cross is a beautiful writer and I enjoyed the world she created and yes I want MORE!!! GIVE ME MORE!!!! ("That's what she said" ... Sorry about that, I couldn't stop myself. I should probably delete that...)

On Sarah Cross's Website she addresses the sequel issue with the following:
Will there be a sequel to Kill Me Softly? Are you going to write more books set in Beau Rivage?

...while I don't have immediate plans to write a direct sequel, I'd love to do one eventually. BUT (and here's the important part) there's no guarantee that any of those books will be published. When a publisher considers turning a standalone book into a series, they want to know that there will be a big enough audience for those future books--and they determine that based on the sales of the first book. In this case, Kill Me Softly.
So if you'd like to read more books set in Beau Rivage, here are a few things you can do to help: 1) buy a copy of Kill Me Softly (or a hundred copies if you're a millionaire; that would be great, too), 2) tell other readers about the book (tell your friends, blog or tweet about it, leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon, etc.), 3) contact my publisher and let them know how much you'd love to read a sequel or companion novels, 4) check out Kill Me Softly from the library or request that your library order the book if they haven't already, 5) tell your local indie bookseller about the book. Basically, anything you can do to get the word out!
In the meantime, I will be posting some (free) fairy-tale short stories online so you can get your Beau Rivage fix. 

I thank her for posting the free short stories, but I still want a sequel. Give us a Sequel!Please.

Ugh! I guess I shall just have to wish upon a star and be patient...
Is there a sequel yet?
NO! But I've been being patient!
Ugh! This is really hard!

Well before you go, I want you to know that I believe this book is really worth reading. Sarah Cross writes with a voice that clearly comes from someone who was born to tell stories.
My personal dislike of Mirabelle did not deter me from enjoying this book and I think you can enjoy it too. It is a fun read. Revisiting the fairytales I grew up with was a pleasant and exciting experience. I like the new perspective on the familiar stories.
This book is good.
Try it.

Here are some "Free Samples" also known as teasers:
“They said every year was a gift, not a guarantee, and ought to be celebrated accordingly.”
“Because, if you could love someone, and keep loving them, without being loved back... then that love had to be real. It hurt too much to be anything else.”
“You couldn't hide from bad things and pretend they didn't exist–that left you with a dream world, and dream worlds eventually crumbled. You had to face the truth. And then decide what you wanted.”
“It was hard to be honest, to open up, and reveal something that sounded crazy. Because once you told someone the truth, that person had a piece of you—and they could belittle it, destroy it. They could turn your confession into a wound that never healed.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Description from Goodreads:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. 

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

*Sighs* How can I describe this book? Could I compare it to a summer's day? I could. Will I? Hmmm...Should I? Well since you insist, Ok!
Oh, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor,
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Well I said I would so here I go!
(Allow me to apologize in advance
For what is about to occur).
Ok, now back to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Like summer you are awesome,
Except only more so.
Also like a summer's day,
you are very fun and enjoyable.
You are also super cool, super cool,
(but not temperature wise, personality wise).
But you are more sunny than summer,
But in a metaphorical, nonliteral way.
Your sunshine is eternal,
again in a metaphorical way.
I can visit your warmth any time I want,
I need only to flip a few pages.
So long as I can reach you,
So as long as I can read you,
So long lives this,
and this gives life to me.
You are eternal summer,
eternal sunshine.  
There! That wasn't so bad, was it? Feel free not to insult me. Well if the horrible wannabee sonnet wasn't enough to let you know how much I enjoyed this book then I would like the guys from The Big Bang Theory to demonstrate the proper response to this book:

Thank you guys, that is all for now.

There is nothing like finding a book that is just plain...what's the word...
Yes, awesome, thank you little ponies! Helpful little ones, aren't they? So as we were saying: awesome. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful, original, funny, compelling, unique, wonderful, fantastic, creative, interesting, beautiful (must be said twice), and lovely novel. And no, I am not finished yet. It is that good. It is so original that you can't be sure where you are going until you get there. Laini Taylor creates a world that draws you in and keeps you engrossed throughout the entire journey. You can't guess at the conclusion, you have to let the author guide you to it. I would describe this novel as an unveiling. It's is the dance of the Seven Veils--though this is more akin to a dance of sixty veils. As you read you get glimpses of truth, yet you reside in constant uncertainty.With every chapter you get to see more and more pieces of the puzzle, yet you have no idea what it's supposed to be. The mystery keeps you enthralled. You can grab bits of truth, but all you can do is stare at them because you don't know how to make them fit, well at least not until the author reveals what you have only been guessing at. In the end when the curtain finally falls and you see how everything fits together, then you say, "holly crap!"

Seriously, this book is an adventure. I am so glad I got it for myself (thank you, me!)(you are welcome, me!). I love all of the characters! I even like the ones I don't like because they serve a purpose in the story. Karou is awesome and her best friend is awesome and...everything is just awesome. I need to stop using that word, but I cant help that I am in a state of perpetual awe! Trust me, it all just works. If you really want a break from the normal, mundane, and typical, this book is for you. It stays away from the typical formulas and moves onto uncharted territory. Albert Einstein said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Well, Laini Taylor must be a hell of a genius and while writing this book she must have taken her genius to Disneyland and it obviously had a BLAST!

Taylor's writing is beautiful. My favorite quote involves advice regarding penises...don't be a perv! It is insightful AND funny! Yes, this novel seamlessly manages to mix comedy, with action, drama, romance, and FANTASY! The structure is a little different, there are some flashbacks that interrupt the story in moments where you are like, "what about the other stuff!?" But the flashbacks are necessary! So be patient and enjoy the journey.

I loved reading this book. ...

Then there is the ending. 
It left me...
Yes, dying. DYING for MORE; I am dying for the sequel. It left me hanging off a freaking cliff!
There is a moment where I was shocked and I hoped I was mistaken and hadn't just read what I had just read. I must confess, I got a little twitchy...
 But when I realized that there had been no mistake, I am sorry to say I allowed myself to be taken a very dark was a very difficult time for me...
...I don't want to talk about it.

But I have recovered.
Now I am just waiting for the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, which comes out November 06.
Days of Blood and Starlight

Is it here yet?
How about now?
still no!
Damn! I guess I'll keep going with this review...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful fantasy, but there is a cliffhanger, so November 06 better hurry on up because I NEED to know what happens next! I love how I don't think I can begin to guess what direction Laini Taylor will take me. I just have to put my trust or her talent and creativity and believe that it is somewhere beautiful. And believe me when I say I believe!

I got an "exclusive extended preview" of Days of Blood and Starlight from the Little, Brown, and Company booth at SD Comic-Con. It is seventy-six pages of pure teasery! Already I can see that this sequel is going to be amazing and as a result, my condition has been worsened. Like a shark who has tasted blood I am in a frenzy, but alas I cannot satisfy my need until November 06 gets here. So instead I will attack anything chocolate. That's right! Laini Taylor you are responsible for the death of any and all chocolate beings I come into contact with between now and November 06, for shame! But in all honesty, though I have great need for the sequel I am not in despair (or a frenzy, I apologize to all chocolate beings for getting excited and going too far with my threats). I have hope. HOPE. I think Laini Taylor manages to center her whole novel around that one thing: hope. She manages to transmit hope onto to the ending and ultimately unto the reader. It's all about hope. It is in every chapter, every sentence. Hope.

I will end my review by saying, Daughter of Smoke and Bone has earned a spot in my bookshelf next to my Neil Gaiman books. I know, that is big.

And with great hope I look forward to Days of Blood and Starlight.

 Now here take some awesome Free Samples of Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him.” 

“Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.”

“I know it's not easy for you, living this life, but try to remember, always try to remember, you're not the only one with troubles.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”   
“...You are not just going to vanish like this, Karou. This isn't some goddamn Narnia book.”

“Like mold on books, grow myths on history.” 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Diary (or my first San Diego Comic-Con experience!)

Monday July 16, 2012

Dear Diary,

On Friday July 13th I made my first trip to the San Diego Comic-Con...

So how was it? was like this:

It was awesome!
I had so much fun!!!
I wish to repeat this experience next year! Hopefully I will be able to score badges for more than one day!

So many awesome things happened!

The people were super nice! So easy to make new friends!
Obi-Wan Kenobi freaking gave me a bow! I was in AWE!

Wait there is more!

I got to meet Author Marie Lu. She gave me a signed copy of Legend and Prodigy! Prodigy doesn't come out until January 29, 2013!!!

Me and the awesome Marie Lu!!
An exclusive Comic-Con edition of Legend! Sweet!

An ARC of Prodigy! Even Sweeter!
She signed them!!!

Glad I stopped by the Penguin Group booth! They were super sweet and happy to share the swag!

I also got a bunch of free bookish swag!
Special thanks to Little, Brown & Company,
Simon & Shuster,
Random House Publishing Group,
and the San Diego County Library
because their booths had awesome free stuff!

Here are some of the things I got at their respective booths (no particular order):

Free extended preview of a book I am dying for!! I need this sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone!! November 06, get yo ass here!!
Ps. Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone will be up here tomorrow!

Free book!!!
free preview!

Free book, and yea it's in Spanish! Awesome.

yea it's signed!! Orson Scott Card is super nice!! He made sure i got a signed sample...And now I need this book!!

Preview of The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. You can also get a free preview at the Barnes and Noble Website

So yea it was an awesome day!! At first I was a bit bumbed that I missed the Community and The Legend of Korra panels, but things got way better and yea I got free stuff and suprise! I still got to see some of the Legend of Korra people!

Mako (David Faustino) and Korra (Janet Varney

The dude in the red shirt is Mike DiMartino, one of the creators!!

Still can't believe Korra is blonde!! Hi Janet Varney!!!She's pretty and nice!

Yea!  Got three high-fives from this awesome dude! Me and P.J. Byrne (Bolin) are best buds now!

Here are some random Comic-Con pictures!

Me pondering whether or not I should risk my life for a free t-shirt.
Me concluding that no shirt is worth loss of life
....wait it's an Iron Man 3 shirt...
Well that changes things!

Jason Biggs!!!

Hot Teen Wolf people. Never seen the show...

but for some reason I think I should start watching Teen Wolf...such a beautiful smile! that dude is yummy!

no explanation needed.

Awesome couple! Iron Man and Loki FOREVER!!!

mmmm....You ever notice how Iron Man looks even better from behind!?

Two Face and Batman!

Our Vampire-Slaying 16th President!

So in Conclusion,

Comic-Con =