Monday, February 28, 2011

Daily Dose [3]

**check it out!**

ARC Review: Bloodthirsty

Flynn Meaney

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: October 2010

Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 240

Author Site:

My Rating: 5/5

Source: Won from giveaway from Yankee Romance Reviewers


Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls. Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before--he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part. With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it's surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal. But, when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that his life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected. This hilarious debut novel is for anyone who believes that sometimes even nice guys-without sharp teeth or sparkly skin--can get the girl.


Finbar is definitely at an awkward and lonely stage in his life. His twin brother, Luke, may not be the smartest guy in school but he pretty much excels at everything else. And to top off his popularity and sport skills he attracts all the girls. Finn on the other hand gets walked all over. He spends most of his time avoided kids at school and watching chick flicks with his mom on the weekend. He has a tough time standing up for himself and he happens to be allergic to the sun, which definitely doesn’t make him seem any cooler. So when he starts his junior year at a public school he decides he needs to do something different… He decides he’ll become a vampire.

But Finn doesn’t expect that he’ll actually make friends with his own personality at his new school. And he certainly doesn’t expect that he’ll meet a girl that actually likes him for him. Add in the fact that being a vampire is a lot tougher than one would think… he may just be in WAY too over his head this year.

I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy Bloodthirsty as much as I did. And I admit, at the beginning, I didn’t really like the book very much. Sure it was snarky and mildly funny but it came off a bit annoying as well. But as I got more into the book I really started to like Finbar and the mildly funny turned into laugh-out loud. First off, Finbar is just a hilarious name. And I can’t believe his parents would curse one son and let the other off the hook. Of course there was a pretty hilarious part where Finn goes on a tangent about how he got all the crappy genes and then got the crappy name when he was born. Speaking of Finn’s parents, they are pretty funny on their own and definitely stand out as characters. I also liked how Luke wasn’t an ass. I mean he’s got it all compared to Finn and I sort of expected him to be a jerk. But he definitely wasn’t and that made the story better.

I really enjoyed the “coming-of-age” feel of the novel. Finn grows and matures while still keeping his quirky attitude about life intact. Meaney completely won me over with Finn’s personality. The supporting characters had just the right amount of development. They all had a significant amount of personality that didn’t take anything away from the point of the story. With vampires being the forefront in a lot of books and movies out right now, Bloodthirsty is a really fun and funny addition that I recommend to everyone.

P.S. (cover talk)

My copy was an ARC so I had this purple book with red font on it that made no sense whatsoever. However, if I may comment on the other two covers I’ve seen: The one I included above is my favorite. It depicts Finn pretty well and captures his quirky personality. The other cover has a white heart with fangs against a black background and it just seems weird to me. Cute, but weird =)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Arrivals

For Review:

  • My Foolish Heart :: Susan May Warren
    (May 2011 - Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
  • The Shepherd :: Ethan Cross
    (March 2011 - The Fiction Studio)
  • A World I Never Made :: James LePore
    (April 2009 -  Story Plant)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Winners!

The winner of Dark Song by Gail Giles is:

The winner of Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (+ cupcake earrings) is:

The winner of the CSN Stores Gift Code is:

Shiela Hickman

Congrats! I've emailed everyone and you have until the end of Tuesday, March 1st to contact me back. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Indefensible

Pamela Callow

Series or Stand Alone: Kate Lange series, book two

Release Date: December 2010

Publisher: Mira

Pages: 502

Author Site:

My Rating: 5/5

Source: Received for review from Planned TV Arts


When Elise Vanderzell plummets from her bedroom balcony one gorgeous summer night, her children awaken to a nightmare.

Their mother is dead.

Their father is charged with her murder.

Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She's survived the darkest period of her troubled life and the wounds are still raw. Now she's been handed a case that seems utterly unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor's dream suspect, Randall is a man who was cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who could not control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of the children.

With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall's teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the entire legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall receive a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting for the perfect time to deal the final blow.


I never really considered myself a big thriller/suspense kind of girl but I think I’m converting into one. I think I especially like a really well written, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, can’t-stop-turning-the-pages kind of suspense novel. I couldn’t really find anything wrong with Indefensible. I enjoyed the heck out of it! It’s the second in a series and I didn’t feel lost at all. The characters were so well developed that I got a really good sense of everyone’s personality and a pretty good idea of the story introduced in the previous novel.

Kate Lange is recovering from a near-death attack by a serial killer and she’s back at her the law firm. She’s not completely whole because she still has horrible nightmares and she’s still physically recovering from the ordeal. She’s also wondering about the tension between her and Randall Barrett, her boss. Is he interested in Kate? Does she want him to be interested in her after all that she’s been through recently? Before Kate can really examine her thoughts and answer her internal questions, Randall’s ex-wife is murdered. She quickly finds herself smack in the middle of a broken family and defending a case that seems impossible to win.

Kate’s ex-fiance, Ethan, is one of the leading homicide detectives on the case. He tries not to let his bias opinion of Randall shape his work in finding his ex-wife’s killer but it’s a losing battle. Ethan has Randall pegged for the murder and he’s not the only one. Everyone seems to think Randall did it including his law firm. Having blacked out after drinking too many drinks, Randall isn’t sure if he’s innocent or not. Could he really have hurt Elise? Could his angry and bitter son have killed her and named Randall the murderer? Or was Elise so depressed that she threw herself off the balcony?

Indefensible is filled with questions, doubt, pain, intrigue and And as I mentioned before, it’s really well written. Coming in a little over 500 hundred pages I hardly noticed the length because I just wanted more of the story. I liked all of the characters. Each of them is misunderstood in some aspect and I look forward to finding what exactly what happened between Ethan and Kate and Kate and Randall. It’s not really a love-triangle per se but it’s definitely an added bonus to the story.

I loved how Cowell could pack emotions into her characters and story. Randall’s children are really put through a lot in the novel. I could really get a sense of Nick’s anger towards his father and I felt horrible for what Lucy was going through. These kids were broken after their mother died. I had a tough time not feeling bad for Randall either. I didn’t know if he killed Elise and neither did he. But he wasn’t the horrible person he was portrayed to be in the beginning. Yeah, he sucked as a father but he was still hurting as well.

And of course the twist in the novel came out of nowhere. I remember reading the chapter where the killer is introduced and I just shook my head and said “Oh, no…” It was funny because I was in front of my family at the time. But even though the killer is introduced a good two thirds into the novel, it didn’t take anything away from the story. I was still sucked in. I’m definitely going to be reading Damaged as soon as I can and I’m excited to get my hands on the next installment, Tattooed, which is scheduled to be released January 2012.

I definitely recommend Indefensible to any suspense lover. It’s exciting, heart-breaking, and filled with an emotional weight that will have you turning those pages until you finish. It can be read as a stand-alone novel but I’m sure it would be a better reading experience if you start with Damaged.

P.S. (cover talk)

It goes really well with the first book. I love themed covers, they make me happy =)

Friday Finds [49]

I usually add a lot of books on my TBR list throughout the week. This is just a small glimpse into the ones that were added on recently. Maybe you'll find something you like =)

Please let me know your thoughts on a book you've read from the list. Or tell me about a good book you've found this week.

My Finds This Week:

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The winner of Dust by Joan Frances Turner:

Michael Draper
(claimed =D)

The winner of Manifest by Artist Arthur:

Crystal Broyles
(claimed =D)

The winner of Wind and Fire by Cheryl Landmark:

(claimed =D)

Thanks for being patient with me and my announcement of the winners. I've emailed all of you and you have until the end of Saturday, February 26th to contact me back. Thanks so much for everyone who entered!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: The Ice Queen

The Ice Queen
Alice Hoffman

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: April 2005

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 211

Author Site:

My Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Paperbackswap


From the bestselling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.

She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets--what turned one to ice and the other to fire.

A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.


This is my first time reading Alice Hoffman but definitely not the last. The Ice Queen, while somewhat depressing at times, was almost lyrical and poetic in style. The nameless main character is introduced as a selfish child who thinks of no one but herself. She makes a foolish wish one icy January night and loses her mother. She then grows into a cold and distant woman who makes death and fairytales her forte. She isn’t really close to anyone, including her brother, and leads a very quiet life as a librarian. One night she carelessly makes another wish: to be struck by lightning. Instead of killing her, the lightning brings amazing and unbelievable changes to her life.

I was sucked in at the beginning. Hoffman has such a dramatic way with words. Her writing is simple and to the point. Yet, I felt a lot of emotion in her short sentences. I admit I did get a bit derailed in the meat of the story because it drags a little at times. Some of the parts are downright depressing and it felt like I was trudging along through the pages. But I admire Hoffman’s ability to put emotions into the story. The main character certainly isn’t a very happy person and that comes across very strongly. She’s not a mean or unkind person either. She just has a very cold personality and has a dreary outlook on life. She definitely isn’t a favorite character of mine. However, I still found myself liking her. It takes her a while to grow and change but I feel this novel is more of a journey anyway, so it’s okay.

I did have a little trouble wrapping my brain around the concept of the effects the lightning had on her and Lazarus. Maybe those effects were supposed to have an air of mystery about them. *shrugs* But I did enjoy the many references to the Grimm fairytales. I have yet to read any of the original Grimm fairytales and The Ice Queen definitely made me want to familiarize myself with them. The fairytales are important to the main character and who she is as a person. I liked the fact that they stayed throughout the novel with her.

I think my favorite part of The Ice Queen was the ending. The entire book was definitely a different reading experience for me but I came to really care about the main character in the end. I’m looking forward to reading more of Hoffman’s work; especially Practical Magic (loved the movie!). I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique story.

P.S. (cover talk)

Eh, it’s alright. Definitely has a distant and cold feel to it which matches the story and title. But honestly, I don’t really like it all that much.

Waiting on Wednesday [75] - It Happened One Bite


Blaire Lindsay's been warned that her ancestral home is haunted. But it will take more than tales of a ghost to frighten Blaire, a battle-born witch with supernatural strength and the ability to make sparks fly from her fingertips. Hearing spectral wails, she decides to search for their source, and is surprised to find a handsome young man chained to the dungeon wall. But when Blair frees James from his bonds, she quickly discovers she's unloosed far more than she could ever have imagined...Soon the castle is overrun with vampires whose perfect manners and compelling blood lust make for some very awkward moments, and Blair and James are joined in the fight of their lives to save everything they hold dear from the forces of evil...

Reason: I've heard wonderful things about Lydia Dare's other paranormal romance series and I saw this on goodreads and thought it sounded pretty good. I especially like the part in the synopsis that talks about the vampires' "perfect manners and compelling blood lust" making a lot of the moments awkward for the hero and heroine. Seems like it good be a fun time =)

Cover Discussion: It's nice. I'm not in love with it but I think it's romantic and I do enjoy the pink font against the blue background.

Expected Release Date: March 1st

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

Series or Stand Alone: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy, book two

Release Date: September 2008

Publisher: Quirk Classics

Pages: 317

Author Site: ,

My Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Received for review from publisher


"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.


So with three Quirk Classic books under my belt I have yet to read any original Jane Austen novel. I’ll be getting to the originals soon but I’m happy to report that PPZ (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) seemed to give me a good idea of the original novel. Of course PPZ also provides zombie-slaying, brain-eating, and katana-wielding fun along the way. Having really enjoyed the prequel to PPZ, Dawn of the Dreadfuls, I felt pretty confident I would enjoy PPZ.

England is infested with the undead and the Bennet family is, luckily, very skilled in the deadly arts. Mrs. Bennet would love for nothing more than for all of her daughters to put down their weapons and worry about more pressing issues; such as dancing at balls, worrying about society, and getting married. Mr. Bennet on the other hand has no problem with all of his daughters defending England against the dreadfuls. Heroine Elizabeth Bennet is very independent and isn’t at all interested in gentleman or marriage. That is until Mr. Darcy comes into her life.

Darcy is arrogant and proud and isn’t afraid to let the world know. Elizabeth frankly can’t stand him. It doesn’t matter that he is one of the best zombie-slayers around or that he is devilishly handsome. She’d rather beat the crap out of Darcy then hear his haughty words on any topic. But things change throughout the story and Elizabeth might have been a little too prejudice towards him.

I’ve read many a review that says PPZ stayed pretty true to Austen’s classic. I felt I got a pretty good understanding of what the story was about minus the zombie infestation. I was pretty bummed at the lack of zombies actually. There were references here and there, kind of nonchalantly thrown in which definitely added fun to the story. But frankly I could have used some more zombie action. I don’t know if Grahame-Smith was afraid to tarnish or mess up a classic by adding too much zombie flavor into it. If so, I completely understand the hesitation. However, I think if you sign up to extend a classic novel with paranormal additions you might as well give it all you’ve got. *shrugs*

Bottom line: I liked PPZ. I actually think reading PPZ will help me enjoy the original Pride and Prejudice when I get the chance to read it. I’m looking forward to seeing the original interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth. I want to know more about Jane and Bingley. And I want to see how wicked Wickham originally was. I’m excited about reading the last book in the PPZ trilogy as well. The author who wrote the prequel (which was really funny) is writing the conclusion. Can’t wait =)

P.S. (cover talk)

Not my favorite out of the Quirk books but still, it’s enough to grab anyone’s attention.

Daily Dose [2]

**check it out!**

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Arrivals


  • Keeping Faith :: Jodi Picoult(September 2008 - Avon)
    *from Paperbackswap
  • Dream Warrior :: Sherrilyn Kenyon(February 2009 - Piatkus Books)
    *from Paperbackswap

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday [59] - The Ice Queen

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

-Grab your current read
-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
-Please avoid spoilers!

Make me feel something, anything, in cold water, on a bed of ice, on a night so dark it's impossible to tell the difference between the earth and the sky. Let it happen again and again, time after time. Hurt me so I know I'm still alive. (87)

**Find out more about Teaser Tuesday at Join in the fun!**

Blog Widget by LinkWithin