Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Teaser Tuesday (11): Torment (Fallen, #2)

Teaser Tuesday: Torment (Fallen, #2)
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
·Grab your current read
·
Open to a random page
·
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Lauren Kate
Publication Date: September 28, 2011
Pages: 452
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Description from Goodreads: 
Hell on earth.

That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.
At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous.What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series...where love never dies
.




Teaser:
      " "Moments like this," he said, "make everything we've had to go through worthwhile." 
       Then he kissed her as he'd never kissed her before. " (page 209).

Oh the cheesiness.... I decided to coincide my Fallen reading marathon with Random House Canada's Olympic Readathon with a goal of 2000 pages. Since each full length book is at least 400, I figure it'll put a nice dent in my count. 

What's your teaser this Tuesday? Leave a link and I'll be sure to stop by! 

IT IS ALSO THE LAST DAY FOR THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY! GO ENTER!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

As a part of Just A Lil' Lost's Summer Read-A-Long: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pages: 417
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Source: Bought It
Book Description from Goodreads: 
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?




Review:
     Mysterious Karou lives a double life that borders on the impossible. On one hand she's a normal teenager that takes in the simple pleasures of life in Prague - attending art school, eating in café's with her best friend Zuzana and trying to get over her recent heartbreak. But by night she turns away from all that to slip into the dark world of supernatural creatures to do their bidding, which takes her around the world and smack dab into danger.

     If that striking blue feathered mask on the cover doesn't catch your attention, the intrigue in the synopsis will. This is one of those books where the cover isn't just purely for aesthetics - it's a part of the story, you'll just have to read to find out how though. 

     The book starts by introducing us to the very snappy Karou and taking us through the basics of her normal life: her recent breakup, and her art. In this beginning she seemed like any other teenager, and when she shows her art book filled with all these fantastical creatures I really had a hard time believing that any of them might be real. I was as fooled as her closest friends. But it isn't until her ex shows up, and she starts taking us on a crash course of her younger years that were riddled with magic and creatures known as chimaera that I started believing in this fantastical world.
     
     Karou is definitely a strong character, she's been taught to be self reliant, she can defend herself and she's clever. She's also got a few little tricks up her sleeve that put power behind the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". But she's also been irritatingly content with not asking about her past and it isn't until a chance encounter with the striking Akiva that unravels her life, that makes her start digging.

     Starcrossed lovers seem to be a big theme recently, there's just something about a love that transcends time itself that captivates an audience. Daughter of Smoke and Bone follows the usual formula of love and loss, but it was still an amazing journey to find out what the story behind it all was. 

     This is one of those books where it's impossible to speed read through it. Trust me, I tried and my brain would just get tangled up in the descriptively poetic and languidly phrased sentences that Taylor crafts, or I'd completely miss a crucial plot point buried in the descriptions. It's a book that needs to be slowly appreciated for all the meticulous details that go into describing Prague and all the locales Karou visits. Taylor's world building is top notch and makes the book come to life, I could definitely feel the hustle and bustle of a Marrakesh market or the unique décor of Karou's favourite haunt. 

     Taylor takes us on a whirlwind adventure of self discovery that takes the reader into this incredible fantasy world that focuses on the old theme of the war between Angels and Demons. I loved the huge reveal at the end and that it connected to the hints Taylor dropped throughout the beginning of the book. But the ending left me a bit stunned by suddenly dropping the biggest part of the story and leaving it to drift in the wind in order to build suspense for the next novel.
Overall: 4/5 Cups of Hot Tea!
I enjoyed the book overall, the world building was incredible - but like Michele @ Just A Lil' Lost mentioned, the plot does tend to get lost in between. Nonetheless I think I will be snatching up the sequel Days of Blood and Starlight when it comes out this November.  

Friday, 27 July 2012

Review: Intuition and Intangible by J. Meyers

Intuition (Intangible #0.5) by J. Meyers

Author: J. Meyers
Publication Date: October 17, 2011
Pages: 51
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: Free for Amazon Kindle Here
Book Description from Goodreads:
Luke and his twin sister Sera have unusual abilities. Hers is a gift - she can heal with a touch of her hand. His is a curse - he can see the future but he can't do anything about it.
On a hike up the mountain, Luke has a vision unlike any other - one that leaves him terrified. Knowing that it will come true - and that he must do everything in his power to stop it - leaves his own future uncertain.






Review:
     This was a great intro to the Intangible series. We get a run down of who Luke and Sera are and their abilities.


     Luke sees the future. He gets a feeling of "impending doom", you know when you're hesitant about going into a situation because you just know something's going to go wrong, that's how I'd like to describe his precognition state. Then he sees a vision of someone else and usually something terrible is about to happen to them.  


      Sera can heal people, actually she can heal their immediate injury and then her powers end up going above and beyond by repairing pretty much everything that might have ever been wrong with them, mentally or physically.


     Not to fret, they take the "with great power comes great responsibility" motto to heart because they're akin to unsung teenage superheroes that use their powers to save people and cure diseases, that kind of stuff.


     Luke's not all that thrilled with his powers because while he can see something terrible about to happen, he can't change a darn thing. He gets there miliseconds before it happens and all he can do is helplessly watch it unfold and let Sera pick up the pieces afterwards. Luke's frustration with his power becomes a major component of Intangible later on, when he has one of the most terrifying visions to date.


     Meyers absolutely captured my attention with Luke and Sera's sibling relationship, which was reflected really well in the cover. It was genuinely warm, affectionate and full of witty banter that only twins could get away with (there was a lot of finishing eachother's sentences). The vision at the end definitely had me intrigued for what was going to happen in Intangible.

Overall: 4/5 Hot cups of tea! It's a light and informative read. It's not completely necessary to read this before Intangible. But I found that it did help me comprehend the opening scenes a bit better.


Intangible (Intangible #1) by J. Meyers

Author: J. Meyers
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Pages: 264
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: A review copy was provided by the author, Thank You!
Book Description from Goodreads:
Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret - she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they've helped those in need on the sly. They've always thought of their abilities as being a gift.
Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they've always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke's ability? He's always right. And he can't do anything about it.






Review:
      Intangible manages to take some common fantasy elements such as paranormal abilities, vampires and other supernatural creatures that wouldn't normally go together and collects them into this really captivating story.
     
     The cover, while gorgeous in its simplicity didn't make much sense to me until part way through the book. It all clicked and it was a huge "OOOHHH" moment for me. I love it when covers do this, it takes the reader into the story a bit deeper.

     Intangible starts with Luke having an ominous vision that has been building in layered complexity since the end of Intuition. Each time he gets a little bit more to try and solve this puzzle before something terrible happens to Sera, but it's not that easy with so many variables out of his control. 


      The story is told from several different character's points of view. It was a bit confusing at first, and a bit unsettling looking through the eyes of possible villains as each of their individual actions culminated to the grand finale. 

      In the bigger picture, the plot centers on a prophecy that everyone seems to know about, except Luke and Sera of course. The other characters are either trying to avert it or make it come true - it could pan out to be a blessing or a total disaster. Soon it becomes a race between species - each with their own motive to capture the twins - dead or alive.


     Whenever I see twins, they're always inseparable. There's just something about sharing a womb for 9 months that makes them always in sync with each other. I'm really glad that Meyers managed to capture this kind of relationship so successfully and even spun the protective older brother dynamic into it.   

      The main players of the story are Luke and Sera. Luke is a really likeable character, he's easy going, jokes around and is just plain fun. But when he has a vision - especially a potentially deadly one, his mood completely shifts and it's like there's this brooding black cloud over his head as he tries in vain to avert the future. Eventually it eats at him, and it's pretty heart breaking to see such a genuinely good guy try so hard and not get very far. 


      Sera on the other hand is much more quiet and reserved. While her powers allow her to do great things she always distances herself from everyone to protect herself and Luke from any possible heartache that might come of someone knowing about their powers - it's a hard lesson they've had to learn. But temptation in the form of a very attractive and interesting young man comes knocking - and she soon finds herself at odds with her own rules. What I really admire about Sera is she always does what she feels is right for anyone that may need help. This time though, helping someone creates some of the most terrifying consequences to date. 


      The secondary characters who also act as narrators every now and then; harbour some of the biggest secrets ever, and probably the best part of the story was learning what they were, along with their own personal back stories. 
    
      Meyer's writing style is extremely effective in the subject matter being conveyed. She uses clear concise sentences that paint vivid actions and expressions on the characters. 


     The ending was pretty spectacular, I wasn't sure how Meyer was going to pull it all off - but each individual string is brought together at the end and tied up neatly in a very satisfying bow with a little sneak peak as to what she has in store for the next part of this epic tale, which I am definitely excited for! 


Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea! 
The whole precognition aspect kept me glued to the story - wondering how this whole thing was going to turn out. Meyers takes the mythology about creatures you thought you knew about - and puts a surprising twist on them! 


      
     
   

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Herbal Tea: Sweet Dreams - Organic


Herbal Tea: Sweet Dreams - Organic
Ingredients: Organic: Chamomile flowers, lemongrass, fennel seeds, hibiscus flowers, lemon peel, orange peel, licorice root, lemon myrtle, rose petals, flavouring. 


     


     Chamomile is a common tea drunk to soothe the mind and body before bed, so it's no surprise it's the main ingredient of a tea called Sweet Dreams.

     But while the chamomile and rose provide a sweet floral taste, I'm pretty sure the hibiscus is just there for show. There's also a nice zing from the lemongrass, citrus peels and spice from the fennel. However the licorice adds a bitterness that's a bit too distinct for my liking. It is a nice tea to sip while relaxing before bed with a good book, but it's not anything special to me. 

Overall: 3/5 Cups of Drinkable Tea 
It was soothing and helped me relax, but I'm not a fan of licorice, and that was just what turned me off it. 
 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (12): Ten

Waiting on Wednesday (11): Ten
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases
 

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Expected Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Description from Goodreads:
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine.

This kind of reminds me of this mini-series Harper's Island mixed with The Ring. Murder mystery and horror mayhem on an island? Sounds like it could be interesting! 

What's your Waiting on Wednesday this week? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by! 

Also, my 6 Months blogging celebration giveaway is still going on for another 7 days, so be sure to enter Here 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Teaser Tuesday (10): Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Teaser Tuesday: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do as following:
·Grab your current read
·
Open to a random page
·
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 417
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Book 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?




Teaser:

     "He moved at speed, onward toward another human city to find another doorway bitter with the devil's magic, and after that another, until all bore the black handprint.
     In far reaches of the world, Hazael and Liraz were doing the same. Once all the doors were marked, the end would begin.
     And it would begin with fire." (page 59).

I haven't gotten too far into this yet, I'm reading it for Just A Lil' Lost's Summer read-a-long for July, I've been seriously slacking in the reading department. 

What are you guys reading this Tuesday? Link me up in the comments and I'll be sure to swing by! 

Also, my 6 Months blogging celebration giveaway is still going on for another 8 days, so be sure to enter Here


Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers


This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 323
Genre: YA, Horro, Zombies
Source: Bought it







Book Description from Goodreads:
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.
To Sloan Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.
But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life - and death - inside.
When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Review:
Zombies and I generally don’t get a long. I can’t watch the movies, or play the video games without squealing at zombies jumping up at my face - needless to say, I probably won’t survive in the zombie apocalypse for very long. So zombies and I have this long standing truce where I’ll try and enjoy them as a novelty horror item, instead of considering all the possibilities that might change humans into mindless undying cannibals. But this perspective shifted when I started watching the show “The Walking Dead”, sure it involves zombies, but it’s more of a drama with zombies as a backdrop.

That’s exactly how I felt about This is Not a Test, it uses zombies as a stressor in the background, but what we’re really focusing on is human interactions. It does however follow the usual struggle for survival, barricades and mad dashes formula that is common in zombie movies - but really what else do you do in that kind of situation? So the world has ended, these six students take refuge in their high school. You’d think that not much could happen in a safely barricaded building with food and water right? Boy was I ever wrong.

The cover for This is Not a Test is perfect for the book, but it creeps me out so much! The hair whipping in the wind, and covering the face makes me wonder if she’s human, or if once that hair passes it’s going to be this maggot riddled face with milky dead eyes, and a snapping hungry mouth. The spray of blood throughout the book makes me more and more sure it’s the latter.

The story starts by introducing us to Sloane Price, sitting in a bathtub with her fingers tracing her veins contemplatively. I could immediately pick up on the dark picture that Summers was drawing for the reader. Sloane’s so desolate in her existence, you could feel how bad her life was in her words, thoughts and actions - I craved to know what made her this way, and it doesn’t take long for readers to be introduced to the bane of her existence.

Everything starts spiralling downward fast as infected reanimated neighbours start knocking down doors and crashing through windows in their quest for flesh. Sloane makes a break for it into the streets, and winds up with a rag tag group of teenagers back at their high school days later. But Sloane’s lost the will to live, and when you find out why, you really can’t blame her. You’d think committing suicide during a zombie attack would be simple, but what I really loved about Sloane was that while she didn’t value her life anymore, she wasn’t going to take anyone else’s life away in her bid to die.

The cast of secondary characters are so colorful in their personalities, and role in the group.

There’s Cary - the stoner turned impressively awesome zombie apocalypse survivalist (see video games will totally pay off one day) and impromptu leader. He’s made some tough decisions to get them that far, and for that long - it’s difficult to argue with the results, but not everyone’s happy with his form of leadership and it becomes one of the main points of tension in the group.

Rhys the good looking, bad boy who amazingly harbours some serious bludgeoning skills and the fortitude to do some really risky but really brave acts, especially when it comes to Sloane. Sloane’s penchant for wanting to die takes these two through some really tense situations that end up bringing them closer together in really unexpected ways. He acts as Cary’s second in command, but to me he seems the most rational of the group when it comes to making decisions.

Then there’s the twins Trace and Grace. Trace is the classic jock of the school, so he has some serious roid rage at times that makes him just as scary as a zombie, but deep down inside I think he’s just really a scared little boy that wants his family to be safe. Grace on the other hand - who is just as popular as her brother, tended to be the calming balm to the group. She would soothe and look at the bright side of things, and pushed forward.

It’s just not a zombie apocalypse without the snivelling, psychologically traumatized kid. Enter Harrison, the youngest of the group and just about as useful as throwing marshmallows at attacking zombies.

While Summers presented an eclectic group, each had a distinct voice in the story, and soon I was wondering what their back story was, and how they managed to join up with this group. Summers definitely didn’t disappoint in this aspect and we got some really jaw dropping reveals that end up forever shifting the group dynamic. The writing style fits this situation perfectly, it’s blunt and to the point with moments of dizzying panic and introspection in just the right parts.

At one point in the story, Sloane remarks something along the lines that this whole situation feels like a reality show, and that’s likely the best way to describe what happens in this school. It’s like a mix of Survivor and Big Brother. They have to work together to survive, but there’s also relationship drama, trust issues, back stabbing, people forming secret alliances and challenges where if they don’t figure out the problem it could literally mean death. And instead of a cushy million dollars at the end, they’ll be lucky to survive the night.

I couldn’t really predict where this story was going, everyday with this group was an adventure to read about. It’s a bit slow to start, and there’s lulls in between the action, but Summers takes the reader through a gruesome gauntlet at the end where she sprinkles bits of hope and savage desperation that will really make you question what will you fight for when the world ends.


Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
I went into this thinking it’d be just another zombie horror story, but it was a surprisingly thought provoking story. It’s definitely a must read for fans of The Walking Dead! 


Also, my 6 Months blogging celebration giveaway is still going on for another 9 days, so be sure to enter Here

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Hosted by Tynga

I had an awesome mail week! I got:



Won:
Bought:
  • Rapture (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate - I figured I might as well finish off the collection. I sense a Fallen marathon read coming on!
What'd you guys get this week? Link me up and I'll be sure to swing by!

Also, my 6 Months blogging celebration giveaway is still going on for another 11 days, so be sure to enter Here

Friday, 20 July 2012

Review: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini


Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 487
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Greek Mythology
Source: Bought it




Book Description from Goodreads:
Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.
Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to eachother. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

Review:
The Trojan War is one of my favorite stories of all time. There’s something about throwing it all away (really foolishly) for love, igniting tensions, starting an all-out war, and to have it all come crashing down around you in a rain of fire and blood, it just fascinates me. Angelini takes the Trojan War story and makes it the heart and soul of Starcrossed, but with a modern twist while weaving a new unique mythology into a classic.

I was definitely drawn to the windblown Grecian style dress on the cover. But I didn’t truly grasp the importance of the ominous clouds and the rolling violent ocean in the background of the island shore until later in the story.

Not much is solidly known about Helen of Troy, but when she’s imagined in books her god gifted beauty is always at the forefront and Starcrossed is no exception, I mean she is “The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships”. With such extreme beauty she tries her best to go unnoticed while hiding a host of secrets. She takes the phrase “painfully shy” to a whole new level, but when she finally finds out her true history she embraces herself a bit more and *insert training montage here* she gets pretty kick ass. I’m a bit conflicted about Helen, she’s not exactly the most intricate character ever, but I feel that she’s perfect for the role that she plays in the whole grand scheme of things. She acts as a catalyst for all these events, and an unwilling puppet. She lives her life, and in doing so the fates throw her into the path of Lucas Delos, that reignites an epic battle between ancient Greek houses and showing her a fate that is far bigger than she could have imagined.

Angelini weaves incredible imagery especially with the Furies, every time I think of them it’s all very Japanese ghost horror movie with the pale cold skin, dark hair over a gaunt face with blood and bone chilling cries.

The world building, which includes the usual modern small town with a highschool backdrop for the most part, but I feel like I get glimpses of a Greek theme that manage to slip their way into the buildings once in awhile. Where Angelini really excels is in landscapes, from the sweeping beaches of Nantucket to this hot and unforgiving desert in Helen’s sleep, where she walks until her feet bleed. The details in this dreamscape aren’t soon forgotten.

The secondary character stand out much more for me. Most are named after a traditional Greek myth character. The family gets pretty extensive, but with such prominent names attached, it was easy to figure out who was who. What I saw with the characters is that their personalities reflected their mythical namesakes. So we see character’s like Cassandra (of Troy) who is sister to Lucas and an oracle, Hector the cousin who acts like the older brother to everyone and protects his family ferociously. The twins Ariadne and Jason (cousins to Lucas) and an aunt Pandora (naming your kid Pandora is just ominous!).

Lucas, you can guess who he was supposed to be named for. He's at first a bit of a jerk, and I didn't really feel a pull to him. But after everything's explained, I could rationalize his behaviour and he gets pretty adorkable. He and Helen have a very unconventional relationship to begin with. I was really surprised that they were so viciously at each other’s throats, but it was really effective in reinforcing the mythology that pertains to their Houses.

They can’t deny an intense physical attraction to one another. Since this story has been repeated throughout history it’s the most practical reasoning behind why these two are fated to be together. I mean in the original story Helen met Paris, and pretty much ran away with him (some say kidnapped) almost immediately after meeting, abandoning her husband AND daughter to be with him. It’s a Greek God ordained event, I’ll forgive my usual insta-love irritation at the fact, especially since they fit together so well afterwards, even with this whole will they or won’t they tension going on.

Angelini used this book primarily to establish her world of myths, and to get Helen acquainted with her powers. I was completely swept up into the House politics. But she definitely took the reader on some twists and turns, reveals and betrayals that I didn’t see coming. I’m really looking forward to what the sequel Dreamless is going to entail, good thing it’s sitting on my desk just waiting to be read!

Rating: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
I know a lot of people won’t enjoy this - it’s not something I’d recommend to everyone, but for those mythology buffs like me, you’ll absolutely love all the subtle hints at imminent catastrophic events. 

Also, there's still 12 days left on my 6 Month Celebration giveaway for your choice in a book from The Book Depository. If you haven't read Starcrossed and this sounds like something you might want to read, why not enter and you could win it! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Green Tea: Dragon Pearls


DAVIDsTEA
Green Tea: Dragon Pearls
Ingredients: Chinese green tea from Zhejiang Province, Jasmine flavouring.


    In my family, formal dinner is always accompanied with tea. It’s usually Pu’erh or a Jasmine Green Tea in order to aid with digestion. So I’m no stranger to Jasmine flavoured green tea.

The green tea leaves have been individually rolled into a ball to preserve the flavour and when steeped they unfurl, it looks really neat, kind of like those flowering teas. This rolling method is reminiscent of Chinese Gundpowder tea, but when picking this kind of rolled tea its best to pick pearls with a lustre for the best quality - since this one is quite dull I can’t say much for its quality.

It has a great sweet green tea undertone with a more bitter floral flavour, I might have left it to steep too long (but this kind of tea is usually served with the leaves left in the pot) so the Jasmine flavouring got far too strong. It seems like they might have just used a concentrated Jasmine flavouring, as there are no actual Jasmine flowers present. I much prefer the the real flowers, they're pretty and they give the hint of Jasmine without being overpowering.

 Overall: 3/5 Cups of Drinkable tea.
It was okay, but it's not the best Jasmine green tea that I've had.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (11): Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer


Waiting on Wednesday (11): Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases



Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa
Meyer

Expected Publication Date:
 February 5, 2013
Publisher:
Feiwel and Friends
Book Description from Goodreads: 
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. 


I loved the sci fi re-imagining of Cinderella with Meyer's debut Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), so of course I'm super excited for her take on the Little Red Riding Hood story! 

What're you waiting for this Wednesday? Leave a link in the comments for me to stop by and check out!

Also! I'm celebrating 6 months blogging this month and I'm holding a giveaway for your choice of a book from The Book Depository (Enter Here)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Teaser Tuesday (9): This is Not a Test

Teaser Tuesday: This is Not a Test
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do as following:
·Grab your current read
·
Open to a random page
·
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 323
Genre: YA, Horror, Zombies 
Book Description from Goodreads: 
It's the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won't stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. 
To Sloane Price, that doesn't sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she's failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she's forced to witness the apocalypse through  the eyes of five people who actually want to live.
But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group's fate is determined less and less by what's happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life - and death - inside.
When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Teaser:

     " She gnashes her teeth and claws at his arms so hard she breaks skin, makes him bleed, and the blood makes her wild. She twists her head towards it. My father finds a large piece of broken glass and raises it above him."
(page 8).

So far I'm loving This is Not a Test, it's giving me zombie induced goosebumps, and I've only scratched the surface of Sloane's twisted back story! 

What're your Teaser this Tuesday? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by! 

Also! I'm celebrating 6 months blogging this month and I'm holding a giveaway for your choice of a book from The Book Depository (Enter Here)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Review: Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha by Karen Marie Moning


Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha by Karen Marie Moning
Author:Karen Marie Moning
Writer: David Lawrence
Artist: Al Rio and Cliff Richards
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 144
Genre: Graphic Novel, Adult, Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought It


Book Description from Goodreads:
In Fever Moon, we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he’s traveled worlds with the Unseelie King, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he’s hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe.
Dublin is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned over a half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them.
With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those closest to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

Review:
This graphic novel combines two of my absolute favorite things: art and Karen Marie Moning into one gloriously beautiful book. But the cover of this book, doesn't even begin to do justice to the exquisitely rendered art inside.

The story begins with a rehash of all of the important events up to about midway of the last book in the Fever series: Shadowfever narrated by none other than Mac so that if you don’t remember what happened (how could you not remember?!), it gives you a great refresher before diving into the main plot. So it’s a good idea to have read the Fever series before picking this up or else you’ll ruin some of the huge “aha!” moments for yourself.

This chapter in the Fever series is made in the classic super hero comic formula. The villain does horrendous things to innocent people, it attracts the attention of the hero, the hero goes on this murder mystery quest for information, add in some ass-kicking and viola! The hero triumphs! Which means that the Fear Dorcha story is pretty simplistic. It has been adapted by David Lawrence for this type of format, so while it maintains Moning’s essence in the story and characters, the clipped sentences and thought bubbles here and there will frustrate a lot of people. I was a huge comic book and then manga fanatic in my teen years, so none of this really phases me.

You know that old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”? This is absolutely true for this book! What it may have lacked in written word it definitely made up in the expressiveness of the art. I could just gape at his incredible artwork for hours. A lot of people will dislike the art, and that really can't be helped. Everyone's imagination runs differently and they come up with a vision that will never be fully realized the way they want, but for me Rio definitely comes close.

Rio manages to capture Mac’s carefree innocence in her life before, and contrasts it with this deadly sexy kickass Mac after. He even depicts one of the most disturbing and pivotal Mac changing moments in such a raw and powerful way.

I was surprised at how much I loved his rendition of Barrons. Rio delivered the seductiveness of Barrons with the gruffness that we all know and love. We even get to see first hand some very special alter ego creatures that will definitely give fans of the series something to be excited about!

The story features most of the main cast of characters: Jericho Barrons, Mac, Dani, Ryodan and we even get some more backstory into the Unseelie King and his Concubine! Rio also managed to incorporate little but distinct details from the Fever universe such as Mac’s Juicy clothes, the cars and even the MacHalo, which definitely brought a huge smile to my face.

Where Rio’s work really shines is in Mac’s kick ass super hero action stills where she’s slicing and disembowling with nothing barring her. He captures her in such epic moments you just have to stop and take it all in inch by inch because there’s so much going on.

Unfortunately Rio passed away midway through this undertaking and his talent will be sorely missed. However, Cliff Richards did an impeccable job finishing up, it was difficult to see where Rio ended and Cliff started.

If you’re a huge fan of Moning, you’ll definitely want to buy this one for collector’s purposes. The art in itself is definitely worth it, I hope that Al Rio’s family is beyond proud of how incredible his last piece of work is.


Rating: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of Tea! 
I know a lot of people will be grouchy because of the shortness and lack of written word in the story, but the graphic novel lover in me cannot get over how amazing the art and story come together perfectly!

I'm also holding my 6 Months Blogging celebration giveaway Here, where you could win your choice of a book from The Book Depository up to $15CAD (which you could definitely get Fever Moon with!)
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