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Clichés

5.26.2012
Dictionary.com defines clichés as "(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc." But I think we all know what clichés are. In fact, you probably already know everything in this post. But I'm continuously seeing reviews talking about how cliché the plot of the book is and how it should just stop being written, and I think people forget that just because something is a bad cliché in one book doesn't mean it's a bad cliché in another book.

The issue is whether or not we like them. There are hundreds of clichés in YA books, some of them enjoyable, some of them so annoying you just want to rip the book apart. When asked, my Twitter friends and some people on Facebook gave me some examples of what they think some of the most common clichés in YA are - whether they're ones that they liked or hated.

When it comes to main characters or narrators, someone said, "The humble girl. The girl that EVERY guy has a crush on and every girl hates. Also, this girl doesn't understand why everyone feels this way." And then went on to name Bella Swan as the perfect example. Paige thinks a common example is the brooding male. 

When it comes to plot, there seem to be a lot more clichés. Sophia from The Book Basement says, "Normal, innocent girl being 'inexplicably' drawn to a dark, hot guy. #GAG" I have to agree that this is probably one of the most common clichés that I've seen in YA. Let's be honest, this is the basis of 90% of paranormal books published these days. Another friend said, "Girl falls for a vampire or other supernatural beast and they have to fight for their lives to be together."

"Love triangles. And best friends falling in love." And then there was, "Nerd girl falls for bad boy." 

Point: There are hundreds of clichés in YA fiction. And everyone has different opinions on them. For instance, some people think love triangles can be amazing. I hate them in 99% of cases. Best friends falling in love is one of my favorite clichés, and I think when a girl falls for a supernatural beast and they have to fight to stay alive, it can make for a good story. Sometimes. Most clichés are like that, I think - sometimes they can make you gag and other times they can work perfectly. Because, yes, the way the author writes it makes a huge difference.

But I want to know what some of your favorite or least favorite clichés are. I want to see how many different opinions there are. 

~Zoey~ 

Review: Forgiven

5.24.2012
Forgiven by Jana Oliver
Published March 27th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
 Jana Oliver's third spellbinding Demon Trappers novel - following The Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief - brings all new thrills, as Riley Blackthorne takes on demons, love... and the future of the human race.

The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control:  something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…


It seems I've been reading a lot of 4 star books lately. I have no problems with this.

I can honestly admit that Beck is the reason for about 80% of that rating. Riley herself is an amazing character - she's strong and fierce, but at the same time she behaves like an actual teenage girl sometimes. She's everything I think a female heroine should be - realistic even in a world of fantasy. However, while I have no problems with Riley at all, Beck just . . . shines, I guess you could say. Beck says and does frustrating things all the time, but he has a heart of gold. He's not your typical teenage boy found in YA - especially considering he's not even a teenager. I love the way he's constantly watching out for Riley. I love how stubborn he is.

And I love how the relationship between Beck and Riley has grown and matured over three books and still isn't done yet. Their relationship is so realistic. They're the kind of "couple" that you'll never stop rooting for. (I use quotes since they're not actually a couple yet. *sadface*)

This book - the entire series - isn't just about romance, though. The demons are just as present and dangerous as they have been in the previous books. The first three fourths of the book are full of suspense. The last fourth of the book, however, is probably why I didn't give this book 5 stars. Forgiven was just about to hit its climax - the war between Heaven and Hell, basically - and then it's resolved after a few words from Riley in like, three pages. I have to admit I was disappointed.

I love all the little subplots that are all part of the bigger story. Riley's father. The fake holy-water. The way the demons aren't acting the way they're supposed to. Jana Oliver does an amazing job at keeping it all connected.

She also does an amazing job with the secondary characters. They're all so different from each other and they each add something to the story - usually something entertaining for me.

Overall: This is definitely a series I think people should read if they haven't started. Full of fun characters, danger and suspense, and battles of good versus evil, they're all amazing books. Forgiven  leads you even deeper into the mysteries, and while I felt it wasn't as exciting as it could have been, I'd definitely say this is the best book in the series so far. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

Waiting on Wednesday {23}

5.23.2012
"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

After Dark by Emi Gayle
Expected publication: October 31st 2012 by J. Taylor Publishing 


What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

This sounds like an urban fantasy, and there are not enough of those in the YA genre <3 I'm not entirely sure if I'll like this, but it definitely sounds intriguing.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene thought her horrific apocalyptic hallucinations were a sign that she was slowly losing her mind. But when her visions come true, decimating the world around her and killing everyone she loves, Evie is forced to accept that she was seeing the future.

Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she turns to wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate, the gorgeous and dangerous Jackson Deveaux for help. As Jackson and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have got the same call and discover that Evie is not the only one with special powers. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and as the battle between good and evil intensifies, it is not always clear who is on which side…


I don't think I even need to explain.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? (That awkward hump in the middle of the week . . .) Leave a link and I'll check it out!

~Zoey~

Review: White Cat

5.21.2012
White Cat by Holly Black
Published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

[Contains partial spoilers. I assume most people have read this book that want to, but just in case.] The characters in White Cat aren't like other characters. The book itself isn't like other books. And I think I finally understand why people rave about this series.

Holly Black does an amazing job at capturing the male voice. Not once did Cassel's narration sound like it was coming from a girl, nor did it ever sound like Holly Black was trying too hard to make him sound like a guy.

Cassel lives in a world full of deceit. At first, all he's trying to do is fit in and pretend he's not a worker, when really, he's one of the best conmen in the book. While sometimes I felt detached from his narration, as a character, I loved him. He's smart. Conniving. And when he gets betrayed, he wants revenge. I love how determined he is and how he changes throughout the book. In the beginning, it almost seemed like Cassel wasn't really alive. But then he gets involved in the mystery of Lila and his family and suddenly he has real emotions. (That's the way I saw it, anyway.)

All of the secondary characters were just as complex, in their own way. Especially Cassel's family. I can't think of a single thing I disliked about any of them.

Until we get to Lila. Logically, I can understand why she acts the way she acts, considering how she's been living for the past few years. But in reality, I was annoyed by how cold she acted and how manipulative she seemed when it comes to Cassel. Something about the way she's portrayed just bugged me.

While some of the time the plot had me going "What the eff is going on?" I absolutely loved it. The world Holly Black has created is so unique and there are so many plot twists that surprised me and at the same time, completely made sense. The idea of blowback is one of my favorite aspects of this book - the idea that using these unnatural powers on others also has an effect on you.

Overall: It's like the mob with supernatural powers. With a perfect male narration, Holly Black brings both her characters and her plot to life. The entire novel is full of twists and turns that continuously surprised me. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

Giveaway: YA Pre-orders

5.20.2012
Because I suck at blogging lately, I decided I might as well do something. Until exams are over, posts are probably going to be sporadic.

So. Two people will get to choose any YA book available on The Book Depository, as long as they ship to your country. Ends May 31st!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

Pining For: The Deubit Edition: Part 2

5.14.2012
Here we are once again: The 2012-2013 debuts that I'm dying for. (The ones with covers and an actual synopsis, anyway.) These are those books that I don't just want - these are the ones I'm really dying for. Salivating at the mouth for. (Isn't that a great image?)

Also, in case you hadn't noticed: The blog is working again! I can actually get onto Blogger! After almost three weeks. Apparently tech people just don't like me.

That's okay. I don't like them either.

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Expected publication: November 13th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable--they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash's long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught, they'll be executed--but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
I don't know anyone who hasn't heard of this book. It sounds different from a lot of other paranormal books, and for that I am grateful. Because I really like paranormal.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray 

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

The wait until the end of August is killing me. This is the most anticipated for me this year. I get ridiculously excited every time I think about it.

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by HarperTeen

Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them... and herself.


This sounds quite unique. I can't really explain why I'm dying for it, but I definitely am.

Through To You by Emily Hainsworth
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day.

As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

I'm usually hesitant to read books so emotional - either because I think I'm going to get too emotional or because I'm afraid it won't be done well. But something about this tells me that it's going to be amazing.

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Hyperion

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.
Do I even need to explain?

And that's all for now, folks.

~Zoey~

Review: Immortal City

5.13.2012
Immortal City by Scott Speer
Published April 3rd 2012 by Razorbill
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them.

He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.


I don't think I have much to say about this book that hasn't already been said. The idea of angels being the obsession of the world, of saving people with the right amount of money, is something that hasn't really been done before. It's definitely intriguing and the way Speer writes it is perfect. Angels are all anyone talks about; there's basically a Hollywood of angels. The way Speer described the world and how it came to be was something I really appreciated, as it doesn't happen very often in most books.

I love the mystery in Immortal City. Not only about the murders but about Maddy herself. While there are definitely some surprises, I wish there had been a few more clues when it came to the murder. Many novels I read have a bit more foreshadowing than this one.

Maddy and Jackson are enjoyable characters, but at the same time, they don't feel real. I didn't connect very well with either of them, so it almost felt like they were secondary characters. Still, I don't really have any problems with them, though they may have been a bit melodramatic at times. I like the way that they recognized that you can't always stand up and fight - sometimes you need to run and let more experienced people take care of it.

However, the relationship between Maddy and Jackson does progress a little too fast. I wouldn't classify it as insta!love, but I wish they had had a few more interactions before Jackson started to say he couldn't stop thinking about Maddy. If they had more time together, I think the chemistry between the two of them could have been much more enticing.

Maddy's best friend, Gwen, is a character I spent the entire book hating. For the most part, she seems like a terrible friend. Gwen is Angel-crazy, and when she gets upset about Maddy keeping secrets, I wanted to laugh. If Maddy had told Gwen, Gwen would have pestered her relentlessly. Towards the end of the book, Gwen does a few things that help both Maddy and Jackson, but that doesn't make up all of her plain annoying behavior in the rest of the book.

Overall: While I found it hard to connect to the story, I still really enjoyed reading Immortal City because the world and ideas were so unique. Scott Speer manages to capture a paranormal world of fame perfectly. 3 stars.

~Zoey~

5.26.2012

Clichés

Dictionary.com defines clichés as "(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc." But I think we all know what clichés are. In fact, you probably already know everything in this post. But I'm continuously seeing reviews talking about how cliché the plot of the book is and how it should just stop being written, and I think people forget that just because something is a bad cliché in one book doesn't mean it's a bad cliché in another book.

The issue is whether or not we like them. There are hundreds of clichés in YA books, some of them enjoyable, some of them so annoying you just want to rip the book apart. When asked, my Twitter friends and some people on Facebook gave me some examples of what they think some of the most common clichés in YA are - whether they're ones that they liked or hated.

When it comes to main characters or narrators, someone said, "The humble girl. The girl that EVERY guy has a crush on and every girl hates. Also, this girl doesn't understand why everyone feels this way." And then went on to name Bella Swan as the perfect example. Paige thinks a common example is the brooding male. 

When it comes to plot, there seem to be a lot more clichés. Sophia from The Book Basement says, "Normal, innocent girl being 'inexplicably' drawn to a dark, hot guy. #GAG" I have to agree that this is probably one of the most common clichés that I've seen in YA. Let's be honest, this is the basis of 90% of paranormal books published these days. Another friend said, "Girl falls for a vampire or other supernatural beast and they have to fight for their lives to be together."

"Love triangles. And best friends falling in love." And then there was, "Nerd girl falls for bad boy." 

Point: There are hundreds of clichés in YA fiction. And everyone has different opinions on them. For instance, some people think love triangles can be amazing. I hate them in 99% of cases. Best friends falling in love is one of my favorite clichés, and I think when a girl falls for a supernatural beast and they have to fight to stay alive, it can make for a good story. Sometimes. Most clichés are like that, I think - sometimes they can make you gag and other times they can work perfectly. Because, yes, the way the author writes it makes a huge difference.

But I want to know what some of your favorite or least favorite clichés are. I want to see how many different opinions there are. 

~Zoey~ 

5.24.2012

Review: Forgiven

Forgiven by Jana Oliver
Published March 27th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//
 Jana Oliver's third spellbinding Demon Trappers novel - following The Demon Trapper's Daughter and Soul Thief - brings all new thrills, as Riley Blackthorne takes on demons, love... and the future of the human race.

The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control:  something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…


It seems I've been reading a lot of 4 star books lately. I have no problems with this.

I can honestly admit that Beck is the reason for about 80% of that rating. Riley herself is an amazing character - she's strong and fierce, but at the same time she behaves like an actual teenage girl sometimes. She's everything I think a female heroine should be - realistic even in a world of fantasy. However, while I have no problems with Riley at all, Beck just . . . shines, I guess you could say. Beck says and does frustrating things all the time, but he has a heart of gold. He's not your typical teenage boy found in YA - especially considering he's not even a teenager. I love the way he's constantly watching out for Riley. I love how stubborn he is.

And I love how the relationship between Beck and Riley has grown and matured over three books and still isn't done yet. Their relationship is so realistic. They're the kind of "couple" that you'll never stop rooting for. (I use quotes since they're not actually a couple yet. *sadface*)

This book - the entire series - isn't just about romance, though. The demons are just as present and dangerous as they have been in the previous books. The first three fourths of the book are full of suspense. The last fourth of the book, however, is probably why I didn't give this book 5 stars. Forgiven was just about to hit its climax - the war between Heaven and Hell, basically - and then it's resolved after a few words from Riley in like, three pages. I have to admit I was disappointed.

I love all the little subplots that are all part of the bigger story. Riley's father. The fake holy-water. The way the demons aren't acting the way they're supposed to. Jana Oliver does an amazing job at keeping it all connected.

She also does an amazing job with the secondary characters. They're all so different from each other and they each add something to the story - usually something entertaining for me.

Overall: This is definitely a series I think people should read if they haven't started. Full of fun characters, danger and suspense, and battles of good versus evil, they're all amazing books. Forgiven  leads you even deeper into the mysteries, and while I felt it wasn't as exciting as it could have been, I'd definitely say this is the best book in the series so far. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

5.23.2012

Waiting on Wednesday {23}

"Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

After Dark by Emi Gayle
Expected publication: October 31st 2012 by J. Taylor Publishing 


What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

This sounds like an urban fantasy, and there are not enough of those in the YA genre <3 I'm not entirely sure if I'll like this, but it definitely sounds intriguing.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene thought her horrific apocalyptic hallucinations were a sign that she was slowly losing her mind. But when her visions come true, decimating the world around her and killing everyone she loves, Evie is forced to accept that she was seeing the future.

Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she turns to wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate, the gorgeous and dangerous Jackson Deveaux for help. As Jackson and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have got the same call and discover that Evie is not the only one with special powers. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and as the battle between good and evil intensifies, it is not always clear who is on which side…


I don't think I even need to explain.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? (That awkward hump in the middle of the week . . .) Leave a link and I'll check it out!

~Zoey~

5.21.2012

Review: White Cat

White Cat by Holly Black
Published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

[Contains partial spoilers. I assume most people have read this book that want to, but just in case.] The characters in White Cat aren't like other characters. The book itself isn't like other books. And I think I finally understand why people rave about this series.

Holly Black does an amazing job at capturing the male voice. Not once did Cassel's narration sound like it was coming from a girl, nor did it ever sound like Holly Black was trying too hard to make him sound like a guy.

Cassel lives in a world full of deceit. At first, all he's trying to do is fit in and pretend he's not a worker, when really, he's one of the best conmen in the book. While sometimes I felt detached from his narration, as a character, I loved him. He's smart. Conniving. And when he gets betrayed, he wants revenge. I love how determined he is and how he changes throughout the book. In the beginning, it almost seemed like Cassel wasn't really alive. But then he gets involved in the mystery of Lila and his family and suddenly he has real emotions. (That's the way I saw it, anyway.)

All of the secondary characters were just as complex, in their own way. Especially Cassel's family. I can't think of a single thing I disliked about any of them.

Until we get to Lila. Logically, I can understand why she acts the way she acts, considering how she's been living for the past few years. But in reality, I was annoyed by how cold she acted and how manipulative she seemed when it comes to Cassel. Something about the way she's portrayed just bugged me.

While some of the time the plot had me going "What the eff is going on?" I absolutely loved it. The world Holly Black has created is so unique and there are so many plot twists that surprised me and at the same time, completely made sense. The idea of blowback is one of my favorite aspects of this book - the idea that using these unnatural powers on others also has an effect on you.

Overall: It's like the mob with supernatural powers. With a perfect male narration, Holly Black brings both her characters and her plot to life. The entire novel is full of twists and turns that continuously surprised me. 4 stars.

~Zoey~

5.20.2012

Giveaway: YA Pre-orders

Because I suck at blogging lately, I decided I might as well do something. Until exams are over, posts are probably going to be sporadic.

So. Two people will get to choose any YA book available on The Book Depository, as long as they ship to your country. Ends May 31st!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


~Zoey~

5.14.2012

Pining For: The Deubit Edition: Part 2

Here we are once again: The 2012-2013 debuts that I'm dying for. (The ones with covers and an actual synopsis, anyway.) These are those books that I don't just want - these are the ones I'm really dying for. Salivating at the mouth for. (Isn't that a great image?)

Also, in case you hadn't noticed: The blog is working again! I can actually get onto Blogger! After almost three weeks. Apparently tech people just don't like me.

That's okay. I don't like them either.

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Expected publication: November 13th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable--they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash's long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught, they'll be executed--but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
I don't know anyone who hasn't heard of this book. It sounds different from a lot of other paranormal books, and for that I am grateful. Because I really like paranormal.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray 

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

The wait until the end of August is killing me. This is the most anticipated for me this year. I get ridiculously excited every time I think about it.

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by HarperTeen

Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them... and herself.


This sounds quite unique. I can't really explain why I'm dying for it, but I definitely am.

Through To You by Emily Hainsworth
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day.

As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

I'm usually hesitant to read books so emotional - either because I think I'm going to get too emotional or because I'm afraid it won't be done well. But something about this tells me that it's going to be amazing.

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by Hyperion

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.
Do I even need to explain?

And that's all for now, folks.

~Zoey~

5.13.2012

Review: Immortal City

Immortal City by Scott Speer
Published April 3rd 2012 by Razorbill
//Amazon//B&N//The Book Depository//

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them.

He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.


I don't think I have much to say about this book that hasn't already been said. The idea of angels being the obsession of the world, of saving people with the right amount of money, is something that hasn't really been done before. It's definitely intriguing and the way Speer writes it is perfect. Angels are all anyone talks about; there's basically a Hollywood of angels. The way Speer described the world and how it came to be was something I really appreciated, as it doesn't happen very often in most books.

I love the mystery in Immortal City. Not only about the murders but about Maddy herself. While there are definitely some surprises, I wish there had been a few more clues when it came to the murder. Many novels I read have a bit more foreshadowing than this one.

Maddy and Jackson are enjoyable characters, but at the same time, they don't feel real. I didn't connect very well with either of them, so it almost felt like they were secondary characters. Still, I don't really have any problems with them, though they may have been a bit melodramatic at times. I like the way that they recognized that you can't always stand up and fight - sometimes you need to run and let more experienced people take care of it.

However, the relationship between Maddy and Jackson does progress a little too fast. I wouldn't classify it as insta!love, but I wish they had had a few more interactions before Jackson started to say he couldn't stop thinking about Maddy. If they had more time together, I think the chemistry between the two of them could have been much more enticing.

Maddy's best friend, Gwen, is a character I spent the entire book hating. For the most part, she seems like a terrible friend. Gwen is Angel-crazy, and when she gets upset about Maddy keeping secrets, I wanted to laugh. If Maddy had told Gwen, Gwen would have pestered her relentlessly. Towards the end of the book, Gwen does a few things that help both Maddy and Jackson, but that doesn't make up all of her plain annoying behavior in the rest of the book.

Overall: While I found it hard to connect to the story, I still really enjoyed reading Immortal City because the world and ideas were so unique. Scott Speer manages to capture a paranormal world of fame perfectly. 3 stars.

~Zoey~