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September 24, 2012

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck Review

Title: Tiger's Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Publisher: Sterling
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Received: For review from publicist

Summary:  Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.


Review:  You have to love a book set in a different country. Especially one that there is little chance you will ever go to. So going to India in Tiger's Curse was a real treat. It was especially wonderful because Colleen Houck did a fantastic job of bringing India to life.

Kelsey certainly had the adventure of a lifetime! Going from a small town, to a circus, to the jungles and temples of India would be quite a shock on their own and then adding in a hot prince and a tiger? That just adds a whole new dimension to that adventure.

Ren is a definite hottie you know, besides the whole tiger thing. He and Mr. Kadam are a great addition to YA literature because they are very different than other characters I have encountered.

Not going to lie, Kelsey kind of pissed me off at the end. Like really? Oh well, hopefully she can get over herself in the next book, speaking of which I need to go run to the bookstore and pick that up!

My issues with this book were minimal. The lack of some logistics bothered me and took me out of the story, and the very beginning was kind of slow. But eventually it sped up and redeemed itself. So be sure to pick this diamond in the rough up!



September 13, 2012

Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter

Title: Cheating at Solitaire
Author: Ally Carter 
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: December 6, 2005 

Received: Bought

Summary:  Self-help guru Julia James is so good at being single that she's become famous for it-advising women that they don't need a man to be happy. Then the unthinkable happens. Just when her newest book, 101 Ways to Cheat at Solitaire, is about to hit stores, a trumped-up piece of gossip linking her to a gorgeous actor hits the papers. Their pictures are splashed all over the tabloids, and now Julia's credibility is about to hit rock bottom. But she isn't going down without a fight. Unless, that is, the actor is going down with her.  


Review:  I originally bought this book because Ally Carter is coming to the Austin Teen Book Festival and it sounded really good, I am so glad I did.

This is an adult book, but I think older teen fans of Ally's work would really like it as well. I certainly did! 

Julia is awesome, she is what I want to be like if I stay single for that long. She is strong and independent and when she is with Lance their chemistry flies off the page. Yes this is a "chick-lit: novel and it is awesome. I was feeling down the day that I picked it up and it made me happy inside.

I felt really invested in what was happening to Julia's career, I found myself caring as if she was my friend, this just solidifies what a great writer Ally is.

I definitely recommend you pick up this book especially if you need something light but good!


  

September 10, 2012

The Childe by C.A. Kunz review + giveaway!

Title: The Childe
Author: C.A. Kunz 

Publisher: Self
Release Date: February 18, 2011
Received: From publicist for blog tour

Summary:   
Cat Colvin
Average Teenager?
Or Something Else Entirely?

Cat Colvin is pretty much your typical run-of-the-mill teenager. Sure, she’s taller than most girls, has a mane of fiery red hair that’s impossible to tame, is left-handed, and her eyes are two different colors, but that’s where the differences end... unless you include the minor detail of her slow transformation into a Childe.

High school can definitely be challenging, and for Cat it’s no different. This is especially true when she’s faced with the daunting task of trying to hide her budding Childe traits as they begin to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times. To make matters worse, her family is oddly dead set against Ryan, the boy she grows to like. But everyone has their secrets: is Ryan really what he seems to be, and what is Cat’s family not telling her?

The Childe is the first book in this coming-of-age fantasy series which follows Cat's life through the twists and turns toward finding out whom and what she really is. Come and take the plunge with Cat into a world filled with mystery, biting humor, and the paranormal.
 

Review:  I don't typically review self published books but I do make exceptions if it is from an author I have worked with before or through a publicist I have worked with before. Because of this I was really excited to find that The Childe is an example of a well done self published book.

I enjoyed getting to know Cat. She is a regular 15 year old with a penchant for horror novels, and I felt that she was very realistic and besides the whole Childe thing I felt like I could have gone down to the local high school and met someone similar to her.

I also really liked Cat's group of friends they were all so different and really added a nice dynamic to the story. I also liked the fact that Cat's parents were involved, I mean they had some idea what was going on ( more than Cat) but I liked how they worried and acted how any other parents were, not all AWOL like other YA parents.

As for the plot it was very interesting, I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next. My criticism would be the fact that I would get a little snippet of info that would just make me even more confused and lost. I wish in that respect the introduction to information had been a little bit smoother because I found myself lost for some of the book. Thankfully some of my questions were answered by the end and I could see what the author was trying to accomplish. But other than that I was very happy with this book.

This is a good paranormal read that is new, fresh and interesting!


Check out a guest post by the author here, and scroll down to enter my giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Guest Post C.A. Kunz authors of The Childe


Today I have with me the authors of The Childe and Dark Days  


Carol Kunz was born in New Ferry, England. Her interest in the supernatural was first sparked upon reading Bram Stoker's Dracula at the age of eleven. As a teenager, her fascination with the mythology behind vampires, werewolves and witches continued. Being an avid reader, Carol finds it easy to spend several hours wrapped up in a great fantasy novel.

Adam Kunz was born in Newport News, Virginia. Growing up, he was a huge fan of creature features and books about things that go bump in the night. When he's not busy writing, Adam enjoys his job at a certain theme park in Orlando, Florida as a d├ęcor consultant. This job brings him face to face with all sorts of nightmarish creatures, especially when he decorates the haunted houses for the park's annual Halloween event.

Carol and Adam currently reside forty-five minutes away from each other in the sunny state of Florida.

Music’s Role In Our Writing Process and Beyond
Music is such an important part of my (Adam) writing process. My mom, Carol, usually has to write in silence, but she does sometimes have the TV on in the background though. It may sound weird, but I can’t seem to write without listening to music. I’m convinced that it allows me to clear my head of all the other story ideas that are floating around up there, and just focus on my current project.
If I want to get to a certain emotion while writing, I like to listen to a certain song. If I’m writing a romantic scene, I may put on a song like “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, or “Back To December” by Taylor Swift. If I’m writing a heart-pumping action scene, I may put on a song like “Promises” by Nero, or “Burn It Down” by Linkin Park. I find that music just immerses me right into a scene, and I can really get into it if I’m driven by a good song. I’ve actually come up with several scene ideas simply by just listening to a song.
In terms of The Childe series, music has played a huge part in its creation. Not only did I listen to music the entire time while writing it, but we also created a soundtrack that perfectly complements the first two books in the series. Lee Marvin, a truly awesome and talented individual, created and produced The Childe Soundtrack. Lee read our first novel, The Childe, and immediately wanted to write a song inspired by it. That one song, “Amber,” led to me working very closely with Lee to create the entire 14 song soundtrack, and we couldn’t be happier with the final product.  
With our new series The Modified, which is a dystopian fantasy, I’ve been listening to a lot of Dubstep music from Nero, Skrillex, Flux Pavillion and Deadmau5 while writing. These artists have a futuristic feel to their sound that immediately puts me into the world of The Modified, and I think listening to this kind of music really enhances the scenes I write. We’re also working with Lee Marvin on a soundtrack for The Modified series, and it will incorporate Dubstep music mixed with the soft styling of artists like Taylor Swift and Christina Perri. So far the songs have such a unique feel to them, and we’re really looking forward to sharing this soundtrack with everyone.
So, as you can see music plays a large role in my creative process, and I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way. My love for music is only rivaled by my love to read and write, and the fact that I can to say I get to do all three of these things in one project, seems like a dream come true.

Cool! Especially because who ever wins my giveaway will receive a copy of The Childe soudtrack!

Here is more about The Childe:

Cat Colvin
Average teenager?
Or something else entirely?

Cat Colvin is pretty much your typical run-of-the-mill teenager. Sure, she's taller than most girls, has a mane of fiery red hair that's impossible to tame, is left-handed, and her eyes are two different colors, but that's where the differences end . . . unless you include the minor detail of her slow transformation into a Childe.

High school can definitely be challenging, and for Cat it's no different. This is especially true when she's faced with the daunting task of trying to hide her budding Childe traits as they begin to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times. To make matters worse, her family is oddly dead set against Ryan, the boy she grows to like. But everyone has their secrets: is Ryan really what he seems to be, and what is Cat's family not telling her?

The Childe is the first book in this coming-of-age fantasy series which follows Cat's life through the twists and turns toward finding out whom and what she really is. Come and take the plunge with Cat into a world filled with mystery, biting humor, and the paranormal. 
Sounds great right?! Well be sure to check out my review as well as a GIVEAWAY here.

September 3, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

RevivedTitle: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Received: From publisher

Summary:  As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger -- and more sinister -- than she ever imagined.
 

Review:  I am a fan of science fiction, I wish there were more YA books that had sci-fi themes so when I find one I get really excited, so needless to say I was excited to read Revived.

The premise of Revived really interested me.I want to work in the medical field so a drug that lets people come back from the dead really interested me. 

Daisy was a  very interesting character, she, unlike many of the other bus crash survivors, knows a lot about revive, how it works ect, She is also very careless which kind of annoyed me because Revive would cost a lot of money and risking herself is careless and dumb. 

I did like how Daisy grew, she learned the value of a human life and that is really the thing that makes her look into the Revive program. While she is looking into it she finds somethings but I wish the author had gone into greater detail, but I know that would have been boring for some other readers. 

Matt and Audrey were very integral characters. I liked how they had their own story to tell and weren't just background in Daisy's story. 

I'm not going to lie, the ending while shocking was not completely out of the blue. I saw signs, but in some ways I appreciated that, it made it feel like the author knew what she was going to do before the end of the book.

Overall I liked this book but I wish it had, had a little more of the science fiction aspects that I was looking for when I picked it up.