Saturday, August 14, 2010

Never Bite a Boy on the First Date by Tamara Summers

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061721549
ISBN-13: 978-0061721540
I've got a few issues:
  1. I'm a vampire now.
  2. One of my classmates was found dead, with telltale fang marks.
  3. I didn't do it! (really!)
  4. Nobody believes me, so . . .
  5. I'm going to have to find the real killer. I've already got three suspects. (three very cute suspects.)
  6. One more problem: I am seriously falling for one of them . . . but what if he's the killer?


I really liked this one for it's humor and constant flings. Where should I start? First of all, we have Kira. She's been turned into a vampire after a car accident and now lives with her "family." After one nasty mistake of turning a jock into one of her kind, Olympia and Wilhelm "the parents" have not forgotten and make a point to lecture her on it every so often. So, of course, when there's a dead body on the front steps of their new school, who do we call? (Sorry, I thought Ghost Busters would be funny in this vampy tale.)
Anyway, to prove her innonence in this situation, at least, Kira sets off to find the real murderer. Instead, she gets three amazingly cute suspects.

I adored the writing style taken on in Never Bite a Boy on the First Date because it creates Kira into an even more of a believable character than she would be if the author had just stated Kira's background and moved on from there. I due admit that some times were predictable in the book, in the sense that you thought you knew who the murderer. I mean, I had my suspicions, but I was not prepared for the ending. Surprising, to say the least. Satisfying, at most. I couldn't get over how realistic Kira seemed when she confronted some of her past in the most unexpected ways. She's flirtatious, outgoing, vulnerable but strong, and knows her limit. Characteristics I find endearing in this particular heroine. The other characters were equally viewed as important through Kira's search, and were very convincing in their personalities. It felt like for every action they had a reason/secret behind it.

Recommended for it's great technique and cool perception of the vampire basics. (And because of all the cute guys, of course.) ;)

Grade: B+


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare

Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 31, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416975861
ISBN-13: 978-1416975861
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Arriving in London with the expectation of meeting with her brother, Tessa Gray leaves her lifetime home in New York and is quickly taken by two ladies called the Dark Sisters. After some grueling torment, the Dark Sisters find that Tessa, indeed, has the power to change into any person--dead or alive--by holding a trinket that was once theirs. From this discovery transcends the events that later follow when Tessa is rescued by a Shadowhunter named William Herondale. Keeping her safe at the Institute was the only solution possible, so the Shadowhunters thought. When new evidence is found that the reason for Tessa's kidnapping was more deeply cultivated than anyone thought, the Nephilim set out to find the Magister, in pursuit of stopping a formidable war.

I thought that the characters of Clockwork Angel might have been the best part, but when it got to some serious action, I was proved terribly wrong. The characters: Will, Tessa, Jem, Jessamine...Every single one had their unique personalities and histories that you can only find in a Cassadra Clare masterpiece. While I regret not having read City of Glass, I'd recognize Clare's style of writing and character-developing anywhere. The poetry and quotes introduced by Tessa's love of novels and books was a fascinating break to find in the blood and gore of the Shadowhunter mentality. And although I prefer the latter and didn't really partake in Tessa's brief belief that ladies were not meant to fight, it only added to the difference and era to be expected from London in 1878. In the Institute, Tessa learns about the world of Downworlders--what she is--and Shadowhunters, their background and way of life. It was excellent world-building on Clare's part and made an incredible guide for a newbie just diving into a new view of the universe they assume they've known they're whole lives. To quote something slightly from the book, as if from looking at the world as a flat surface to a round globe; paraphrasing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the twisted humor in the beginning and the Shadowhunters that came with it. Will and Jem seem to be a perfect match as they're so different. Both have different pain-filled stories to tell, and they even differentiate in the point of sharing who they are with others. All-in-all, from the cast of characters to the world-building and developing, Clare did a great job in creating this conjoined world and prequel of her original The Mortal Instrument series. I will be keeping my eye out for the rest of this series and can't stand that I must restrain myself for another year for the next installment in The Infernal Devices series.

Recommended to YA readers that have enjoyed Clare's work before, and even newbies that are just starting to discover her awesomeness.

Grade: A-

Source: Simon & Schuster


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (4) (Book Three)'s

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

Entice by Carrie Jones (Need, #3)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (December 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599905531
ISBN-13: 978-1599905532
Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that’s not quite how things have worked out.

For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he’s been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it’s taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?

And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there’s that other small problem: Zara’s been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn’t just turned… She’s Astley’s queen.

Absolution by Jennifer Laurens (Heavenly, #3)

Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing (November 2010)
Book Three.

Zoe’s secret is out. And the powers of Hell are ravenous to claim her soul. Her brother, Luke, knows her secret: that she sees both good and evil spirits. Her boyfriend knows. At least Matthias is her guardian angel again. But now Hell’s most ruthless leader will stop at nothing to have her soul.
Albert, Matthias’ father, is relentless in his hunger for Zoe. He wants to destroy Matthias and will use Zoe to do so.
The battle between Heaven and Hell tests everything Zoe has. As she witnesses everyone important in her life suffering, she’s brought to the ultimate choice: will she sacrifice her soul to save the ones she loves?
What are you waiting on?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Contact Me!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Winner: Goth Girls Rising by Barry Lyga

Factoids: 3 entrants, 7 entries. Winner of GGR is:

Angela Z

You have 3 days to reply to my email with your address so I can send your prize. If you do not, I will pick another winner. Thanks to all participants!