Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

(Click image to add to your to be read pile)
Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult, Romace
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository


What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Greeen moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

Can't get enough!

Catching Jordan makes me more attached to the Young Adult (YA) Contemporary genre. This book and everything like this book is the reason why I've been shuffling through YA contemporary romances. I just can't get enough and now I have to find another book to fawn over! 

This was a wonderful novel about a female quarterback star going through Highschool, trying to figure out how to be a girlfriend, play some football and impress some recruits to get into an epic football program in college. I simply adored the storyline, the protagonist, her team (filled with guys) and her best friend. Jordan is the perfect character that teenage girls, who are tomboyish, can relate with. You know what they say, connecting with the readers is everything. And at this point, Miranda Kenneally has nailed it!

No matter how hard I try to put the book down, I couldn't. The book was a breeze to get through. The writing style and dialogue is perfect for its target audience and was incredibly clean and easy to read. The plot was unpredictable. The characters, Jordans friends, her brother and even her parents, were so easy to connect with that made it hard for me to pick my favorite character. Yea, it's that hard sometimes. Though there were lots of hilarious characters there were some that really infuriated me. The big one being Tyler Green. You'll have to find out why he was my least favorite yourself by picking up the book.

Catching Jordan is an absolutely wonderful book for teens especially when you're down in the dumps and you'd like to pick yourself up again. A definite comfort read for those who'd like to step out of their life for a bit. Personally, it was exactly what I needed. Please, tell me there's a book two!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guest Review: Kill Scene by Benjamin Reeves

Guest Review by Khalid "Kal" Ismael @ The Daily Khronicle

Title: Kill Screen
Author: Benjamin Reeves
Genre: Fiction
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon

When game designer Jack Valentine finds his best friend’s body floating in a bathtub of his own blood, he begins an investigation to discover the reason for his friend’s sudden suicide. As Jack digs into the abandoned artifacts of his friend’s private life, he uncovers a mysterious artificial intelligence program that takes credit for his friend’s death. After conversing with the program, Jack quickly spirals into an insomnia-fueled craze. Haunted by demons from his past, Jack will have to discover the truth behind his friends suicide in order to save is career, his love life, and even his sanity. Set in the heart of videogame and tech culture of the mid-‘90s, Kill Screen is a novel that explores the concepts of death, personal forgiveness, and the social issues surrounding our ever-advancing technological culture.

A great one-sitting read for the general fiction lovers

Having read this book by the time I woke up, I had the liberty of immersing myself into the book without judgment nor bias. Any ounce of sleepiness that I had was killed off as I kept on going, and with that, I finished the read in a single sitting.

The novel ‘Kill Screen’ centers on the protagonist, Jack Valentine, who delves deeper into the reasons behind the abrupt suicide of his best friend, Dexter, who is found floating in a bathtub filled with his own blood. What lies in wait, is an artificial program that takes credit for the death and it sends Jack in a downward spiral to get to the answers and stay alive. What piqued my interest initially, was the novel being set during the 90’s gaming culture. The references were appreciative and help set the tone. But what did grasp me, was the novel being a fast paced read, allowing for readers to beat their hearts through as they strum through the pages. As far the main synopsis goes, I figured it was a common cliche story of ‘hero versus bad guy’ but what came was not expected. The writer has weaved in a twist that goes beyond that general cliche and allowing the story to be an eye-opener to one’s self and acceptance, questioning life, good and evil. All in all, a philosophical and thrilling plot that was fun to read to the end.

The protagonist, as well as the other characters in the novel are interesting and their character development is well played from start to end. My favourite instance of this is a whole chapter dedicated to a deceased character which really fleshes naturally and ties in well with Jack. Jack is a troubled man, ripe with dark secrets that the readers would yearn to know, while the writer teases and introduces them appropriately to watch Jack grow. Jack is not perfect, but that’s what why he makes a connection, his desires and conflicts are all relatable. The other characters make quite an impressive roster, helping in building the world you’re immersed in with their own qualities.

Overall, the book is a pleasure to read. It’s story is unique, its characters interesting, deep and thought out, leaving you satisfied. A definite must read for those into the genre. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if you’re a gamer like me, since the small nods always leave a smile just like when I finished the book.

Hey guys! I've been getting tons of review requests from General Fiction Writers and I felt bad turning them down. So I asked a friend (Kal) who loves the genre to read them and review them for Unputdownable Books! He might be a regular here, so watch out! He even might also join the blog full on, if I'm lucky enough. So for now, he'll just stop by for guestposts etc. 

Kal has also given me permission to post up this review on Amazon on his behalf. *happiness*

I hope you enjoyed the review! See you all next time!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Quick Review: The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #6) by Laurell K. Hamilton

(Click image to add to your to be read pile) 
Title:  The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #6)
Author:  Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

Dating both a vampire and a werewolf isn't easy. But just to complicate Anita's already messy life, someone has put a price on her head. Love cannot save her this time, so she turns to Edward, hitman extraordinaire, for help. But finding the person behind the threat won't be easy, because as both a vampire hunter and zombie reanimator, Anita has made a lot of enemies-both human and otherwise.

Captivating as always

It took me awhile to get back into the series. I don't know if it was because I had enough of Richard Zeeman and his puppy dog complex towards Anita or the fact that there was too much zombies and detective work for me to cope with. Well, that doesn't matter anymore.

I'm back to reading the series and I'm glad to say that I missed it. I forgot how page-turning Hamilton's writing is. She always keeps you going. There is always something really exciting happening, something like people getting shot, murdered, or Anita gets in trouble and Jean-Claude or Richard comes in and tries to save her. For those of you who don't know, Anita is a necromancer and human (sort of). She is almost like a detective and helps the police force to figure out paranormal related crimes. During this installment, its more about Anita's life outside of detective work and more of her love life and people who wants her dead. Jean-Claude is a vampire who happens to be the Master of the City, while Richard Zeeman is an alpha werewolf (Nothing new there, I know). And when you put them all together, they're the magical trio! Haha (I found that part in the book hilarious).

I enjoyed everything about this book BUT the parts with Richard. He was overwhelmingly annoying. He was overprotective, hurtful and judgmental. I don't like him at all. He made my whole experience with this book a living hell. I really hope he disappears, so Anita and Jean-Claude can enjoy their love without him interrupting and messing with Anita's head.

Finally, after five books, Anita sleeps with one of them. I'm not going to tell you who, but she does. It could be Richard who she loves to death or it could be Jean-Claude, who she somewhat loves but not as much as Richard. Confusing, I know.

To sum it all up, its good to be back in Anita Blake's world. It's refreshing coming back to something I've always loved. The book was wonderful, Hamilton writes with great quality and rhythm which keeps the reader satisfied. Perhaps, only until they reach the tenth book in the series and realize the book is getting repetitive. Right now, all six books I've read have not be repetitive so far and I applaud Laurell K. Hamilton for making it so!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick Review: Always You by Shilpa Mudiganti

(Click image to add to your to be read pile) 
Title: Always You
Author: Shilpa Mudiganti
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback, Novella
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

Lyla has to move on. She’s been stuck in a rut since her heart was broken five years ago. Trying to decide about life with her fiancĂ©, Nick, she resolves to finish one last project before moving to Spain and starting a new life. That is until she is face to face with the one man who broke her heart all those years ago, Alexander Knight.

Five years ago, when Alex and Lyla meet at his friend, Andrew's grave, they fall deeply in love. But, Alex is hiding a secret that will destroy his relationship with Lyla and does. What Lyla doesn’t realize is that Alex has changed since their break-up, because of her love, only she still has hate in her heart towards him.

But now, fate has brought them together in such a way that they have no option but to remain dangerously close - dangerous enough for Lyla to fall in love with him again. How can she? Not after what she knows about Alex and what he did to Andrew.

It’s true that love can change people for the better. But is it enough? What will happen when two broken people with a past come together? Can they forgive and heal?

A speedy romantic novella about overcoming betrayal and lost loves

I'm only saying what I'm about to because its pretty obvious how the book will end. When I finished this book I felt relived that finally, the protagonists aren't going in circles and driving themselves mad anymore. More than five years of unwanted hurt and pain that could have been avoided, has come to an end and everyone's happy! Thank goodness!

Now, thats out let me go into more detail. I was looking forward to reading this book. No, its not because I'm friends with the author nor is it because I designed the cover. I decided long before I got to know the author and began the first draft of the cover, that I liked the long summary of the book and that I was definitely looking forward to reading it. It started out really well, the fallbacks were written well, the writing style was a little choppy but good towards the middle. As the story got along, I noticed some mistakes in grammar, and punctuation and then, there was the part where I couldn't connect with the book, I didn't feel what Lyla (the main character) felt. I didn't tear up with her, I didn't get angry with her, even with Alex (the other main character), I didn't feel it.

Always you, is a great read for those who love short, romantic reads that are angsty and filled with odd twists and turns that I didn't see coming. And for a Novella its rare to find twists and turns. If you don't mind little errors here and there, and love romance. Try picking this up. You might like it.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

(Click image to add to your to be read pile)
Title: The Darkening Dream
Author: Andy Gavin
Publisher: Mascherato Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon

The Darkening Dream is the chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself.

An overwhelming dark tale of mixed-mythology, religion and a hell lot of vampire hunting.

The moment I started reading The Darkening Dream, I noticed how complex, sophisticated and incredible unique the writing was, even the dialogue was different. You can tell how intelligent and talented Andy Gavin is just by the way he writes. And the information he put in one book was overwhelming. There was vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, greek mythology, talks about religion and a hell lot of other stuff that I can't begin to comprehend. This book is definitely not for younger readers.

Sarah, our protagonist, reminded me a lot of Hermoine from the Harry Potter books. I think its just the fact that she's a know-it-all. Then that image of Sarah and Hermoine shattered when I realized that she was a little naive and annoying at times. Not as annoying as Emily (a secondary character), but still annoying. Now, our male lead, Alex is dark-haired and Greek. I found him great at the beginning until I began reading his very male and very teenage side, and all I have to say about that part is that it's very realistic. My favorite character is definitely Sam, one of Sarah's childhood friends. He was sweet and one of those characters that was always there when a friend nearly gets himself killed.

The whole plot of the story was so deep, unique and incredibly dark that I couldn't grasp what I was reading sometimes. Its like reading something from an entirely different new genre. Everything Andy wrote here was different from anything I've ever read before and its safe to say that it was overwhelming. I loved how it began and ended but everything in between was not as fluid as I thought.

The Darkening Dream is pure fantasy, fantasy that is dark, historical and extremely twisted. Its versions of the usual vampires, werewolves and witches are classic and brutal. This book is not any readers usual read. Its different, its unique and readers who aren't used to the genre should be careful. The book can be overwhelming and very descriptive. This is a perfect read for those who love dark, and haunting fantasy books that are mixed with mythology and religion. But its not the read for me. If I enjoyed the genre, I would have given the book 5 stars but though the book had elements that I usually read about, the style, and how everything was, isn't my cup of tea. And for that, I'll give it a firm 3/5 stars.


The Dex Files Blog Tour!

Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews

Yes! I get the opportunity to join this! :D I absolutely love the series and I'd love to do a review like I usually do but I need still need to read On Demon Wings, and Old Blood. =.= Tsk. I completely for get to On Demon Wings. I must get it somehow. *annoyed*

Anyways, for the blog tour, I'm hoping to do a teaser, with a complete series feature. It should be fun so watch out for it if I do get a slot! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ARC Review + Dream Cast: Chaos (Agent's of Evil #2) by Megan Duncan

HURRAAH! I finally read something and the best part is its one of my fav series! Read on!

(Click image to add to your to be read pile)
Title: Chaos (Agents of Evil #2)
Author: Megan Duncan
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult: Dystopian
Format: eBook ARC
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Is any shot at living, worth dying for?

They thought they’d be safe, but a world ruled by chaos doesn’t die easily.

When Max turned on the radio transmissions assuring safety, they came. But, it wasn’t just survivors of the demon apocalypse that crawled their way into the abandoned military base. A myriad of beastly demons unlike any they’ve ever seen, came as well. Abby, and her companions, struggle to survive as the evil around them grows. Desperate to endure, and to defend their fellow survivors, Abby and a squad of fierce fighters, take on a dangerous mission that has deadly consequences.

Intensifying, seat wrenching, post-apocalyptic book! 

I have been waiting for the sequel for ages and the second I received the Advanced Readers Copy, I tried as much as possible to read it whenever I got the chance in between work and Uni. But only today did I actually sit down and read it from cover to cover. And damn. It got scarier. I don't know how Megan comes up with this stuff.

So, the book started out with Abby and the fighters or 'warriors' of the base getting ready to fight Spider Demons. It was intense, descriptive and entirely page turning. It gets gory sometimes but it isn't as bad as I thought.

New characters came rolling in and I immediately grew attached to them. Abby, Max, Carter and Taya weren't the same after the attack they went through before they reached the base in New Mexico. Honestly speaking, I didn't remember much of the first book. I read it so many books back. It's hard to keep track. I was struggling to remember what happened last time and Megan gave us some peaks and ideas to remind us what happened the book before and I'm so grateful for that!

As the story went on, the plot thickens and the demons began to get more complicated and harder to figure out. It terrifies me, that Megan writes about a world that could be ours. Hell literally breaking lose and demons of all sizes and shapes with different capabilities started to walk amongst us and nearly wipes out human race. It makes me wish, I owed a katana or a shotgun.

Anyways, the best part of the book (besides the fighting and the demons) is probably how real everything seemed. How the characters are all big emotional messes, all trying to fight to hope and stay strong. How they experience real pain and emotions like they're supposed to in a situation like theirs and most of all, how each one of them have lost someone dear to them and they're fighting to stay alive just for them. All this really makes a reader connect strongly with each character.

As usual, I hate it when the books end. Especially, when things start to get good, and we are left with such a huge cliffhanger. Either way, I loved going through another thrilling, seat wrenching, intensifying dystopian book by Megan Duncan! Now, Megan, you know the drill! Go write some more!

This is just something I thought would be fun to post up! :D I got the idea from The Indie Bookshelf's Blog Post here. I photoshopped some celeb photos for fun. :D Here are my impressions of Carter, Abby and Max. (Disclaimer: Celebrity photos belong to their rightful owners and not me)

Brenden Robinson as Carter.
I had to photoshop some glasses on him. But he sure does look good as Carter. I always though him as adorable looking as Brenden. He's definitely a cute geeky guy.

Vanessa Marano as Abby. 

This is definitely the best pick ever by The Indie Bookshelf. So I kept it as it is. I also photoshop this. :DD (Obviously).

Zac Efron as Max.

I can't help it. Zac is just hot. Okay, maybe not in Highschool Musical but everywhere else. He is perfect. *insert heart here*

Megan Duncan is a lover of all things paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and anything just out of the ordinary. She is continually fighting her addiction to chocolate and living in her overactive imagination.

I hope you enjoyed the post! I sure did! :D


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #43

A weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we post all books we have received where in the mail, bought or got from the library.

Late I know! :D 

4 weeks left and UNI will be over for a month! And I promise to be here, always and forever! Till then, I'll be posting a few reviews and blog tour posts. And when I get back! I need to do a monthly status'! Because I have no clue how many books I've read this year! DAAAYM. I can't wait to graduate!

The books I got last month. :D 

Selection by Kiera Cass
Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning 
The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning 
Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers

These are special because they're my babies! Nope, I didn't write them (obviously). I designed the covers. :3 I'm so happy!

Always You by Shilpa Mudiganti
Familiar Ties by Naya Nikki 
Want by Stephanie Lawton

What did you get this week?  


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

(Click image to add to your to be read pile)
Title: Once Burned (Night Prince #1)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Buy: Amazon / The Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

A Jeaniene Frost book that will make you lust for more.

If I had to summarize the whole book in one word it would be "AH-MAZ-ING". Not because it is based on Dracula but because it had all the best things the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre's can offer. Action, romance, brilliantly constructed plot, characters, and setting. 

Leila is our narrator, she's a carny with electric abilities that can literally zap you to death with one touch. And because of this ability, she is left scarred, alone, and never-been kissed. At least, she's got her 4-feet-something friend, Marty to help her through the rough times and routines at the circus and in life in general. 

Eventually, word got out about her abilities (she's psychic too), and a high-end dangerous vampire hires other vampires to kidnap and use her to find a certain Romanian Prince, Vladislav Basarab Dracul, or otherwise known as Vlad (or Dracula, but he doesn't like being called that). He can read-minds and start fires from nothing. Sounds pretty awesome to me. 

Things get really page-turning once Vlad came into the story and I, literally, could not put the book down. I've been anticipating the release of this book for almost a year. When I found out that Vlad from the Night Huntress Series was getting his own series. I couldn't help but rejoice. 

After finishing the book, I am confident enough to say, that it did not disappoint me at all. The pace of the entire book was perfect. It was not rushed, and the information to a new reader to Jeaniene Frost's books won't be overwhelming at all. It is rather, refreshing and fluid unlike other books that seem overwhelm their readers to the point of confusion. This is not the case for Once Burned. 

Instantly you will feel drawn to the characters. Leila, Vlad and even the side characters were promising in their own ways. The dialogue was fluid, snarky and sometimes hilarious (depending on the character). 

Like Frost's previous works, her plots can be a little repetitive but her characters make up for it, they're the type that you would want to always be around, despite almost getting killed once or twice. Let's just say, you can't help but connect with the characters and love them as they appear in following books. 

Overall, this long anticipated release met all my expectations with action, romance, the characters even the plot. It simply left no room for disappointment or time to put it down. It is an extremely unputdownable book. I need the next book soon!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

Hi All! Its been a long time! I apologize for my absence! I'm graduating soon, so everything is so hectic especially with our defenses approaching! 

Today, I'd like to share with you a cover that I've worked so hard on. It's being published by Inkspell Publishing. Here is the cover! :D Tell me what you think about it.

The Watcher by Lisa Voisin (Release March 4th, 2013)

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her. 

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings-soft and silent like snow-and somebody trying to steal them.
 When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn't understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them-but not from any textbook.

 In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?
Ancient history is only the beginning.

Enter the giveaway below with your info and you get the chance to win this lovely necklace! Its open internationally. 

Hope you guys like the cover! I'm definitely looking forward to reading the book.