Saturday, 29 September 2012

Stacking the Shelves (11)

Hosted by Tynga



And I'm back from my mini hiatus! It's been a slow week for me, but I think everyone's pretty much going to have this one on their shelves this week:

  • The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling <- I started it and I'm just a few pages in, so far it's definitely idyllic little town with lots of drama and scheming....


  • Ironskin (Ironskin, #1) by Tina Connolly <- e-arc from Netgalley. I'm about halfway through this and I don't really have strong feelings about this, I was drawn in by the cover! 

So what'd you guys get this week? Leave me a link so I can swing by!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Cover Reveal: Release (The Protector, #3) by M.R. Merrick

I'm just jumping out of hiatus for a quick second because I love Matty and his SUPER AWESOME Protector Series and I want to share with you all this fantastic cover for the third book in the series Release!!! 

Author: M.R. Merrick
Expected Publication: December 10, 2012
Description from Goodreads: 
After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.






I always LOVE the covers for this series and I'm glad that the style stayed the same. I can't wait to see what secret revelations will be in the book that are featured on the cover...

Also, if you haven't read this series yet what are you waiting for? Especially if you're a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series! Check out my reviews for the first book Exiled and the second book Shift

You can find out more about the author and his series here:

Monday, 24 September 2012

Review: Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake


Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake



Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 332
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Bought it
Description from Goodreads: 
It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.


Review:

     When I read the first book Anna Dressed in Blood, I compared it to Supernatural. Especially with the ending where Anna goes to Hell and Cas desperately wants to know what became of her. I was afraid Blake was going to keep beating the dead horse with a stick exactly like Supernatural and the two of them would be trapped in a never ending loop of sacrifice. I'm glad to say that this ISN'T the case with Girl of Nightmares!

     I love these cover so much. The gorgeously rendered Anna is set in a smoldering hell with tortured souls grasping at her. She has this look that lures you into the pages of her story.

      It's been months after Anna's sacrifice, Cas has decided to stay in Thunder Bay, Ontario and live a semi-normal life. As normal as it gets when you hunt ghosts on the side with your mini-ghost buster club of friends: Thomas the psychic witch and Carmel the pretty and popular sidekick. What should have been a routine hunt for them, a simple lure and stab quickly dissolves into a dire situation when Anna suddenly shows up looking tortured and desperate. Anna keeps appearing, but to Cas only and his nightmares of her agony start to bleed into reality as his friends worry he's losing his mind. Cas has been hunting for answers since that night, but he pursues it ferociously now that he's seen Anna again. 

      Cas in the beginning is a hollow shell of the hunter he once was. The obsession and puzzle that is Anna has completely consumed him. It's made him a bit more reckless and it nearly costs him his friends. The way Blake executes the scenes with Anna pulls the reader into the love that Cas has for Anna as well as the debt he feels that needs to be paid - and a hunter always pays his debts. He has a dogged determination to figure things out, that hasn't changed and he starts regaining his confidence when a more concrete plan develops. At the end I was back to cheering for our headstrong Cas! 

     Thomas has grown so much over his time with Cas. He still has moments where he's a bit shy and quiet, but he's a bit more inclined to forge is own path now and he isn't going to take crap from people anymore. His loyalty to Cas was awe inspiring, he's the kind of unwavering friend that anyone would want by their side to the bitter end. Carmel will always be that character that completely surprises me. Just when I think I've gotten her figured out and I'm disappointed in her she comes back with an ass kicking vengeance! 

     I found that the beginning of Girl of Nightmares was a bit slow. It builds up Anna's situation interspersed with some action packed ghost hunts. It also takes a deeper look into the history of the athame. It's a knife full of secrets and those who would kill for the athame. But when all the pieces are in place in the last half of the story, Blake doesn't give you a moment's rest until Cas' blood debt is paid!

     Blake always creates amazing creepy scenes, but she might have outdone herself this time with a certain forest at the end. I won't tell you what happens, but if you've ever seen the new Dr. Who episodes where they feature the Weeping Angels you'll know how terrifying it can get. 

     The ending was absolutely perfect, we get closure and the major strings are tied up. It's left a bit open ended so that Blake could come back to it in a whole new way if she wanted, but for now it's definitely enough.

Overall: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of Tea!
It started out as a 4/5 - I liked it well enough, but the ending just blew everything I thought I knew out of the water! 
     

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Movie Review: Dredd 3D

Judge, Jury and Executioner: Dredd (3D)
Released: September 21, 2012
Directors: Pete Travis
Writers: Carlos Ezquerra, Alex Garland, John Wagner
Rating: 18A
Starring: 
Karl Urban as Judge Dredd
Olivia Thirlby as Anderson
Lena Headey as Ma-Ma

Synopsis:
     In the future, most of America is a nuclear wasteland. Populations are aggregated into large cities, in this instance called Mega-City one - with 800million people living in the ruins of an old city with the Mega buildings of the new. In such tight quarters and poverty, crime lords and their gangs run rampant. The only thing keeping some semblance of order in the city are Judges; who act as the judge, jury and executioner all in one efficient package. This movie follows Judge Dredd, assigned rookie Judge Anderson for her final evaluation to becoming a full judge. Meanwhile a new mind altering drug called SLO-MO is making its way into the market and its users end up drawing the attention of the Judges to drug lord Ma-Ma's hideout... 

Review:

     When I first saw the trailer for this movie I had never heard of Judge Dredd either in its original comic form or the Sylvester Stallone movie, but I was definitely intrigued. This time around (unlike with Total Recall), I didn't want to taint the allusion I had created about Judge Dredd based on what I had read so I avoided the heavily negatively criticized Stallone movie so I could go into this movie with a blank slate. 

     The movie opens up with a panoramic exploration of post nuclear disaster America with a Karl Urban voice over giving us a run down of the setting and situation, as well as the role of Judges. I loved that it didn't take forever to explain everything, it brings you right up to speed with what is going on in this reality in a straightforward manner. Then it dives immediately into the action by showing us the typical day of the life of a Judge, you know looking bad ass in uniform, chasing down thugs on motorcycle and generally kicking butt without breaking a sweat. 

     Karl Urban (he played Dr. McCoy in the new Star Trek) as Judge Dredd was pretty awesome! He's a seasoned Judge, so not much phases him. He's cold, calculated and stringent in following the law. He never takes his helmet off (evidently in the Stallone version when he did this it was a huge no-no!), so it adds an air of anonymity and mystery to Dredd. We never really get to know him deeper, but really that's not the point of this movie. All we really need to know is that he's the best at his job and that he's unwavering in his dedication to doing what's right. His character is kind of like Robo-Cop, a bit stiff (especially in dialogue) - but even this plays into his character perfectly when he delivers dead pan lines that are just relaxed enough to break the tension in the situation. 

     Then the movie moves on to contrast with the daily life of a drug lord, namely Ma-Ma's dealings and keeping other gangs in line. Just when you think Lena Headey (she also plays Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones) couldn't be more awesome - she takes playing a villain to a whole new scar faced and piss your pants kind of level. To be a female drug lord and to command so much attention and fear she has to be ruthless. Sometimes I wondered if she wasn't just a little bit off her rocker (she probably was). I've watched a lot of action movies and I thought I'd seen every possible way of killing someone- but Ma-Ma managed to completely surprise and shock me!

     Olivia Thirlby as Judge Anderson was a little ray of hopeful sunshine amidst all the dark grunge of the slums. She's young, fresh faced and hasn't been completely broken down by how crappy is life yet. She wants to make a difference, no matter how small. Oh I forgot to mention that all this post-nuclear radiation is probably mutating people and she has psychic mind reading abilities? I love that her character goes through a very visible change from the beginning of the movie to the end - her experiences mark and ground her a bit. 

     The story isn't deep and earth shattering, but it does entertain and keep you constantly on your toes. There were some twists I wasn't expecting and there's really nicely done foreshadowing in the beginning. I'm not usually a fan of 3D movies, given a choice I will always choose a regular movie. But the 3D effects in this movie really worked in its favor, especially in combination with the slow motion effects. When I first heard that there would be slow motion involved I really thought it'd be cheesy The Matrix style bullet dodging kind of effects. BUT it's NOT! It's completely relevant to the story, especially with letting viewers experience what the SLO-MO drug users are experiencing. These slow-mo scenes had such exacting detail, they were some of the most exquisitely rendered scenes ever! 

     Now keep in mind it is an 18A rated movie!! There is blood, gore, slow motion bullets through heads and a really really uncomfortable sexually suggestive scene. Fans of shoot em up, senseless violence movies will definitely love this one! 
Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
Heart stopping fight scenes, overzealous use of heavy artillery, paranormal abilities, experiencing mind altering drugs without the side effects and a drama free female/male partnering! What more could I ask for? I enjoyed it!
Also on a random side note, this society apparently "recycles" dead bodies, my boyfriend and I came to the conclusion that they were probably being made into Soy-lent Greens to feed the starving population...any other theories?

     

Friday, 21 September 2012

Review: Never Say Never (Never Knights, #1) by Kailin Gow

Never Say Never (Never Knights, #1) by Kailin Gow

Author: Kailin Gow
Publication Date: August 12, 2012
Publisher: theEDGEbooks.com
Pages: 236
Genre: Mature YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: ebook provided by the author for review (Thank you!)
Book Description from Goodreads: 
What girl wouldn't want to be surrounded by the sexy guys from the hottest teen rock sensation in the country? 18-year-old Never "Neve" Knight, not only is surrounded by the hottest boys to hit the music charts, but she is the band's lead singer. As the band's lead singer and manager, Never formed and shaped the band to where it is today, a band on the rise and on the brink of being signed by a label. As one of the guys, she knew each of the band members since they were all snot-nose ten-year-olds. While her boys were the cutest guys and they would protect her like knights, she couldn't date any one of them and ruin the chance at being signed with the record label of her dreams. 

That changes when one of the band members suddenly drops out of the band, and in walks Danny Blue, with his dreamy blue eyes, hot body, and British accent. Suddenly, Never's solid world has turned to mush, and her rule for not dating one of her band members is seriously challenged. Can she keep her head straight and get her band signed with a label without losing her heart?


Review:

     I spent a huge portion of my teenage years in the basements of churches, civic centers and .... sneaking into bars - not to drink of course, but to mosh around in a pit of sweaty writhing bodies charged with the electricity of an (usually) awesome indie band that was on their way to making it big. In Never Say Never Gow completely brings me back to that awesome time but from a band's perspective. 

     Neve grew up surrounded by music, so it only seemed natural to start her own band. Starting at a young age with her band mates, they've spent years honing their sound. Now that they're all off to college together they play gigs when they can and attend classes most days - until their dreams nearly come true one night when a scout approaches them with the possibility of a deal with a record label. But it all comes quickly crashing down when a band member makes an untimely exit and it seems like all their hard work was for naught....until the very talented Danny Blue shows up...

     Gow has Neve address the shadier side of being a rock star, like the drugs, alcohol and groupie one night stands. These things can become overpowering and often leads to the downfall of a lot of bands. But I loved that Neve was this perfect balance of fun and serious. She knows when to let loose, but she has this rigid determination to achieve a goal she's dedicated her life to. Neve's never given much thought to pursuing relationships, especially when she's surrounded by her all boy band mates who seem more like brothers than potential love interests. So she's made it her number 1 rule to never date any of her band members...but rules are made to be broken. 

     Kyle, Luc and Geoff all have it hard for Neve. Each vying and competing for her attention and each one approaching it differently. Sometimes it got very awkward and when I got to know these guys I squirmed right along with Neve. They've all been 'friendzoned' and Neve tries to do it as tactfully as possible but it's all bound to come crumbling down. I'm glad that at least one band member - Steve - seemed like he was genuinely not interested in Neve and he provided a great go-between and a voice of reason.

     Oh Danny boy...I have a thing for British accented guitarists. They will always bring me back to James Marsters as Spike from Buffy the Vampire slayer *sigh* (side note: if you haven't seen my Comic Expo videos of his panel you can see them HERE). Danny is someone that Neve can easily relate to. They both love music, he has the mental maturity that Neve needs but he's also got the whole tortured musician going for him too. Danny's back story was just constantly evolving the plot of the main story and it all pulled together perfectly - the boy's got some serious secrets! 

     Neve and Danny's romance starts out cute and innocent and quickly gets HOT. They fight the attraction to each other for the sake of the band and it just builds up the sexual tension until it finally explodes. The sex scenes are steamy but not over the top or particularly graphic. They enhanced the romance and play a pivotal role to Neve's development. 

     Gow's style is casual and upbeat, which makes it a super enjoyable and quick read. The character's each have a distinct voice and there's some hilarious moments of innuendo and wit. The plot of the story is pretty predictable but the way it was presented still made it engaging so that I was interested in seeing it to the end - which by the way was a doozie of an ending!! I was pretty much screaming NOOOOO at the end because I was so invested in the characters by that point - now I have to wait for the next book to see how this is going to play out... 


Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
Gow takes a reader on an exhilarating journey of love, friendship that proves that passion can drive you both on stage and off! 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Black Tea: Pumpkin Chai



DAVIDsTEA
Black Tea: Pumpkin Chai


Ingredients: Black tea, cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel, squash, carrot, caramel bits, pumpkin candies, natural and artificial flavoring. 






The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing color and Halloween stuff is starting to pop up everywhere. I feel that this following picture expresses one of the most prominent parts of fall: 


Today's post will make no exception to this photo. Chai style tea is my go to tea for winter. I get the caffeine from the black tea, warmth from the spices and there's even pumpkin shaped sprinkles of awesomeness in this tea! The spices aren't overpowering in this tea, but it does mask the bitterness of the black tea perfectly. The sprinkles and caramel add just the right amount of sweetness - so no sugar was necessary. But what I love doing is infusing milk with the tea for a Pumpkin Chai Latte! It was perfect served with these this week:


Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins - they were soooo delicious and moist!
(Recipe Here). Mine definitely didn't turn out as pretty, and next time I would put the cheese mix in first, then pumpkin on top so it mixes better. But these two were the perfect treats to kick off fall this week! 

Overall: 5/5 Steaming Hot Cups of Tea!
I love pumpkin spice flavored everything...I'm pretty crushed when spring comes and these go away for another year. So I better enjoy these for as long as I can! 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (18): Everbound


Waiting on Wednesday (18):Everbound
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases


Everbound (Everneath, #2) by Brodi Ashton
Expected Publication Date: January 22, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Description from Goodreads: 

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.






I loved Everneath, plus these covers are always so gorgeous! What're you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Teaser Tuesday (18): Never Say Never


Teaser Tuesday: Never Say Never
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
·Grab your current read 
·
Open to a random page 
·
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 
·
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.


Author: Kailin Gow
Publication Date: August 12, 2012
Publisher: Sparklesoup Inc.
Pages: 245
Genre: Mature YA, Contemporary
Description from Goodreads:
What girl wouldn't want to be surrounded by the sexy guys from the hottest teen rock sensation in the country? 18-year-old Never "Neve" Knight, not only is surrounded by the hottest boys to hit the music charts, but she is the band's lead singer. As the band's lead singer and manager, Never formed and shaped the band to where it is today, a band on the rise and on the brink of being signed by a label. As one of the guys, she knew each of the band members since they were all snot-nose ten-year-olds. While her boys were the cutest guys and they would protect her like knights, she couldn't date any one of them and ruin the chance at being signed with the record label of her dreams. 

That changes when one of the band members suddenly drops out of the band, and in walks Danny Blue, with his dreamy blue eyes, hot body, and British accent. Suddenly, Never's solid world has turned to mush, and her rule for not dating one of her band members is seriously challenged. Can she keep her head straight and get her band signed with a label without losing her heart?





Teaser: 

     " "You've read my dad's fan mail?"
      " He pays me to open it for him and sort out the crazies...apparently a lot of girls think your dad is fiiine." " (page 42, kindle). 


I loved this rock band themed book! What's your teaser this Tuesday? Leave a link for me to check out! 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Stacking the Shelves (10)

Hosted by Tynga


     This week was my first full week of school! I'm getting back into the swing of things, but I still managed to squeeze some reading in. This past week Chapters/Indigo here in Canada was having this bonus 4,500 'plum points' (it's a loyalty reward card where you collect points and redeem them at certain benchmarks for books) so I racked up quite a few points!

Bought: 




Borrowed:


For Review:


  • Never Say Never (Never Knights, #1) by Kailin Gow <- From the author for review in preparation for the second one, I finished it in one sitting - look for the review to come!
  • Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher <- e-arc from Netgalley. I'm excited to start this one!


What's up with everyone else this week? Leave me a link in the comments so I can swing by! 



Friday, 14 September 2012

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols





Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: MTV Books
Pages: 336 
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Bought it










Description from Goodreads: 

Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.


By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.


Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.


Review:

     When people see the term 'White Trash' they immediately conjure up a very stereotypical image of a moldy aluminum trailer, a young uneducated irresponsible mother that depends on a quick succession of boyfriends to live, and whom runs from every money problem under the sun. Sadly, Leah Jones lives that exact reality from one trailer park to another as her mother perpetually gambles away their lives one pawned TV at a time. Having grown up in such an environment, Leah has been left to fend for herself; rationing food, wearing clothes threadbare and generally biding her time until that eviction notice arrived. But an unexpected benefit to living in trailer parks located next to airstrips was that a love of planes would develop and it drives Leah to one day seek out a job at the airport in her own backyard in Heaven Beach. 

     The cover is what drew me to this book in the first place. Hair can be so expressive, and when you look at this cover you get that intense feeling of a rushing howl of wind at your back (like when riding a roller coaster). It just gives me shivers of excitement looking at it!

     In the beginning, the story is told by looking at snippets of the past and how Leah learns the skills that lands her in between Grayson and Alec in the present. Young Leah, while working at the airport she excels in the simple daily tasks while she soaks in all that she can about aviation. But just being around planes isn't enough, she's itching to fly in one. Saving up each penny that she can keep from her mother's grabby fingers, Leah convinces Mr. Hall to give her a flight lesson - and one lesson is all it takes to get her hooked.

     I was completely surprised by the complexity of Leah's character. At times she seems resigned to the stereotypes that come with living in a trailer park (namely that she's easy and poor) and sometimes wallows in it. Then there's times where she's this completely different girl that's strong, willful and has this insane drive to do the impossible. She wavers between the two, and I'm so glad that the other characters don't just let this slide, they call her out on it.

     Twins Grayson and Alec Hall couldn't be more different. Alec is super adorkable - he's just an all around sweet and nice guy. But it's the black sheep of the family, the reckless adrenaline junkie Grayson that captures and holds your attention. Looking at the Grayson from Leah's flashbacks and the present Grayson, there's a very visible divide between the two. Just when I thought I had Grayson figured out he'd surprise me equally with bouts of anger or random acts of kindness. On his road to emotional recovery, his decisions take him down a very dark path with a hidden agenda that made me blaze through this book because I couldn't stop asking why right along with Leah.  

     Echols does an incredible job crafting her characters, no matter how brief they appear they all had such vivid personalities that I could connect with them instantly and they managed to stay in the back of my mind throughout the book. 

    The romance aspect is completely believable. It's not instant love, there's lots of hardships and tests. I wouldn't say there's an obvious love triangle going on here, but Echols brings on some very mature situations which I loved seeing, because let's be honest here - it's not like teenagers aren't already doing these things why awkwardly dance around it? That being said, this is definitely for older YA readers, there are some scenes that I never would've expected to encounter. 

     This is easily one of my favorite books of 2012. It's got death defying action, social class drama, family dysfunction, hilarious outbursts and really good looking fly boys. What more could you ask for? 
Overall: 5/5 Steaming HOT Cups of Tea!
I'm so glad I bought this one because it's one of those feel good books I'd love to read again and again when I need an inspirational pick me up. Also I've never read anything by Jennifer Echols before, but I'll definitely be looking into her other works! 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Tea Time Thursday: Herbal Tea: Goji Pop


DAVIDsTEA


Herbal Tea:
Goji Pop
Ingredients: Apple pieces, goji berries, hibiscus blossoms, rosehip peel, honeydew melon cubes, marigold petals, artificial flavoring.

     When you smell this tea it's like a deliciously sweet but slightly tart Starburst candy. DAVIDsTEA pitches this as a kid friendly tea, especially if served cold in the summer and I can definitely see how it'd be appealing in its bright pink appearance and alluring scent.
     Unfortunately, I couldn't be swayed. I tried this three times JUST to be sure. Hot, cold, with sugar, without - nothing would work for me. While there was a natural sweetness to it, the artificial citrus added to it seemed to take over and that's all I could taste. It was SO sour, my cheeks actually puckered. Adding sugar tamed it a bit, but it was still pretty prominent and I just couldn't get more than a few sips in. It was definitely better iced, but for me I just couldn't do it. 

Overall: 2/5 Tepid Cups of Tea.
I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (17): Alice in Zombieland


Waiting on Wednesday (17):Alice in Zombieland
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) by Gena Showalter
Expected Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Book Description from Goodreads: 

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….








I've been loving all the zombie themed books lately. So mix Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland with Zombies and it seems like quite possibly the best combination ever! Plus look at that gorgeous cover!!!! Also, if you happen to notice the little "Off with their heads." on the cover, it made me giggle a bit. 

So what're you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Teaser Tuesday (17): Such a Rush


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


Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: MTV Books
Pages: 336
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Description from Goodreads:
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.
Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.




Teaser:

     " As the door was opening, I couldn't see them, but I recognized Alec's voice. "Do you think he's doing her?"
       "Good God, no," Jake said.
       "Of course he is," Grayson said. "Why else would that stingy bastard give away flying lessons for free?" " (pg. 33)


I didn't get too far into this, but as soon as I hit that line my jaw dropped and I knew it had to be my teaser! What's your teaser this week? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by! 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: EVƎ & ADAM by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant


EVƎ & ADAM by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant

Author: Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Source: e-arc received from publisher on NetGalley for an honest review (Thank You!)
Description from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible. 
While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and that her mother may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.




Review:
     
     The book starts out with a bang! literally, Eve gets smooshed by a speeding truck. What better way to grab your reader's attention than to immediately kill off your main character? Oh but I didn't mention that Eve survives, and in the ensuing hours she miraculously stays conscious through the whole ordeal. But the oddity of how quickly she's healing is overshadowed by the project her mother - head of Spiker Biotech - assigns her to keep her busy. You'd think it'd be easy to design the perfect male specimen right? It just happens to get a little bit complicated with the gorgeous and mysterious Solo hovering nearby, Eve's best friend Aislin getting into trouble non-stop on top of the ominous rumblings in the bowels of Spiker Biotech. 

     I love the cover so much. With the title being Eve & Adam, and using the apple as the traditional iconic symbol to allude to the story of creation, it's fitting for this tale of girl creates boy - with a slight Frankenstein science fiction twist to the cover, it blends the two themes together perfectly! 

    I walked into this book thinking it'd be set in a futuristic world where impossible technology ruled, but turns out it's set in present day with lots of inside jokes about current video games (I giggled at the mention of Portal), and common gadgets (like iPads). So it was a bit surprising, but given the context of how Eve is presented with her project I think this setting was a good choice.

    This husband wife writing duo manages to nail the characters right on the head. The story is told from alternating points of view between Eve and Solo - each chapter is distinguished by name. But the voices are written in a way that it's easy to distinct between Eve with a more structured professional academic voice versus Solo's darker, casual but calculated voice.

     I liked Eve well enough. She over thinks things a bit too much sometimes, and it ends up giving her tunnel vision, which causes her to miss crucial facts that are blaring at her. Eve has never wanted for anything in her life, but her life isn't as perfect as you think. She's lived with a very tightly controlled leash, and because of this she's both insanely intelligent but lacks common sense life skills. She's driven to do well, but like any sane teenager she tests her mothers limits. She gets her bouts of rebellion in where she can, mostly in the form of her best friend Aislin. 

     Aislin is that friend I think we all knew at one point. She makes some of the worst relationship decisions ever, loves to party and you always feel like you need to rescue her from herself. Which is Eve's role in this friendship, she ends up living vicariously through Aislin's crazy adventures while picking up the pieces afterwards. Aislin, although a secondary character seemed to play a huge role in the story. Her mess of a life is what drives most of the conflict. I will give Aislin credit, at least she knows what she wants and she decides quickly, it made Eve's constant indecision a bit more bearable.

     Solo Plissken has a lot in common with Eve. He's clever, smart, snarky and at times just a little bit hormonally awkward. But unlike Eve, he has the ability to think quickly on his feet, and street smarts to survive in the cut throat environment of Spiker Biotech. At first I wasn't sure if I liked him, he was a bit of an ass. But Solo is like a fungus, he grows on you. 

     I was a bit disappointed that Eve's designing of her perfect boy takes a bit of a backseat to all the drama that Aislin and Solo brings to the party. But once things get going I was more concerned with each character's personal struggles instead of her project. The darker undertow of the whole story does however end up drawing all these strings together into one fantastic reveal. It gets a bit philosophical towards the end, but I figure the ramifications and ethics of such a project should likely be discussed.

Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
The style and language used makes this a surprisingly quick read. The science isn't overly technical, the romance isn't steamy but it's cute in a geeks get together kind of way. All in all you will laugh and be entertained! The ending didn't leave me for wanting, but it does look like it could be turned into a series.

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