Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: The Second Shadow by Elizabeth Arroyo













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Author: Elizabeth Arroyo
Pages: 222 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: September 2nd, 2013
Received From: Xpresso Book Tours
Status: The Second Sign #2

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Jake thought being demon meant a shredded humanity, stripped of all human emotion. Chaos and self-preservation dominates a demon’s instincts. But Jake feels every ounce of pain and despair around him.

And it’s driving him deeper into Hell.

Gabby’s choice to save him last summer left a fissure in Hell’s gate that released a malevolent evil. When Jake’s given a mission by the demons to shadow a human girl who may know the whereabouts of an ethereal weapon, he doesn’t expect to see Gabby. But Fate has her own agenda.

When Jake and Gabby are thrown together on a camping trip with a group of delinquent teens, Jake begins to grapple with the haunting choices he made in the past. When the evil finds them, the group begins to battle for their lives, alliances are made, and truths revealed.

As the evil begins to influence Jake, he questions his link to the demons, his purpose, and his love for Gabby.

But the answers to those questions are only found in Hell. And it may cost him his soul.

Review:

The Second Shadow is the sequel in the Second Sign series by Elizabeth Arroyo. I quite liked this book over the first one because I found that it just had a lot more content than the first one. The beginning of the story sort of dragged for me, and what really kept me going was really how Gabby and Jake were going to deal with their new selves. I also wanted to see how their loyalties would shift, so that sort of kept me going. I found myself sympathizing with the characters more as I read the book and there were a lot more surprises in this one than the first. I felt the build up was still a little slow for me, but I found myself more into this story than I was in the first one. But, this story had a lot more content, and sometimes I got confused with what was going on. However, I still found it enjoyable, and I was content with the ending.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Review: The Second Sign by Elizabeth Arroyo












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Author: Elizabeth Arroyo
Pages: 238 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: February 4rd, 2013
Recieved From: Sapphire Star Publishing
Status: The Second Sign #1



Synopsis (from Goodreads):


Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever

Review:

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review, but that does not affect my review.

The Second Sign is about a half human, half angel named Gabby who is the younger and not-so-better half of her twin, angel brother Max. Gabby is full of angst and keeps people at arms length, until she meets Jake in the sleepy town in Maine. There, she'll discover her true destiny, and make the ultimate decision.

When I read the synopsis, I didn't find it really helpful, but I was still interested in the book, and I read it, and to be honest with you, it was a really slow burn for me.

Personally for me, I found that the majority of the book lacked build up from the beginning till 3/4 into the book when I finally got hooked and started to enjoy the story and the action. I found that the information and everything was just thrown everywhere, and it was pieced together awkwardly. I found myself very confused with many of the roles in the story when it came to people that Gabby know, and there was really a lack of character development for all the characters. Gabby does start to develop, but it takes her a really long time to start to develop, and even then it was really slow.

I found myself getting tired of her attitude, and was just really not feeling her as a narrator. But I did find sympathy for her when we learned Max's role in the story, and I really felt bad for then. Even her relationship with Jake didn't excite me; I think he fell in love with her way to fast, and there wasn't much of a build up either.

But the ending. I liked the ending. I think near the end was when it all started to come together and become much more enjoyable, but even then, it bothered me the way that Jake and Gabby's relationship was left off.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Art of Lainey (#17)


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Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Status: standalone 


Synopsis (from Goodreads):


Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame.

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him...

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.



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The Art of Lainey will be out this May. THIS MAY! Aren't you guys excited? If you guys don't know about The Art of Lainey, it's an awesome story written by Paula Stokes and is about Lainey Mitchell, a teenage girl who is going to go all Zhou Dynasty on a guy after he dumps her.

This book is on the top of my TBR list, and I suggest you guys add it to your too! I don't really read many contemporaries, but when I do, most of them are good, so I have lots of hope for AoL!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Blogger Life: Life After Exams (#1)



You know what my favourite time of the year is? Other than my birthday and Christmas (when I can buy more books :D), and other than Christmas, Summer and March break? Life After Exams.

Literally, that was me when I woke up this morning, at 11 am. :D

I don't know about you, but after my first exam, I am already done with school and don't really care what my grades will be; for me, I am content with getting an 80% overall average during exam and CPT season (that stands for Culminating Performance Task- think of it as a final worth 10-15% of your grade before exams that can either make or break you). It isn't till the start of mid-term season (late October-November, and mid-April-mid May) that I start to care about getting an 85%+ overall average to get into university.

But, now that exams are done (I finished my French exam yesterday at 11:05 am), I am just focused on four things: SLEEP, reading, writing, and blogging. But mostly sleep. After exams are over, our school is given (and I'm pretty sure the whole district) is given 3 days (2, if you go to exam review day to check your marks like me) to relax, before heading back for second semester on FRIDAY. Yeah, you read that right! I said Friday. Every year, the second semester starts on Friday.

But to be honest with you, at this point, I really don't care when second semester starts. I'm just glad now, I get to sleep and catch up on the work I've been missing out on. However, I always find myself at my laziest point after exams (you should see me procrastinate DURING exam season). For example, this post was supposed to be typed up and ready to go at 10:30 am today, but I just got to lazy and decided to leave it for later. Yeah.

So anyways, what do you guys do after exams? If you go to high school or college or university I mean? I always find myself sleeping, eating and reading.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Bookish Book Theories: Starling by Fiona Paul (#1)



Hey guys! This is a new thing on my blog that I can hopefully post more of (you know, if blogger will stop being such a little BLEH)! This week, I'm making theories for the FINAL book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series by Fiona Paul, STARLING!

Okay, before I continue, let me just say that this post will contain A LOT of spoilers since this is the last book of the trilogy and I'm making theories for it, using some clues from the past novels! So if you want to know more about the Eternal Rose series, go check out my review for Venom here!






Publication: March 20th, 2014


In the stunning conclusion to the Secrets of the Eternal Rose tirlogy, there is nothing more dangerous that a secret closely kept…

Cass and Luca are fugitives, on the run from the law and the deadly Order of the Eternal Rose. As they separate to pursue the only evidence that could save them, their worlds—and their romance—are torn apart by spiteful friends and murderous enemies.

When Cass finds herself ensnared in the Order’s twisted plot, Falco emerges once again as her only hope for freedom. But it turns out Luca has a shocking scheme of his own.

From ancient mercenaries to sly magicians, from clever courtesans to vengeful killers, no one can be trusted. In the breathtaking conclusion to the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy, Cass must confront the Order and once and for all decide her destiny. Who will fly beside her when she finally finds her wings?

This historical romantic thriller is perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, Anna Godberson's The Luxe, and Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty and The Diviners.



Okay, so let's start off with the clues that came from Belladonna. 


1) We all know that Cristian will be keeping an eye on things in Starling and will totally be causing trouble! I personally think that Dubois will die from Cristian's hand. I don't know why, but it makes sense. I think my reasoning for that is because Cristian, in the epilogue of Belladonna, went to her for work or something, so that means that he fell out of favour with Dubois.


2) Falco stole the effing book. I just wanted to add that in here. Is it just me, or was it obviously him? My friend Maria was so confused when I told her this, but when she read back and I explained to her a little more, she got it. Falco knew where the book was, Falco left (mentioned in the epliogue) Belladonna's place, and we all know that Cass walked in on Falco and Belladonna and was pissed. And we all know that when Cass is mad, she's mad. He obviously stole the book to make her happy and to prove that he still cares about her (does he even say he loves her?).


3) Falco didn't really have a thing with Belladonna. I think Bella knew that Falco liked Cass because he probably mentioned her when he was working. And when Cass walks in on Falco and Bella, I think that he was seducing her for information. Remember: he pissed of Cass the night before or something, and was trying to get some info for her!


That's all I got from Belladonna, mostly because I lost my copy of the book *sobs*. But since Belladonna's release date, there have been a lot of teasers that have can out! For example, Amazon released the first chapter of the book, which has a LOT of theorizing opporitunities! You can check it out here!


Orphan Cass


I totally think that Cass's whole household is dead and it's just her and Luca living in her house. The reason why I think everyone is dead is because in the first chapter, Cass gets a feeling of death when she walks into her place. I want to say the government did it, but I honestly think that Dubois is the reason behind the deaths.


Belladonna's Secret Potion


Since we all know that Bella is 40 and looks 20-ish, it's obvious she has the exilr of youth or something. In Belladonna, it mentioned "pure blood of a Venetian" needed or something like that. Maybe that's how Cass's parents died: their blood was probably used for the potion. It's obvious at this point that Dubois and de Gradi maybe competing  with Cristian (working with Bella) to get Cass first with her blood, but do you guys seriously think that it's a magical potion or something else? I think it's magical.

The Order's Crazy Scheme

Okay, so this ties in with Belladonna's Secret Potion. We all know that Cass may or may not be hunted for her blood, but the thing is, what else would they want her for? They obviously would want her dead, but what else? What else would they want from her? I guess they would want Falco too since he stole the book, but what else? Her parents notes on the Order may be one other thing, but it's not like Bella and Dubois to only have one motive, there has to be more motives to hunt her down!

The Traitor

Okay, I've already talked about Dubois, de Gradi and Cristian being main antagonists in this book, but from the synopsis (seen above), I'm predicting that Magdelena and Marco will be the traitors. I don't know why. I think that the Magician from the first book will be the one saving her (other than the guys) because he seems willing too. We didn't get to see him much in Venom to know if he is genuinely nice or it's just a hoax. But yeah, at this point in the book, Magdelena seems pretty irrelevant because she's in Florence, and even when she does come back, I don't think they'll be on the same side. Her father and her husband seem very law abiding.

Another characters I have in mind that could be traitors: Luca, and Falco's former friends, Paolo, Etienne, Nicholas. It says that Luca has his own shocking scheme and you may never know what that means... maybe he'll use Falco as a human sacrifice, and to be honest, that's VERY traitorous to us fangirls. I think Falco's friends would be likely traitors as well because 1) they're poor artists and 2) they may or may not be upset with the fact that Falco left for Florence.

Luca's Plan

To be honest with you, when I read the part of the synopsis that said that Luca has a shocking scheme of his own, I had a heart attack. Him using Falco is probably going to be a main part of that scheme since he's willing to do anything for Cass, and he does need to get rid of the competition somehow.

I also suspect that Luca may use Cass. I don't know why. He's smart enough to be able to manipulate her, and he could use her betrayal as a way to make her do anything. But the thing is, WHAT IS HIS SHOCKING SCHEME? Will he want to take down the Order and be the leader himself? I actually see that happening. He's obviously going to take down the Order to keep himself, Cass and Falco (since he has the book) alive, but what's he going to do then? I see him taking over. I really do. And we all know he isn't above violence if it means the safety of Cass.


The Mini-Selection

FALCO IS BACK AND LUCA FINALLY LEARNS OF HIS EXISTANCE! For two books Fiona Paul has miraculously kept Luca and Falco away from each other. I don't known if that's pure genius or pure evil because we all know that Cass is going to have a lot of explaining and calming down to do. AND she has to choose one of them! GAH! We all know that Luca is NOT going to be happy from this little excerpt from Pixelski's blog! I'm actually really surprised that Luca would have such emotion! But to be honest with you, I'm not surprised- she's TECHNICALLY been cheating on him for two books straight, so yeah. About freaking time!

But the question is, who do you think she'll pick? I spoke to Fiona/Paula after I finished Belladonna on twitter and she said that Cass becomes her own person and the guy is "just a bonus". So it can be anyone! The title of the book IS called Starling, and it's easy to predict that she chooses Falco at the end.

Just so you know, I AM #TeamFalco, but to be honest with you, with the excerpt from Amazon and the one on Pixelski's blog has me thinking that it IS Luca! I don't know why. On Pixelski's blog, he says something of not being able to choose with him around, and I feel like Cass is going to come to the conclusion that the guy she chooses has to be able to change with her, and not for her. I think Luca's going to change the most of the two guys. But for all I know I could be wrong. However, I do believe that that's the significance behind Starling and Fiona's tweet: that Cass will change character-wise and mature, making her a starling, and whoever she chooses will be because he is able to accept that. (But I still believe her and Falco will marry and have tons of cute little artistic babies!).



Okay, so that's it for my first Bookish Book Theories post! I hope you enjoy it!


Happy Monday guys!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Blogaversary: Six Months of Sleepless Reading


Hey guys! I got some awesome news! On Saturday February 22nd, 2014, I will be celebrating my blogaversary!

Okay, so TECHNICALLY, I've only been blogging on Sleepless Reads for a month (not even, my 1 month blogaversary for this blog is on February 2nd :D), but I have been blogging for six months, so I decided to celebrate that! :D

And I have some AWESOME prizes and stuff lined up!

I'm interviewing authors like, Page Morgan (The Beautiful & the Cursed), Cat Winters (In the Shadow of Blackbirds), Join McQuein (Arclight), Nat D. Richards (Six Months Later), and Erin Albert (The Prophecy). I'll also be giving away a ton of prizes as well, and TRUST ME, there will be more cool stuff to follow as well!

So that's it for me, and visit my blog for more updates and reviews! And just so you know, the blogaversary party will be running for a week, from Saturday February 22nd-Saturday February 28th, 2014, you get the chance to win some awesome stuff!

And shout out to Giselle from BookNerd Canada for making the awsome banner! You rock!

Have a great Saturday guys!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: Dead Is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez

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Author: Marlene Perez 
Pages: 175 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: April 9th, 2009
Recieved From: Chapters
Status: Dead Is #2, Paperback

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A creepy, campy new mystery series

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

There’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High: Duke Sherrad, a fortune-teller claiming to have descended from Gypsies. Even though she’s psychic herself, Daisy is skeptical of Duke’s powers. But when a teacher who was the subject of one of his predictions ends up dead, she begins to wonder if Duke is the real deal after all.
Maybe if Daisy can track down the teacher’s killer, she can find out the truth. The only trouble is, all signs point to the murderer being of the furry persuasion. Is Daisy any match for a werewolf? Maybe she is . . . in more ways than she bargained for!

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Review:

Dead Is a State of Mind was such an enjoyable read, and I loved it so much!

I think the reason why I loved DIaSoM more than the first book is because we get more information and development with the characters, and it's nice to see Marlene Perez use those loose threads/set ups in the first book and make them so awesome in this book.

I loved how we got to see more of the Ryan/Daisy relationship, and we got to see them get tested. A lot. I don't know. I usually don't like it when couples are tested, but it worked in this book because it almost sealed their relationship. Another thing I loved is that we get to see the plot with Daisy's dad develop more, and I just loved the action and mystery in this book!

There's a lot of set up on the Scourage, which I know will cause of trouble for the characters in the future, but it's good to know that Daisy and Ryan and the Giordano's are sure of each other.

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 
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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review: Dead Is the New Black by Marlene Perez


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Author: Marlene Perez
Pages: 208 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: September 1st, 2008
Recieved From: my school bookfair
Status: Dead Is #1, Paperback

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
 
Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the pyschic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can’t help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new “look.” Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.

Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad.
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Review:

Dead Is the New Black is one of my favourite series of all time! It's not super long, it's not super gritty, and it's not too overly romatic, but what makes Dead Is the New Black a good book is that it's charming, it's sweet, it's got a good sense of humor, it's mysterious, and it's easy and enjoyable read!

The Dead Is the New Black series is about sixteen year old Daisy Giordano, a seemingly normal girl who lives in the town of Nightshade, California with her psychic mother and siblings, and drop dead gorgeous best friend. When 'it' girl Sam comes back from break dressed in black, things in Nightshade starts to get weirder and mysterious than ever, and it's up to Daisy to figure it all out.

Daisy is an awesome character, because she's very down to earth and normal. She's awkward, self-conscience, but she's got spunk and knows how to make a mean tirimisu (sorry if that isn't spelled right my Italian friends). When Nighshade's shady secrets start to unravel around her, she becomes a super sleuth and decides to go undercover. She's smart, she's witty, and in the end, she stays true to who she is.

This book is good for anyone who wants to get started in the YA paranormal genre. I got this book back in the seventh grade, and I've been reading it ever since!

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Waiting on Wednesday: Dreams of Gods and Monsters (#16)


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Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Expected Release Date: April 8th, 2014

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

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I am freaking out because this series is almost done! By this April, I'll no longer have any more Karou, no more Akiva, no more Zuzana, no more Mik- I think I'll need a feels hug afterwards!

I love this series because Laini Taylor has a unique writing that I just love, and I love how she writes the story to make it come full circle. I'm really excited for the last book (especially since Karou and Akiva were left with a terrible situation in the end of Days of Blood and Starlight).

I'm kind of nervous though because there's a Queen after Akiva. NO ONE ruins my OTP. Like, I don't know how I'm going to feel. Akiva and Karou's relationship didn't really end on good terms at the end of the last book.

I don't know. I can't wait for this book because I just want to know what's going to happen next, but at the same time, I just don't want it to end!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Author: Tahereh Mafi 
Pages: 338 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Recieved From: my public library
Status: Shatter Me #1, Hardcover

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


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Review:

Another great read for the New Year!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi has been on my TBR pile since it's release date, but I'm not really able to afford many books, so library books are mostly the way I get any reading done (other from generous donations, borrowing from friends, or special occasions like my birthday or Christmas). And when I saw the book, I grabbed it immediately!

The story is about 17 year old Juliette who has been imprisoned for 3 years after an incident that made her parents let her be taken away by authorities. The last time she saw the world, it was slowly starting to crumble. Now, after three years, she'll finally get her chance, but unfortunately for her, everything isn't the same anymore, and unlike before, people want her more than ever.

I really loved this story and I really loved Mafi's writing style. There was something poetic about the way she told Juliette's story, and it really caught my attention right away. I fell in love with Juliette from the start, and as the story progressed, Mafi's story and writing style left me both loving and hating the story. I loved the story, because of the amazing characters, the plot and the nice pace it had going. I hated it because it was way too short and that I didn't try looking for the second book/putting it on hold when I had the chance.

This is DEFINITELY one of my favourite reads of 2014 so far, and I'm so happy I have enough time to catch up with the series before the third book comes out!

P.S, if you're going to read the series, GET ALL THE BOOKS!

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
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Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter


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Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 298 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: June 21st, 2011
Recieved From: bought at Chapters
Status: hardcover, Heist Society #2

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

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Review:

Ally Carter is a talented writer who has made the Heist Society series even more addicting, thrilling, mysterious and swoonworthy than it original was! Uncommon Criminals was a beautiful sequel, and really goes deeper into Katarina Bishop's crooked world.

Kat was enjoyable to read in this book. She is as strong-willed and clever as ever, and it was really interesting to see her deal with the transition from going from a normal, teenage life back to her thieving ways. In many ways, she is stuck, but her friends, Hale, and this Cleopatra diamond mystery is pulling her deep back into her world.

Unlike Heist Society, I found this book easier to follow (for some reason), and I liked it much better. I think the reason why I enjoyed this book so much is because we get to see more of Uncle Eddie's past, and more family secrets.

It was an interesting book, and I definiately recommend reading ALL of Ally Carter's books! It's totally worth it!

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!
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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood


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Author: Jessica Spotswood
Pages: 330 pages
Publisher: Putnam
Release Date: February 7th, 2012
Recieved from: my public library
Status: Hardcover, book #1 in The Cahill Witch Chronicles

 Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

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Review:

I actually finished this book before the New Year, but I've been putting off this review because this book was so beautifully written, and it brought out so many emotions that I just didn't want it to end. Even though I have the sequel.

This book didn't put me in mourning period, but it did bring out my feels. I made a lot of assumptions about the characters and the plot, and although I got many of them right, there were a lot of things I wasn't expecting.

For example, I never thought that Cat's middle sister, Maura, would be the vain and attention-seeking one. I seriously thought that that was going to be the youngest one, Tess, but it was Maura. I think the reason why is because in the first chapter, she was described as the bookish one, so yeah...That's why I made the assumption.

But overall, the book was really interesting. There was so much plot and so much development with the characters, that I automatically fell in love with the book. Cat is 16, and the eldest Cahill girl. Unlike her younger siblings, she's average: she's learned Latin, but hasn't mastered it like her 12 year old sister Tess. She reads books, but isn't a book worm like her middle sister, Maura. She takes it upon herself to be the mother figure to her siblings ever since their mom died three years prior to when the story starts. You can tell from the story she's made herself become boring and strict to keep her siblings in line and protect them from the Brotherhood who are against witchcraft. I liked her, and she was an enjoyable character. What made me like her a lot as a narrator is that she's strong, and I like strong female characters.

Plot wise, there was a lot going on this book, and the way that Spotswood ended this book was just so...so...Moffat like. I knew that something was going to happen in the end that would ruin her engagement, but I didn't expect it to be that! (If you've read the book, you'd get it. So go read the book!). I knew that it was too good to be true, but wow, I wasn't expecting that Spotswood.

Despite that little feels fest at the end of the book, it ended on a good note and I can't wait to start reading my ARC of Star Cursed (btw, s/o to Giselle from Booknerd Canada who drove in the snow to give it to me!).

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Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Book Blast: In Shadows of Magic


Thank you for stopping by on my stop for the In Shadows of Magic book blast! Keep scrolling down to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


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Synopsis 

Mandy McKinney lives the charmed life. She is beautiful, athletic, popular, dating the hottest jock in school, and certainly doesn't have any time for her loser twin sister. But Mandy also has a secret. When the truth is unveiled, her world is twisted upside down, and her very life is at stake. 

Mandy's twin sister, Brianna, has never had any success in the dating department. When Brianna finally meets the guy of her dreams, it turns out that he has secrets of his own. Dangerous secrets. Just her luck.

The twins are about to be swept away into a world of beauty and power beyond their wildest imaginations where nothing is what is seems, danger is lurking in the shadows, and their only chance of survival is finding themselves, and each other, once again.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alison F. Prince is a school psychologist in northern New Jersey.  In Shadows of Magic is her debut release.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Note: This contest is only open to those in the US 13+

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

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Author: Kerstin Gier
Pages: 322 pages
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt
Received from: bought from Chapters (I really regret not buying the whole series at the same time).
Status: paperback, trilogy (book #1)


Summary (from Goodreads):

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

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Review:
This book was amazing! DEFINITELY   one of my favourite reads of 2014 so far! 

Ruby Red is about a girl named Gwyneth who's lived a rather normal life. She hangs out with her best friend Lesley, watches too many movies, and is too quiet for her own good. She's the total opposite of Charlotte, her cousin and the heir to the time travel gene.

When Gwyneth discovers that she's the real heir, her life is suddenly turned upside down and become really dangerous. She has no idea how to be a proper time traveller, and how to be the 'right' companion for Gideon. 

This book was soo awesome, and I had such a fun time reading it! Gwyneth was such a good narrator, and she was just hilarious! My favourite part in the book was when she went back in time to meet the founder of the time travellers secret organization thingy (The Master? I think that was the Count's title...), and started to sing "God Save the Queen" to keep her thoughts safe! I was dying at that. She really is an enjoyable character to read, and even through she's a time traveller, she's easy to get a long with, and she's just amazing. Seriously. She can even talk to ghosts, and I love how she's friends with the resident ghost at her school, James. He's not really in it much in this book, but he will definitely be in the next one!

Her best friend, Lesley, is pretty awesome too, and I LOVE their relationship! Oh my gosh, she is the most understanding and accepting friend in the world, and I love how she believes Gwyneth about her family and life, and is always willing to help her! She's always Googling things to help her friend investigate, or she's always coming up with solutions. I love how when Gwyneth first learned she was a time traveller, she stayed calm, and she was the one telling her to call her mom and tell her to travel back in time!

Her partner, Gideon, was freaking awesome as well! He really kept Gwyneth sane at times, but he can be really prickly. He's a shady character, and there's a lot of mystery and foreshadowing with him as well. But he's there for Gwyneth when she's upset or overwhelmed. I was freaking out over his relationship with Charlotte. It's pretty obvious that Charlotte has a thing for Gideon, but it doesn't really explain whether he had any feelings for her too. 

The overall plot was amazing, and the whole time travelling with was so intricate, and there's a lot of back story and rules in it. Another thing that makes the whole book interesting is the characters relationship with one another, and the whole mystery about the 'secret' of the Circle of Twelve. I liked this book because it explained a lot about the world, the characters, and set in motion the conflicts for the next books...but the ending! OH MY GOSH THE ENDING! I will honestly tell you know, if you're planning to read this series, but ALL three books! I loved this one, but it was so small and easy to read! I REALLY regret not getting all three!

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
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