Book Review: Vesper by Jeff Sampson

A compelling debut novel in which a teen girl must figure out who’s causing a rash of murders in her small town–and what’s causing her to turn into a monster. Ideal for fans of “Heroes” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want? 

Hardcover: 288 Pages

Series: Deviants #1

Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins

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I knew I wouldn’t love this, I read reviews before picking it up, but those damn references to Buffy and Heroes called out to me.

After reading the book I have to wonder if whoever wrote the description on GoodReads has ever, EVER seen one episode of Buffy? Or Heroes for that matter. Continue reading

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Book Review: Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

Hardcover: 367 Pages

Series: Shade#2

Publisher: Simon Pulse

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~~ Spoilers in red! ~~

The second novel in the Shade trilogy focuses far more than I expected on the romance aspects, but we still get a ton more details and information on the mystery of the Shift and if they’re not absolutely true, they’re working theories. Continue reading

Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Love ties them together. Death can’t tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan’s band playing a critical gig and Aura’s plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend’s life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan’s sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He’s gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. “Almost.”

It doesn’t help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding–and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura’s relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura’s heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Hardcover: 309 Pages

Series: Shade#1

Publisher: Simon Pulse

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This book took me completely by surprise and far exceeded my expectations. Continue reading

Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. 

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. 

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares. 

His life depends on it.

Hardcover: 543 Pages

Series: Nevermore#1

Publisher: Atheneum

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This book was beautiful and infinitely interesting.
I loved the explanation behind Poe’s 5 mysterious days before his death and how it plays a part in the story. As close to history as it could be, yet very much infused with supernatural and paranormal. Continue reading

Book Review: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Corine Solomon is a handler. When she touches an object she instantly knows its history and its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing, which is why people never stop trying to find her. Like her ex-boyfriend Chance, who needs Corine’s gift to find someone dear to them both. But the search proves dangerous as it leads them into a strange world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies, and black magic...”

Paperback: 336 Pages

Series: Corine Solomon #1

Publisher: Roc

Corine is living her life, trying to stay away from trouble, when her ex boyfriend Chance comes back into her life with a request: to help him find his missing mother.  She can’t say no because she knows and loves his mother like her own, but with accepting his plea old problems come back.  Her insecurities about Chance’s feelings for her, her heartbreak and old enemies who want nothing more than to kill her. Continue reading

Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE
In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.
As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.
Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.
As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.”

Hardcover: 262 Pages

Series: Razorland #1

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

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I absolutely and completely and totally LOVED this book! I finished it in a couple of hours, I couldn’t stop reading. Continue reading

Book Review: The Romanian: Story of an Obsession by Bruce Benderson

“What astonishes and intrigues is Benderson’s way of recounting, in the sweetest possible voice, things that are considered shocking,” wrote Le Monde. What’s so shocking? It’s not just Benderson’s job translating Céline Dion’s saccharine autobiography, which he admits is driving him mad; but his unrequited love for an impoverished Romanian in “cheap club-kid platforms with dollar signs in his squinting eyes,” whom he meets while on a journalism assignment in Eastern Europe.

Rather than retreat, Benderson absorbs everything he can about Romanian culture and discovers an uncanny similarity between his own obsession for the Romanian (named Romulus) and the disastrous love affair of King Carol II, the last king of Romania (1893-1953). Throughout, Benderson-“absolutely free of bitterness, nastiness, or any desire to protect himself,” wrote Le Monde-is sustained by little white codeine pills, a poetic self-awareness, a sense of humor, and an unwavering belief in the perfect romance, even as wild dogs chase him down Romanian streets.

Paperback: 401 Pages

Publisher: Tarcher

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The book is Benderson’s memoir, the story of how he met and developed an obsession for a young Romanian named Romulus. Continue reading

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

Hardcover: 485 Pages

Series: Blood of Eden #1

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Kagawa has done it again! Fantastic book. If you thought her Iron Fey series was supercalifragilistic, then wait ’till you read this one. Continue reading

Book Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.”

Paperback: 407 Pages

Series: Immortal Beloved #1

Publisher: Little Brown and Co.

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Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s..

Hardcover: 370 Pages

Series: Everneath #1

Publisher: Harper Collins

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I decided to read this book after I saw the 5 stars reviews it got from almost every single person on GoodReads. I mean, sure, it was yet another YA supernatural/romance/fantasy novel, but I figured it couldn’t be worse than books like Hush Hush and Fallen. Continue reading