Saturday, December 31, 2011

Manga Rec #7 - Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 1 by Karuho Shiina

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 1 
by Karuho Shiina

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine...for a horror movie. With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, she's often mistaken for Sadako, the haunting character from Ringu. Unbeknownst to but a few, behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager.
Shy and pure of heart, she just wants to make friends. But when Kazehaya, the most popular boy in class, befriends her, she's sure to make more than just that--she's about to make some enemies too!


This is another one of my dear favorites. Never has a manga touched me as deep as this one.
Sawako makes me think of a younger, sweeter and more naive version of Sunako. They do have many things in common. They're both kind of dark (even without trying to. LOL), long-haired (Sadako/Samara, anyone?) and shy. Oh, and they both have 'chibi' versions. (in order of the images: Sawako and Sunako):


Sawako is just SO good it should make your teeth hurt, but incredibly, they don't. Because she's very believable. You end up pitying her, then cheering fervently for her to start developing into the wonderful, social girl she we all know she can be.

Kazehaya is very cute, or should I say kawaii? He's a boy, sure, but also very kind and shy, and he ends up falling hard for Sawako, scary stories about her and all. He's the one who influences people to start getting closer to her and see how great a person she is.

There are many highly amusing characters in this manga, but some deserve special mentions, such as the closest friends the heroine ends up making, Chizuro and Ayane, the quiet and distant Ryu (Kazehaya's best friend) and the crazy teacher "Pin".

There is an anime version and live-action. I've watched the anime, but, as usual, I still like the manga better (even though Sawako is gets cuter in color).

I haven't had a chance of checking just checked out the live-action version, and it was cute. The adaptation was very good, but live-actions are too short. A lot of good parts of the story were lost.
If you have free time, you really should check this manga out. Volume 12 should come out on Jan 3, 2012. The series ends on volume 15, so we're almost there. :) I'm very glad VIZ Media is keeping up with it. If you try it out, you won't regret it.

Reading Romances Challenge 2012

The Reading Romances Challenge is not about the amount of books you read, but the variety of titles you’ll have read when the challenge is over! Our goal is to read a bit of everything related to romance and open our minds to new genres we wouldn’t usually read.

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. The 2012 Reading Romances Challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Anyone can join, you don’t need to have a blog. Feel free to sign-up in the comments – you can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, Librarything, Shelfari etc).
  3. I’ll post a list of romance sub-genres and a few cool themes for you to choose from each month (you can read all of them or just a couple).
  4. You can list your books before reading them (by leaving a comment on the post with the topics for that month) or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, don’t feel obligated to read them, changes are welcomed!
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the Reading Romances Challenge. If you don’t have a blog, please link it to the page where you post your reviews (Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon etc).
  6. You don’t have to participate every month, but please try to!
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
I'm very excited about this reading challenge. It will be my first, and, I hope, not the last. :) 
I always say how I like pretty much every single kind of book there is, as long as it has a bit of romance in it... well, now it's my chance to prove it. LOL

Interested? Sign-up here. :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott

Priestess of the Nile

Priestess of the Nile

Follow Friday #4

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Well, my blog is barely 1 1/2 months old, so I think I'll just do my best to keep it up and try to make it better with every post. I'll try to write more reviews, read faster and always keep the blog updated. :)

What are your plans?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dirty Little Secret #4

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers.

"Book boyfriends of 2011!  Make a list but you can only use books you've read this year."

Thanatos (Immortal Rider), Acheron (The Dark-Hunters, Vol. 4), Eric (Undead and Undermined), Eric (Dead Reckoning), Micah and Nathaniel (Hit List), Hannen (The Heart of Hannen), Darcy (Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer), Jace (City of Bones), Seth (Wicked Lovely), Cole (Forever),  Simon (Lord of Danger), Simon (The Serpent Prince), Harry (The Leopard Prince), Ash (The Iron Queen), Tyrell (The Masquerade), MacGregor (Wild Dawn), Raine (Raine), Dante (Mona Lisa Eclipsing), Euan (Bedtime, Playtime) and Hugh (Mystique).

Okay, maybe the list is a bit long (20 books, 21 boyfriends), but they were all so dear, so strong and, yeah, hot, I couldn't leave any of them out. 
I did have to remove about ten names from the original list, but none of these remaining guys can go. They're not allowed. LOL.

So, who are your book boyfriends?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Shield of Fire by Boone Brux

Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane, #1) 

Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane, #1)

I am not ashamed to say I chose this book to review simply because of the cover. (okay, maybe a little ashamed). But thankfully I did like the book, too. LOL.

Ravyn has been raised in an abbey. One night her whole life changes when a monk, Brother Powell, delivers her friend Angela to the demon Icarus as a sacrifice and then tries to deliver her
She's saved from a horrible death by Rhys Blackwell, the last full-blooded Bringer Shield. He has been protecting mankind from the Demon Bane for over 300 years. 

After saving and healing her, Rhys starts to notice that maybe Ravyn isn't exactly human like he originally thought. She shows signs of being a Bringer, but he just can't be sure which kind. Also, she awakens certain feelings inside him he was sure he no longer could feel.

The couple then goes on a journey in search of the last remaining Bringers to try and save humanity from  the evil Vile, King of the Demon Bane. And to try and understand their feelings for each other.
I enjoyed the characters and the promise of this series, but mostly the book just dragged... nothing much happens, except for a few encounters with the demons (the few times they stepped out of holy ground). Maybe more will happen in the next books? 

As to the romance... it was cute to read their thoughts about each other and how they tried to fight their feelings because of their own personal reasons, but there really wasn't much tension between them at all. I expected this book to be a bit more spicy because of the cover, but as it turned out, things were pretty much PG-rated most of the time. LOL. Except for chapter 17. ;P That was hot.

The ending was predictable, but nice. I'm not sure how many books the author is planning for this series, but I'll probably check out the next adventure. :)

If you like stories that build up, innocent romance and demon fighting in a historical setting, then try Shield of Fire. 

*I was given an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Waiting on Wednesday #4

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.
Right now what I really want to read is:

The Alchemy of Forever

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)
by Avery Williams

People say ‘love never dies’… but love might be the death of Seraphina. Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. She doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies. When we meet Sera, she has landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. Unfortunately, she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her, and if she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in danger.


Tell me THAT doesn't sound fantastic to you? *-* To be alive for so long without never having actually lived? Wow. :)

What are you waiting on this wednesday?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #4

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as 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.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.

This week's Teaser is from:

by Jennifer Laurens

"Most teenagers I explained Abria’s handicap to eyed her with fascination and pity, along with a good measure of horror. He must be older than he looks, I thought, because there was none of the awkward discomfort so many of my peers expressed when they saw my sister."

What are you reading right now? Would you like to share a teaser? :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione

Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2) 

Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #2)
by Larissa Ione

Published  November 22nd 2011  by Grand Central Publishing

The signs are everywhere...disastrous world events. Evil rising up, unleashed upon the innocent. The prophecies were there...but no one listened. Until now. The time has come for those who can either usher in Doomsday...or prevent it. They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Arik Wagner, a soldier with the U.S. Army's paranormal unit, the R-XR, kissed a girl and liked it. And then he went to hell as punishment. Where he's spent weeks being tortured...and plotting revenge.

Limos, Horsewoman of the Apocalypse, isn't your average girl. She's immortal, dangerous, and her fiancé is Satan himself. In a moment of weakness, she gave in to her desire and kissed Arik, triggering her fiancé's wrath - and his claim on her. In order to save Arik, and theworld, Limos must make a dangerous pact with her recently turned evil brother, Pestilence. A deal that might just cost her her soul...and her heart.



4.5 stars

I bought a copy of the Eternal Rider a couple of months ago and loved it, so when I saw Immortal Rider available on Netgalley, I ran and requested it. I'm so happy they allowed me to review it. Man, I can't possibly stress how much I LOVED this book. 

I can't possibly stress how much I LOVED this book. Except that I can: GO AND READ IT RIGHT NOW!!!

The book starts with Ares and Cara's wedding party (Immortal Rider), in which Arik Wagner is very happy to meet with the attractive Limos, Ares's sister and the third Horsewoman of the Apocalypse, again.

The thing is, Limos was promised by her succubus mother to Satan. Yup, she is to become the Bride of Satan. Needless to say, Limos is trying her best to avoid that outcome. She's been trying her best to not let her Seal break, she doesn't step on Sheoul, the demon realm, or gives her affection to any male...

That is, until Arik goes and kiss her. Demons then surge from underneath and drag him down to hell, and the last thing he hears is Limos screaming: "Don't say my name!", because if the male who incites jealousy (in this case: kiss) utters her name while in agony, then The Dark Lord can have her.

Limos was one of the strongest heroines I ever read about. I loved reading about her kick-assing and her relationship with her brothers. The author really makes us feel what she feels, how she fights her emotions (especially guilt), and I thought that the scales in her back that can pend to 'bad' or 'good' were a very nice touch to the story. Very creative. Her chastity belt was a huge LOL, too. ;)  Innocent-looking pearls that can chop fingers off. Priceless

Arik was such a cutie! He was so sweet with Limos. In the book we see a bit about his horrible father and difficult past, not to mention how much he suffered in the hands of demons. The guy had some serious balls to stand up to the other Horsemen to protect his wife when the sh*t started to hit the fan. 

I loved the story, how things started to fall into place so perfectly just as I was starting to pull my hair out with worry. LOL. Larissa Ione really knows how to get us excited, nervous, sad and mad in just a handful of pages. The action scenes are so good! Man, she's brilliant.

I can't wait to read the next book, Lethal Rider!!! Thanatos is SO hot! *-* We see a lot more about him in this book, and, oh, boy. Just... oh, boy. I didn't care much for Regan, but the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse already has my heart.

Oh, I can't believe I'm writing this, but Satan should have made an appearance. I would like to actually have seen him in the book, not just mentions of him. LOL. Things would have been a LOT more interesting. Just saying. ;P

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #4

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. 

  • For a review, I'm now reading:
Priestess of the Nile

                                        Priestess of the Nile

  • just finished:
Busted in Bollywood

Busted in Bollywood (click to read review)

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor, #3)

Head Over Heels (click to read review)

  • Next I'll be reading:
Mask of the Gladiator

                                     Mask of the Gladiator

So, what did you read this week? ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox #4

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Story Siren

Here's what I got this last week:

Well, technically, they were Christmas gifts I chose with a gift card. ;)

From a used book store:

I just can't wait to read them all! *-*

What did you get this week? ;)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

 A very Merry Christmas from the writers of this blog and their cute pets. ;)

Manga Rec #6 - Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 1 by Kyousuke Motomi

Dengeki Daisy, Vol. 1 
by Kyousuke Motomi

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

After orphan Teru Kurebayashi loses her beloved older brother, she finds solace in the messages she exchanges with DAISY, an enigmatic figure who can only be reached through the cell phone her brother left her. Meanwhile, mysterious Tasuku Kurosaki always seems to be around whenever Teru needs help. Could DAISY be a lot closer than Teru thinks?

One day at school Teru accidentally breaks a window and agrees to pay for it by helping Kurosaki with chores around school. Kurosaki is an impossible taskmaster though, and he also seem to be hiding something important from Teru... 

This is a very heart-warming manga, but not everything in it is about romance (THAT can become very tiring). They have real-life situations, with many different characters every time, so it never gets boring.

Teru is a very different kind of heroine. She's not overly dramatic, she really cares about other people, she's not stunning or perfect, she's a very ordinary girl. So there's no way we cant' like her.

Kurosaki can be very irritating, but he has a very good heart. He slowly falls for Teru, but doesn't want to admit it, so he kind of mistreats her, forcing her to do chores and all that. >.> The only times he allows himself to be nice to her are when he's "DAISY". As DAISY, he's always there to save her day, comfort her and make her feel better.

Kurebayashi Teru & Kurosaki Tasuku (Dengeki Daisy)

Kyousuke Motomi has a way of making you laugh your ass off with hilarious expressions and situations AND break your heart with tear-inducing scenes. What more can you ask for?

Oh, and their 'romantic relationship' (there really isn't one for a loooong time) takes a while to build, so it's very believable. You can actually picture it slowly developing. Kurosaki won't allow himself to love her, because of many reasons. First of all, she's way younger. Not to mention that he has a lot of guilt over what happened to her brother in the past (and we're still not quite sure what went on). And let's not forget that he's a very famous, very talented hacker, which is a danger into itself in the story.

I really recommend this series to those of you who like different types of manga, with a lot of mystery and humor and small amounts of romance that start to build over time.  :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor, #3) 

 Head Over Heels

by Jill Shalvis

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways. 

Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?

4.5 stars

This is the first I've read by Jill Shalvis, and let me tell you, it won't be the last! This title is the third part of a series, and I haven't had the chance to read the first two books, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. (I'll be searching for the others, that's for sure.)

Chloe was raised while moving around with her mom, with no real strings anywhere and not even knowing who her father was. After her mother died, she and her two stranged half-sisters inherited a run down beach inn, which they renovated and turned into a B&B.

She suffers from asthma (which gives the story a more realistic touch), has problems with commitments and staying too long at the same place, she is great at making natural skin treatments and enjoys a little B&E (breaking and entering) when poor dogs used for fighting are involved. That is, when the super hot sheriff doesn't find out about it...

Sawyer is the bad boy that turned good. After a troubled childhood and even worse adolescence, he tries to make up for all the wrongs he's done by working his butt off as a cop. Problem is, all his ex-girlfriends had trouble dealing with his love and commitment for his career (and the dangers of it and lack of time together), so they ran away. But there's this little asthmatic redhead that seems to understand him far better than he does...

Head Over Heels really cracked me up. The author has a terrific sense of humor and knows how to build sexual tension between her characters very well. It was funny and hot to read how they teased and talked and felt like grabbing each other's throats and groins at the same time. LOL. Also, there were a couple of scenes involving an outdoors shower and wall painting that were specially...well, interesting. :P But all with very good taste, nothing vulgar or unpleasant.

Chloe and Sawyer were very cute together. They complemented each other perfectly.

There are many greatly written secondary characters that put the icing on this cake, such as Lucille, a grannie who can appreciate a handsome man in uniform, Ford, Jax (the heroes of the previous books) and Matt, the friends who annoy more than they help, Todd, the 'villain' who shares a dark past with the hero, the sisters...

This is the perfect book for your vacation. It will surely lift your spirits, bring a smile to your face and help you relax. Oh, and cuddle. Hard. LOL

*I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*