Friday, August 31, 2012

Early Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Monstrous Beauty
Monstrous Beauty
by Elizabeth Fama

Expected publication: September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


My Review

The mermaid Syrenka has loved before and only managed to find pain. But in the year 1872 she can't help but fall in love again, very hard, this time for Ezra, a very hadsome young marine biology student, who's fascinated by every sea creature. Needless to say, he's completely enchanted by her. They are quite happy for a while... but they could never imagine that their 'forbidden' romance would bring a lot of pain and suffering -to themselves and others- for years and years to come.

It's 2002 and seventeen-year-old Hester has just met a very strange, yet very charming man inside a cave by the beach. She is stragenly drawn to him, and can't help but come back and just be close to him. She's falling in love... and it's the worst thing she could ever do. Hester has promised herself to never fall in love. Ever since she was just a kid she's been hearing stories about the women in her family, who always seemed to die just after giving birth to their daughters. Including her mother. So, just to be safe, she decides to not love at all. But no doctor could ever find out what really happened to those women. Not even the modern medicine can tell. Is it some kind of genetic condition? Or could it be something more dangerous, like a curse?

When she mentions the mysterious deaths to the guy from the cave, he suggests she looks deeper into it. And when Hester starts to investigate, she discovers much more than she could ever expect to find. Is teh crypt where her ancestors are buried really haunted? Who is the little girl who used to play with her at the cemetery that no else can see but her? And why is it that everything always leads her back to the ocean? Are the myths of sea creatures really myths?

Gods. So much love, so much tragedy, so much sadness, violence and wasted lives. This book will break your heart and make you cry a freaking river. But you'll love it anyway. Elizabeth Fama is a complete genious. Her writing is perfectly fluid, clearly well planned and well thought of, her characters are very alive and almost spill out of the pages. It is, I daresay, an almost perfect tale. It has it all. Drama, tragedy, romance, true love, action, violence, magic, mystery and paranormal beings. And it all fits superbly.

I can't say I was terribly excited about starting this book. I didn't care much about the other mermaid books I've read recently (found them to be very childish, weak or even downright mediocre...), but, oh, boy. Was I surprised by Monstrous Beauty!!! It blew my mind. I just couldn't stop reading it. I could barely blink! (even bloodshot eyes are totally worth it, I promise!). It's not everyday I give a book 5 stars, so that alone should tell you how much I loved it.

Hester was so strong, so smart and likeable! I usually find main heroines annoying, but this one was just absolutely incredible. Ezra was definitely charming, if quite pitiable. He deserved so much more of life... Syrenka was one of the most fascinating characters I've ever read about. I really wanted her to find the happiness she had been looking for her very long life. Even if she did some very gruesome things while trying to achieve it. And the secondary characters were all captivating in their own ways. Peter, Sam, the priest, Nellie... they were all very complex, even if they had short appearances. Oh, and the double POVs were awesome.

There was nothing I didn't like in this book, except that it was too short. LOL. I wanted to keep on reading it forever. ;) Even if it did make me cry quite a bit.


If you like tales of true love with tons of mystery, drama and quite a bit of action and adventure thrown in the mix, you'll love Mostrous Beauty just like I did, especially if you're not a fan of mermaid books, like I was. And you'll follow my example and pre-order it right away, because it's so freaking good you have to have it. (My beautiful precioussssssss must be on its way. *-*).

* I'm so happy I received an eARC for this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

P.P. (Post posting): I sort of liked the eARC cover better, buuuut.... what's a girl to do, right?
Monstrous Beauty

So, do you think you'd like to read this book? If you've read it, what did you think? :3

#FF - Feature and Follow #30

Feature and Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.
Lovely button by Reading Into Hiding.
HourglassQ: Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?

Oh, no doubt about it, it was 
I had a serious case of cover-love-at-first-sight, so I even pre-ordered the hardcover edition! But the minute I started reading it... well, I was incredibly disappointed. The writing felt weak, the characters were very bland, and the story simply didn't suck me in. 
It had everything to be awesome: a fantastic cover, an exciting synopsis, a mysterious hottie... too bad it didn't do it for me.
A lot of people loved it, though. But I guess that kind of thing always happens. :P

If you're a new follower on GFC or Networked Blogs, please let me know and I will be glad to return the favor. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Early Review: Shift by Kim Curran

by Kim Curran

Expected publication: September 4th 2012 by Strange Chemistry

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he's not so average after all. He's a 'Shifter'. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he's ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

Strange Chemistry


My Review

First line: Take a second and think about all the decisions you've made in your life.

Last line: I leaned in to kiss her knowing this was one decision I was never going to change.

Favorite quote: "'Hello?' I heard a tired Katie from the other end.
"Katie, what are you doing up?"
"Well, there was this annoying ringing noise."'

What if you could undo every decision you've ever made? Unmake every mistake. Would you? Sixteen year-old Scott Tyler just found out he can. And that so do many other kids. But just because you can,, doesn't mean you should. There are people out there keeping track of every Shifter. After all, the government isn't very fond of people having many choices... or freedom.

Scott has found out about his powers completely by accident, and luckily Aubrey Jones was there to help him understand, otherwise the Regulators would have quickly caught him and judged him as a rogue. He's too old to be believed ignorant of his powers. Which is why Aubrey has given him the choice to ignore it, to pretend he never found out about his abilities. To let this all go and live his normal life, with his normal family. But that's the last thing he wants right now.

His parents are always fighting, blaming each other for their failures and general unhappiness in life. Scott was 'The Mistake' baby, and his little sister, Katie, was the 'Band-Aid baby', born to try to fix things. Well, she didn't fix much. In fact, she just makes Scott look more and more like a mistake. Everything she does, she does it better than he does. Games, sports, social life...

Shifting isn't all fun and games, though, as Scott quickly discovers. Sure, he can change stupid past mistakes and remake silly choices, but everything has a consequence. Ripples in reality. Things can go really wrong once they're changed. 

Scott is about to find out that sometimes the good guys aren't really all that good... and the bad ones, well, they can surprise you. And even your family, who aparently could not care less about you, actually really does. 

I wasn't sure if I should write this review because, let me tell you... I wasn't very impressed by Shift. I was really looking forward to reading a guy's POV (which are so rare!), but... I'm not sure why, I just couldn't get into it. Nor could I care about the characters... as a matter of fact, I felt like slapping idiotic Scott every couple of pages. Seriously, even if he was a teenager, that guy was a complete and utter moron. I couldn't bring myself to be sympathetic towards him. And, boy, did I try. 

The story was interesting, but it wasn't able to suck me in, for some reason. Even the crazy scientific explanations and evil government theories, which usually excite me by themselves, didn't work this time. The writing felt... flat and bland. I STILL can't understand exactly how Shifting works, by the way. Or why Scott was so special. Or why this even got published.

Trying to get to the end of it was a bit like torture... but I did it. And I'd like to tell you that it was worth it, that the whole book finally made sense and finished in the greatest possible way... but  I'm afraid it was still very bland. And so, so painfully predictable!!! There are dozens of mentions of government, power, control, control, control from the very beginning of the book... so when I got to the ending, I was like:

Really, a guy who has lived a boring, normal life for sixteen years as nothing special, suddenly turns ou to be super mega powerful? Pardon me if I can't swallow it. 

But then again, that's just me. Most early reviewers (something like 70%, so far) seem to have loved this book, so there you have it. You might love it too. Give it a try and let me know if you agree or if you think I was smoking pot or something while writing. :P I can take it. Totally. I think.

If you like male POV, YA paranormal fantasy/science fiction and would love to read more about changing the past and present (also altering the future), go get your copy of Shift.

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Random Wednesday / Shut Up and Take My Money!! #2

Donkey Kong Bookshelf!!! *-*
Donkey Kong Bookshelf
Very stylish. LOL. I'd love one. Too bad I don't have the space. Or the money. >.>

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #35

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.

Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #21)
"He gave a small nod, and I smiled back, and that was it. He understood that I'd understood that he'd understood. It took us one sentence, two looks, and a nod - with another woman it would have been at least five minutes of out-loud talking. Lucky for me I spoke fluent guy.”

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton, some location on my Kindle (I'm really lazy and don't want to go back to look. But trust me, it's there.).


Yup, I still haven't given up on Anita... even if the story is repetitive, even if she is becoming annoying and still worrying about the same stupid things, even if... well, I just can't help but read it.

What is your teaser this week?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Early Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

Undead (Undead #1)
by Kirsty McKay

Expected publication: September 1st 2012 by Scholastic Inc.

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!



My Review

First line: I would rather die than face them all again.

Last line: "We need to get off this bus - now!"

Favorite quote: "Zombie parkour. Don't think that's been done before. Better film this, Alice, it could go viral."

Bobby is on the School Trip from Hell. She was born in the UK, but thanks to her mother's job they had to move to the US. Now, she's back the UK again. On a skiing trip to Scotland before the start of the new school year. The thing is, everyone is making fun of her 'hybrid' accent. She, herself, needs to police her lingo, always trying to sound as properly british as possible. She's also avoiding every single one of her new school mates, because they are all so annoying to new kids, especially ex-american ones, and he really just wants to kick those losers' butts. I mean, their bums

That's why she was the only inside the bus when everyone got off to venture the snow storm and eat something at the café by the road. Well, her, the driver and Rob Smitty, rebel without a pause. And hottie. Their teacher forbade him from leaving the bus after he got caught bying booze and cigs with a fake ID. So they were the only ones who didn't get to taste the nice free samples of Carrot Juice, being given away by a man in a carrot costume. And so they didn't see what happened to those who did, inside the café. Until a bloody hand hit one of the bus' windows and the driver went outside to check it out... and the proverbial sh*t started to hit the fan.

Now it's Bobby, the 'freak hybrid', Smitty, the smartass bad boy, Alice, the annoying b*tch--I mean, popular brainless girl and Pete, the cowardly, brainy weirdo. It's just them. Against a whole lot of Zs.

As they try to stay alive and survive constant zombie attacks (and quite a few dangerous humans, too), they also need to learn to deal with each other while trying to find shelter and a way to contact someone. But things aren't really looking good... and little do they know, they just might get worse. And personal.

I LOVED this book!!! There was never ONE boring moment! I mean it, the whole thing was, well... words fail me right now, so I'll just have to go with AWEEEEEESOME! ;P

Those zombies really went all-out! Kirsty McKay got them doing some pretty interesting stuff. Brand new, too. Same goes for the surviving group of teenage humans. Those guys actually managed to survive while NOT working as group or even really caring about each other much (it was pretty realistic, if you start thinking about it. People are selfish. Especially in difficult situations), with a small romantic exception, of course (which worked great, if you ask me!). So...
Oh, and, man!! That miraculous bus driving through a snow storm on an empty tank? WOW! And the hidden dungeon/booze/dumbwaiter inside that Scotland castle? Mah Lawd!
Hey, did I mention the cellphone actually working when they were almost -literally- fried? Yowtch.
Also, the zombies walking UNDER the iced-over loch? SU-weeeet! O.O

I laughed so hard with this book. Almost during the whole thing. It also made me slightly nauseated at times, which makes sense in a zombie book. ;P Oh, and my heart went all a-flutter during a couple of cute scenes, too, which is always a good thing. And I so, SO wanted Alice and Pete to die... but, oh, well. There's always the next book, huh? :D And let me tell you how glad that makes me! I'm dying and un-dying (no pun intended) to read what happens next! Like, I need it right now! OR I'LL GET YOUR BRAINS, Miss McKay!!


(that's the last one, I promise)

Hey, you! Yeah, you. Go and pre-order this baby right away!! Thou shall not regret this, my friend.

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

Stacking The Shelves #18


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

This new feature is hosted by Tynga from Tynga's Reviews.

This week I got:
From a used book store:

Love in the Time of Cholera
The Wrong Boy
Shopaholic & Sister

I'm not sure about Love in the Time of Cholera, as I never watched the movie, but thought I'd give it a try.
The Wrong Boy is supposed to be really funny, but the first pages were a bit weird... hopefully it'll get better.
Shopaholic & Sister was a gift I probably would not have picked up myself... so we'll see. LOL.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Perfect place to read a book / Randomness

Perfect place to read a book
That looks so comfy... I'll add that to my 'Perfect House' fold. :P

P.S.: Now that my blogger friends have spoken, I realize it would need cushions. LOL. But I believe the position would be good for long reading periods. ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

#FF - Feature and Follow #29

Feature and Follow is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View.
Lovely button by Reading Into Hiding.

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?
The Heart Of Hannen
The Heart Of Hannen

Christine, a troubled teen with a dark past, is miserable in her small town. Shadowed in shame, she feels destined to live her lonely life as an outcast. She has no idea that her true destiny lies in a different town, in a different world; a most brutal world called Atriia. There she learns the true meaning of misery, the true meaning of loneliness, the true meaning of shame. But she also learns that her bravery is boundless as she battles against a formidable foe, a dark shadow that tries to smother the land. And in the arms of a most unlikely candidate, she also learns the true meaning of love. He is Hannen Fallier, the one they call the foul fraigen dropper, revered by men for his fearless feats, but looked upon by women with open disdain. With a face horribly mauled, he hides behind a mask of shame, deeming himself unworthy of love. That he would seek acceptance from Christine is irony in its purest form. That he would seek her love . . . the ultimate betrayal.

This book is crazy, but very, VERY good. The plot is creative, the characters are complex, the ending is surprising... the cover is unfortunate, though. :) LOL. 
For a first book, it's incredible. It certainly deserves more readers. 

If you're a new follower on GFC or Networked Blogs, please let me know and I will be glad to return the favor. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Early Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance (Defiance, #1)
Defiance (Defiance #1)
by C.J. Redwine

Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Balzer + Bray


My Review

First line: The weight of their pity is like a stone tied about my neck.

Favorite quotes: "I never thought it was fair that anatomy decided what my brain was fit for."

"His knives are nice. Mine is better."

"Besides, what do I know about being a wife? There are much more important qualities to have than a docile disposition."

"I love how you still think if you tell me to do something, I'll just check my brain at the door and do it."

Sixteen year-old Rachel Adams is not like the other girls from Baalboden. She is not obedient, subservient and submissive. Nope, she can read,write, think, and, best of all, fight. But even though she's so special, it doesn't matter much, because, in the end, she still needs a male Protector to walk her to places and make any and all decisions for her. At least for show. And that was almost acceptable... until her father never came back from his last courier mission and was pronounced dead by the tyrant Commander... and his will required that cutie nineteen year-old Logan, his apprentice, and not sweet Oliver, her almost grandfather, would become her new Protector.

Rachel never quite forgave Logan for turning her down when she declared her undying love to him a year ago, so how can she ever go live with him as her Protector? Especially when she is certain her father can't be dead. Now she needs Logan's help to try and escape over the Wall and into the Wasteland, to look for him. But the Commander won't make things easy for them. He know her father had something important in his possession when he went missing. Something that can help strengthen his already very solid tyranny. Something that has to do with the Cursed Ones, terrible beasts that know only destruction and death.

Written with alternate POVs, Defiance is a lovely tale of adventure, action, mystery and budding romance. I love male POVs, so this was a real treat. Logan was such a great character. Smart, corageous, strong and confident, but at the same time, uncertain of his worth and of making the right decisions... in particular the ones involving his beautiful, innocent and stubborn new ward, Rachel. He needs to constantly save her from herself and her impulsive reactions, and, at the same time, think of how he can get her out of the wall safely and, also, find her father along with the highly sought-after mysterious package.

All the 'women are weak and need to shut up and stop thinking and just rely on their men, 'cause they know what's best for them' did annoy me quite a bit, but Rachel was always trying to rebel and show-off her strength, so that made things much better. Even if she could be a bit too reckless for my taste, sometimes. She had so much stress, sadness, anger and despair building up inside her... I almost could feel it, myself. She really grew during the book. She was forced to 'harden up' and do things that changed her forever, but she never strayed fom her path. Some people might not like their heroines with so much blood and vengeance and anger, but it fit her very well.  The romance wasn't thrown in there very often, but when it was... oh, man. Sparks flew. LOL.

There is just one thing that bothered me. Okay, I get it that it's very 'in' now to write series, but this is the kind of book that could have been a stand-alone. Everything could have been explained and wrapped up in one go... if only the author wanted to.  It was a good book, sure, but it irritated me a bit at the 'end'. This one really shouldn't have been made into a series. I liked it, but there's nothing that really makes me look forward to the next one. A lot has already been explained and what hasn't, I can certainly imagine. 

Anyway, if you like strong heroines, cute heroes and fast-paced books, then give this one a go! :D

* I received an eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

Have you read Defiance? What did you think of it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sorry, Twilight fans. But it's true. / Random Wednesday

Smart Move.
Thanks for reminding me! I did the -almost- exact same thing! Only I used a hardcover copy and made it into a 'hollow book', and now hide things inside it. :P No one EVER touches it. It's a good place to hide money during trips. Who would look inside a book, especially a TWILIGHT book? LOL. :3

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #34

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.
Castles In The Air (Medieval, #2)
"He'd sat on the covers and explained how the disastrous masquerade had come about, how he'd lied only to ease her fears, how he had become trapped in his own disguise, and how he'd intended to reveal himself.
He'd been a bit vague about when he had intended to reveal himself, and he'd invited her to speak her thoughts."

Castles In The Air (Medieval Series #2)
by Christina Dodd, paperbakc version, page 150.


This book is sooooo BO-ring. And I thought that, as a heiress and Lady of the castle and all that, she'd be a more powerful and stronger heroine, but she's been called 'whore', 'bitch', 'stupid' and 'weak' about a dozen times, been beaten and raped and done nothing about it... sure, maybe in that time period that's how  a woman would really act, ignore things and hope for the best, but we don't read historicals because they are ACCURATE, right? We read it because we want to run away to another time and have fun... I am now depressed. >.> 

Hopefully it'll get better.

What is your teaser this week?

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #33

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey
Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I'm Currently Reading:
Until You (Westmoreland, #3)
Until You 
(I am LOVING it!!!)

Soul Screamers Vol. 1 : My Soul to Lose • My Soul to Take • My Soul to SaveThornFragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, #3)Stay With MeHere With MeUnclean Spirits (The Black Sun's Daughter, #1)Between Shades of Gray
Unclean Spirits was actually a DNF for me... I had the paperback version of the second volume just sitting arounde here, so I thought I'd just get the first one in e-book format... what a waste. >.> Needless to say, the second one is going straight to the 'to trade/swap' pile.

Between Shades of Grey was so awesome I finished it in about three hours. Unputdownable. LOl. :)

P.S.: I know it looks like a lot for a week, but my university is on a strike right now... meaning: all my friends are out of town, I don't have much money to go out, and I have WAY too much time on my hands... so I read. ;)

Next Reads:
Product Details
Fall of the Citizens


What are you reading this week?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stacking The Shelves #17


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

This new feature is hosted by Tynga from Tynga's Reviews.

This week I got:
From an online trade:


For Review:
Fall of the Citizens
Thank you for the review copy, Eric Thomas!

What did you get this week?