Sunday, September 30, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

- ARC of Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
- Origin by Jessica Khoury
- Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
- Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

I won the Crown of Embers ARC in a contest and LOVED it; I posted a review recently for it.  I purchased the other four books (the last three are signed!!), and the only one I've read so far out of those is Origin.  It was beautifully written and I'll be posting a review soon!  As a huge fan of JLA, I can't wait to read Half-Blood.  The Unnaturalists is steampunk; a genre I've become interested in lately, so I'm hoping it'll be good!  And's about fairytales.  Need I say more? :)

- Forgiven by Jana Oliver
- Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
- Secret Letters by Leah Scheier

I actually borrowed Forgiven (so good!) from a friend, but the rest of the books are from the library.  I cannot wait to read Vessel; Sarah Beth Durst is one of my favorite authors.  Seraphina has dragons in it, so I'm positive I'm going to love it!  Kiss of Frost is the sequel to Touch of Frost...I haven't read either of them yet, but I'll probably get to them this week.  Secret Letters is a mystery novel that looks great as well!

So that's what I've gotten over the past week!  What books did you get?  Post your links in the comments! :)

~ The Bookworm

Baltimore Book Festival

Guess what?!  Yesterday was pretty much the best day of my life.  I met authors Jennifer L. Armentrout, Leanna Renee Hieber, Alethea Kontis, Shannon Hale, Tiffany Trent, and Jessica Day George at the Baltimore Book Festival.

It was epic.

I was so excited because it's the first book festival that I've been too.  I was so, so, so happy to be able to meet all the different authors and get my books signed.  Meeting JLA was basically the highlight of my day!  She was so sweet and she signed my books for me, and she even got a picture with me!

She is the definition of awesome.

Leanna Renee Hieber and Alethea Kontis were amazing too.  They were both so funny and I loved getting the opportunity to meet them!  I've already read Darker Still, Leanna Renee Hieber's YA novel, and I found out there's a sequel coming out in November!  Yay!  I got a signed copy of Alethea Kontis's YA book Enchanted, which I was so excited about because I've been wanting to read Enchanted ever since it came out!  Then I met Tiffany Trent, who was so kind and sweet, and I was thrilled to get a copy of her new book I've been dying to read, The Unnaturalists!  Lastly I met Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George.  I was so excited to get my books signed by them.  I've been fans of them ever since I was 12; their books were among the first YA fiction I ever read!  It was an amazing experience.

And there was tons of free swag too, which was super cool.  Here's a pic of everything I acquired yesterday.  Actually, the three books on top were ones I already owned, and I purchased the three on bottom.  All six books are now signed.  *does happy dance*


Anyway, I'm still freaking out over how epic the last twenty-four hours have been.  This was such a great book festival and I can't wait to attend more book signings in the future!

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Guardian

Goodreads summary:

Vigilance. The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have. Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?

My review:

*Spoiler alert!  Don't read this if you haven't read Halflings, the first book in this series*

While I didn't totally enjoy Guardian, I do think it was better than the first book in this series, Halflings.  I didn't like the insta-love and obvious bad guy in Halflings.  Guardian feels like a more developed book.  I do have to say, Guardian is definitely more character-driven than plot-driven.  For me, this was good, because I always prefer characters over anything else in a book.  But the plot did feel like it lacked something at times.

And yes, the love triangle continues in this book.  I tend to dislike love triangles unless they're well-done.  I can't decide if I like the love triangle in Guardian or not.  Sure, both boys are really sweet and I see why Nikki's in love with both of them, but she kept going back and forth between them!  I will say, though, that I'm not sure which guy she'll end up with and I can't wait to find out who it will be in the last book.

So: the characters.  I didn't admire Nikki as much in this book.  Like I said above, I understand how she's torn between Mace and Raven, but at times I wished she would just stop whining and make up her mind!  But aside from her love life issues, she had more character depth this time around.  She has to deal with the death of her parents and she desires revenge on their killer.  I liked seeing her how she handled herself and struggled to choose the right side; I sympathized for her so much!  I wasn't crazy about him in the first book, but I loved his character in Guardian!  He's a lot nicer, lol.  Seriously, we learn so much more about him and I felt really bad for him.  As for Mace he's just okay.  He's super protective of Nikki and had all these expectations for her.  Normally I love it when a guy is sweet and protective in a book, but Mace just annoyed me.

The plot: okay.  Like I said, the story is really based more on character growth than action.  Towards the last half or third, though, things start picking up.  There's more action, more secrets uncovered, and we find out something important about Nikki's past.  Definitely makes me want to read book 3 now!

Also, this is kind of off topic, but there's this scene where some people got wounded and Nikki tears off the sleeve of her shirt to use as a bandage.  I've never understood how people in books can just rip off their sleeve so easily.  I mean, isn't that difficult to do?  Unless of course the shirt is made of very thin material.  But still, it's been driving me crazy how authors constantly do that.  Doesn't seem very realistic.  Anyway...yeah.  *end rant*

Despite a few flaws, I did enjoy Guardian.  It was a great sequel and I can't wait for Avenger, which comes out in March!  So glad I don't have to wait a whole year for it.  If you liked Halflings, you'll like this sequel!

My rating:  7 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Meant to Be

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!
My pick is Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill!

Goodreads summary:

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My thoughts:

Wow.  I absolutely need to read this book.  It's been on my to-read shelf on Goodreads for a few months now, and I wish it would just hurry up and come out!  November 13 is simply too far away.

First off...the cover.  I confess: I'm the type of person who tends to judge a book by its cover, and this one is definitely worth freaking out over.  I love the bright colors!  It really sticks out from most other covers.

And the summary...ah, it sounds so good.  And they go to London!  How perfect is that?!  This just sounds like a totally cute, laugh-out-loud funny story.  I can't wait to read it!  I know I'll be buying it the day it comes out.

So what book are you waiting on this week?  Leave a link to your WOW in the comments!

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review: Starling

Goodreads summary:

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name--the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family--with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods--is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

My review:

When I started Starling, I wasn't sure to expect.  I've read Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, and I thought it was good, but I wasn't interested enough to pick up the rest of the series.  So I was a little wary of reading Starling.  But at the same time, I was hoping it would be good, because I am a crazy huge fan of mythology.  I ended up really enjoying it!

But first, I admit it, I don't know much about Norse mythology except a little that I learned from the movie Thor, lol.  I'm definitely more obsessed with Greek mythology, but after reading Starling, I think that Norse mythology is completely fascinating and I wish there were more YA books out there with it! 

So, onto the characters.  I really admired Mason as a main character.  It was especially cool that she actually knew how to fight; she took fencing lessons ever since she was little.  I loved all the scenes where she was fencing.  I also liked that she was smart and logical.  She didn't run around making stupid decisions, she thought things through. 

Fennrys was wonderful too.  I loved how his character developed throughout the story.  He doesn't remember anything about his life, and the struggles that he went through were all realistic and made me feel for him.  The rest of the minor characters were a great addition.  Like Heather - I disliked her at first but she totally grew on me throughout the story!  And Rory, Mason's  He was an...interesting character.  Yeah.  And he was kind of creepy.

The plot, however, didn't pull me in right away.  Yes, the book does start with a big battle, and there are lots of other fight scenes throughout the book, but despite the action, I felt like the pacing was rather slow.  Might be just me, though.  Anyway, the Norse mythology stuff was amazing.  That really drew me in.  It was so interesting and I loooved learning about Odin and the prophecy and all that cool stuff!  Wonderfully done!

As for the writing style, it was okay.  Livingston tends to write super long paragraphs at times, which annoyed me.  Maybe that was why the pacing felt slow.  Sometimes there was a lot of description too, which seemed like it just dragged out the story.  Yes, it was helpful in describing the setting, but it felt like a little much.  But aside from that, her writing was sharp and well-done.  I especially loved the dialogue, it was witty and had me chuckling at certain parts!

I think Starling is a great, highly enjoyable read for anyone who loves mythology.  I loved being able to look into the world of Norse mythology and I cannot wait for the next installment in this series!

My rating:  8 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you very much to the lovely Grace Ma from The Humble Watermelon for nominating me!  She has a fantastic blog and I really enjoy reading her posts.  Go check it out!

The Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the giver
2. Answer the award giver's questions
3. Nominate 5 other blogs that have fewer than 200 followers
4. Ask 5 questions for one's nominees to answer's the questions, then!

Grace Ma's Questions:

1. What do you like to eat the most?  Any kind of chocolate! :D Though I'm especially obsessed with Reese's cups.
2. When did you start to get really interested in books/reading?  Ever since I was really little, probably 5 or 6.  I've loved to read as long as I can remember.
3. Other than reading or blogging, what would you do on a rainy day?  Ooh, that's a tough question, lol.  I'm homeschooled, so I'd probably be doing schoolwork.  If not, I'd watch a movie or listen to music.  Exciting, I know. :P
4. Do you borrow books or buy books more often?  Hmm...I buy books pretty frequently, but I go to my library every week, so I think I probably borrow books more often.
5. Quick, tell me, what is the weather outside like right now?  It's late in the evening so it's dark outside and it's getting cold.  Fall is coming way too fast...

There you go!  Here's my nominees:

Downright Dystopian
Young at Heart
The YA Book Geek
Page Girl's Page
Sofia Loves Reading

Here are my questions for you guys:

1. Do you prefer physical books or e-books?
2. What's your favorite genre to read?
3. Do you prefer hardcovers or paperbacks?
4. How often do you reread books?
5. What's the most recent book that you've read and loved?

Well, I guess that's it!  Thanks again for the nomination, Grace Ma!

~ The Bookworm

Book Review: Crown of Embers

Goodreads summary:

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

My review:

I adored The Girl of Fire and Thorns, so I was really hoping that Crown of Embers would live up to the first.  It's every bit as good as I'd hoped!  Also, just so ya'll know, there are some mild spoilers in my review, but nothing big.

Elisa is an amazing heroine.  She's faced with incredibly hard decisions as queen and constantly struggles to do what's right for her country.  She is definitely a wonderful role model - her character is unforgettable.  You can't help rooting for her.  And OH, I love Hector.  I thought I loved Humberto in the first book, but Hector is ten times better.  He respects Elisa and her position as queen, he goes out of his way to help her, he'd die for her...basically, he's completely perfect.

I loved the romance so much.  It was beautifully done.  It takes a while for Elisa and Hector to finally admit their love for each other, but I liked that it wasn't love at first sight.  And it's heartbreaking at the same time because Elisa is queen and everyone expects her to marry a prince or king.  I felt so bad for her and Hector, and I was involved in the love story in a way that I rarely feel.  Amazing!

The plot was great!  This book isn't as action-packed as the first one (at least, as far as I can remember; I read GOFAT last April.  Gotta love that acronym.  Just saying), but there's lots of political conflict and it's all really intense.  There's so much at stake and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!

And, oh yeah, it ends with a cliffhanger and I was practically sobbing because of what happens to a certain character who, as I mentioned above, is really sweet and totally swoon-worthy... *sigh* Why, Rae Carson?  Why couldn't we have a happy ending?  There had better be a happy ending in the final book, The Bitter Kingdom.  Which sadly doesn't come out until fall 2013. -_-

So, if you enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, then this sequel is so worth reading!  I promise that once you start, you will not put it down!

My rating:  10 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cover Reveal: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog
My thoughts:
*commence fangirling*
Is this cover awesome or what?!  I think it's my favorite cover of the Lux series yet!  I can't wait for Opal to release and this lovely cover has me even more excited about it!  The last book in this series, Onyx, left off at a total cliffhanger and I'm dying to find out what happens next.  And if you haven't read any books in the Lux series yet (in order, they are Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal, which comes out in December), then what are you waiting for?!  Go read them!
I'm so thrilled that I was able to be part of the cover reveal!  Thanks so much to Entangled Publishing for giving me the opportunity to participate, and thanks to Jennifer L. Armentrout for writing such amazing books!

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Venom

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

My pick is Venom by Fiona Paul!

Goodreads summary:

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

My thoughts:

*sigh* Is that a gorgeous cover or what?  I actually zoomed in on the cover more than I usually do when I post, because I am that much in love with it, lol!  I'm absolutely dying to read this book.  It comes out on October 30...I'm counting the days!

Everything about this book just sounds perfect.  I love historical fiction with a dash of magic and mystery.  And it's set in Venice!  AHH!

Just from reading the summary, Venom reminds me a bit of the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.  And since I adored the Luxe series, I'm sure I'll love Venom!  Hopefully it will not disappoint!

So what book are you waiting on this week?  Post your blog links in the comments!

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

Goodreads summary:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My review:

So I am officially in love with this book (I'm going to call it MSS16C for short).  It's my new favorite book.  So.  Good.

Okay, so I admit it, the gorgeous cover was what drew me in.  I mean, who doesn't want that girl's dress?  But when I read the summary and found out it was about time travel (I'm a huge Doctor Who fan), I freaked out and knew that I had to read it as soon as it released.  THEN, when I saw that Lisa T. Bergren, one of my favorite authors ever and the writer of the fabulous time travel River of Time series, had blurbed it, I became even more excited.

Basically, I had super high expectations for this book.  And MSS16C definitely lived up to them!

The characters: perfection.  Every single one of them.  See, it's really rare for me to read a book and love all of the characters.  It always seems like I never fully connect or like everyone.  But in MSS16C, I adored them all!  The main character Cat is absolutely hysterical.  She's the type of girl I'd want to be best friends with in real life.  She has a great sense of humor, she's smart, and she's completely likeable.

Then there is Lorenzo.  *cue dreamy sigh*  Ladies, he is totally swoon-worthy.  What's great is that he's not just a cute guy.  His character also has depth and we find out more of his dreams and wishes as the story continues.  Another two of my favorite characters were Alessandra and Cipriano.  I loved the friendship and bond that formed between Alessandra and Cat, and Cipriano was so protective and sweet!

The setting was amazing as well.  I've always loved Italy, and Rachel Harris chose a great time period to write about.  I loved the descriptions; it made me feel like I was there.

Lastly, the plot.  MSS16C is definitely a fluffy, fun-filled book, but there are still some serious moments.  Cat struggles over finding a way back to modern times and has to make some tough decisions about family and what's important.  I appreciated that aspect of the plot and really admire the decisions Cat made, even though the end was heartbreakingly sad.  And yes, it also ends with a cliffhanger.  *groan* I need the sequel!  Why can't it come out sooner?

MSS16C is a must-read.  Anyone can enjoy it, and fans of books like The River of Time series and Ruby Red will love it!  Most definitely recommended!

My rating:  10 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

- My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
- ARC of Guardian by Heather Burch
- Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
- Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
- ARC of Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien

I've already read MSS16C (I'm shortening it because that title is looong), and it is SO good.  I'll be writing a review for it soon!  I can't wait to read Guardian (is that a gorgeous cover or what?), and I'm in the middle of reading the first book in that series, Halflings, right now.  I won the Birthmarked trilogy in a giveaway and I can't wait to read them. :] I actually checked out the first book a few months ago from my library, but I'm looking forward to reading the second and third!

- Starling by Lesley Livingston
- Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
- Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
- Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

I am absolutely thrilled about these books I got from my library.  I haven't read any yet, but they all sound amazing.  I've read and enjoyed Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange, so I can't wait to start Starling.  And I have been wanting to read Touch of Frost for a long time now...I adore anything related to Greek mythology!  Kill Me Softly looks really good as well; it's a fairytale-type book and I just love those.  Don't Turn Around has quite the interesting premise too.  I decided to check it out because it had just released and after all the hype I'd heard, I thought I should give it a try.

So what books have you gotten this week?  Comment and leave a link to your IMM! :]

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Divergent Movie to Release March 21, 2014!

It's official!  Veronica Roth's bestselling book Divergent is going to be on the big screen!  Check out this link for more details:

I can't wait!  2014 seems so far away.  Divergent is probably my favorite dystopian book besides The Hunger Games, so I'm really excited that they're finally making a movie! 

So who do you want to play Tris and Four?  Hopefully they'll cast the characters soon.  Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts!

~ The Bookworm

Book Review: Wake

Goodreads summary:

Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

My review:

*on a side note* Sorry that I haven't blogged this week!  We lost Internet connection for several days, then I was busy catching up in schoolwork. :( Anyway, here's the review!

Honestly, I don't really have any love/hate feelings about Wake.  It was all just kind of "meh" to me.  It was predictable and nothing that happened in the story was really shocking or surprising to me.  Mermaid/siren stories can be hard to pull off, but I still wish that Wake had been a little more original.

One part that I did enjoy was when the sirens (Penn, Lexi, and Thea) explain the mythology behind their existence.  That was different and pretty interesting.  I really like how that was explained.  But aside from that, I felt that the plot was rather dull.  I could guess what was going to happen. 

The story doesn't even feel like it starts until about a third or halfway through, when Gemma finally starts changing into a siren.  And there isn't much action until the end.  It makes it feel as if Wake was just setting up the story and world, and perhaps there will be more action in the sequel?

The characters are nice enough.  I admired the bond between sisters Harper and Gemma; it was done very realistically.  The summary doesn't tell you that part of the book is from Harper's POV, and I liked that a lot.  I liked that Alex (Gemma's love interest) was so geeky; it made their relationship really sweet.  Same with Harper - she's falling in love with a guy named Daniel, but she doesn't want to date him because she's going to college soon.  Both of the love stories in the book were well done.

Yet, I wish we knew more about the characters.  When I finished the book, I felt like all I knew about Gemma was that she loved swimming, loved her family, and that was it.  She didn't stand out as to me as a heroine (like Katniss from Hunger Games, or Tris from Divergent, etc.).  I'm hoping that as the series continues, the characters and the storyline will develop more.

Wake was a fairly fast read and I did enjoy it.  If you've never read many mermaid/siren books before, I'd recommend you give Wake a try.  I'm looking forward to the next one!

My rating: 5 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review: Cursed

Goodreads summary:

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

My review:

I don't think I'll ever read a Jennifer Armentrout book that I don't like.  I was blown away by Obsidian and Onyx, and I plan on reading her Covenant series soon.  And thankfully, Cursed does not disappoint!

If you like the plots of X-Men or Shatter Me, then Cursed is just the type of book you'll love.  And even if you just enjoy reading books with sassy heroines and lots of laugh-out-loud moments, you'll still love it.  Basically, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every single person out there.

Ember was a wonderful heroine who struggles to stay true to herself while dealing her strange power.  I loved her character arc.  Her troubles are easy to relate to, and despite all that she's been through, she has this hilarious sense of humor and is quite witty and sarcastic.  Loved her!

Hayden was so good too!  At first I was wary because he and his father had spied on Ember for months before they actually met, and I was just thinking, "Pleasepleaseplease don't let him be a stalker; it's too creepy," but he wasn't at all like that.  He was so sweet and sincere!  He understood Ember and stuck by her when no one else would.  He was persistent and helped her try to control her power even when she was ready to give up.  I loved that for once, the love interest wasn't a "bad boy" type.  Hayden was a great character who definitely added more to the story than simply being the love interest!

And lastly, the plot.  It was clever and unique except for one tiny factor: I immediately guessed who the bad guy was.  It was, unfortunately, quite obvious, at least to me.  (That's the only reason I give Cursed a 9 out of 10) But I felt like it wasn't a major part of the story.  There was so much else happening, so many other twists and turns like who Ember could trust, trying to figure out her background, find out what caused her family's accident, etc., that I still had to keep guessing what would happen.  Despite the predictable villain, Armentrout still managed to surprise me in the end!

This was an amazing read, and even though there's no definite sequel, I really hope JLA will continue the story!  I would love to read more about Ember!  Get a copy of Cursed as soon as possible.  It's so worth it!

My rating: 9 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Top 5 Books of August 2012

I was able to read a whole lot of books last month since it was summer and I had lots of free time.  So I thought, why not make a list of my favorites?  First, here's a list of all the books I read during August:

- Splendor by Anna Godbersen
- Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
- Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
- Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
- First Test by Tamora Pierce
- Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
- Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
- Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
- Changeling by Philippa Gregory
- The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
- The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
- Page by Tamora Pierce
- The Blue Door by Christa Kinde
- Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
- Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
- Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
- Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
- Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
- Pushing the Limits by Katie McGrarry
- The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
- It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
- We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
- Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Wow.  Okay, that was more books than I thought I'd read, LOL.  Well, it's hard to pick just five favorites, but here they are:

1. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  This book is made of awesome.  I laughed, cried, and yes, I admit it, I may even have swooned a bit (Edit: make that a LOT).  Basically, I was a puddle of emotions by the end of the book.  JLA is the definition of an amazing writer.

2. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.  Oh boy, I just love this book to death.  It's so sweet and light and funny!  I enjoyed it so much more than I expected.  And I totally laughed out loud, pretty much the whole way through the book.  So.  Good!

3.  Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols.  Sigh.  This book is, in one word, breathtaking.  Echols' writing is gorgeous and powerful, and I was completely involved in the story.  It was different from anything I've ever read.  Beautiful!

4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  Ahh, what a fantastic story.  I don't think I've ever smiled so much while reading!  (George.  I love George!  He is adorableness personified!)  I felt so much of what the characters were going through.  It was a very satisfying, heartwarming read.

5. The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long.  Finally!  A solid fantasy read about faeries that is actually well-written.  I loved every moment in this spellbinding world.  And I felt so much for Jack and all that he went through, and how he came out of it.  Truly magical!

So there you go!  Those are my top five books that I read during August.  Close favorites were The Goddess Legacy, Twenty Boy Summer, and Inside Out.

Any thoughts or comments?  I'd love to hear them!  Tell me if you've read any of the books on my list, or what some of your favorites from August were!

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

- ARC of What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
- Defiance by C. J. Redwine
- Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am so excited about these three books!  I won the What's Left of Me ARC in a giveaway, and I'm in the middle of reading it right now.  Amazing.  It's a tearjerker for sure.  I love it so far!  I will probably be reading Defiance and Cursed later this week.  I can't wait to read Defiance because I love fantasy, plus Rae Carson blurbed it, so I'm sure it will be really good!  And I already know I'm going to love Cursed. :) Jennifer Armentrout is one of my favorite authors!

- Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
- While He was Away by Karen Shreck
- Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
- Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
- Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
- Wake by Amanda Hocking
- Nevermore by James Patterson

So I got all of these books from my library!  The only one I've read so far is Nevermore, which I really enjoyed.  Great ending to the Maximum Ride series.  I can't wait to read the others though!  I liked Glow, so I'm sure the sequel Spark will be great too.  Wake looks super cool; I love mermaid/siren stories.  While He was Away and Keep Holding On both look like really cute contemporaries!  Beautiful Lies has such an interesting summary; can't wait to see what it's like.  And Keeping the Castle seems like a fun read as well!

What new books did you get this week?  And if you've read any of the books I mentioned, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me how you liked them! :]

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Review: Endless Summer

Goodreads summary:

Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer. 

Lori can’t wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends—including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she’s turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that’s not going to happen—not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori’s romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

My review:

Okay, so I am officially in love with Jennifer Echols's books.  Besides Endless Summer, the only other book I've read by her was Such a Rush (which I also adored).  But I am so totally getting some more of her books soon!  She comes up with the most amazing stories.

I zipped through Endless Summer in two days.  I laughed out loud, sympathized with the characters, and - oh yeah, Adam Vader is now on my list of swoon-worthy boys.  I loved it all!

The plot was great.  It's hilarious to watch Lori planning how to make Sean fall in love with her!  Lori's ideas were so farfetched but still believable.  The story kept getting more and more complicated.  I was biting my nails, I was so anxious to find out what Adam and Lori would do next!

The characters: also fantastic.  Lori is quirky, likeable, and has the funniest sense of humor.  I could completely relate to her.  And Adam...ah, he was so sweet!  He was impulsive and jumped into things without thinking, but I loved that part of his character.  He genuinely loved Lori, even when she didn't realize.  So cute! <3 And all the other characters, like Lori's brother, were great additions to the story!

Favorite quote (it's from Adam' s POV):  "'I'm not stalking Lori,' I insisted.  'I'm making sure she's safe.  Besides, how could you stalk Lori McGillicuddy?  She'd see you and come out to your truck and say, 'Hi, I'm Lori.  Are you my stalker?  It's so neat to meet you!  While you're stuck here watching my every move, is there anything I can bring you?  Sweet tea?'"

THIS.  This is why I love this book.

So if you've never read any books by Jennifer Echols, then you MUST get your hands on them soon!  I know I will be reading more of her work.

My rating: 9 out of 10

~ The Bookworm