29 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: EXILED

Exiled (Immortal Essence, #1)

Title: Exiled
Author: RaShelle Workman
Series: Immortal Essence
Pages: 340
Published: 2011

Summary: Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family. Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate. Only she doesn't know the first thing about love. Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters--alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week. Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human. But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl--her.

Review: When searching for books to read, I always have a tendency to pick the ones that everyone else on my goodreads friends list have already read and reviewed, so it gives me a sort of idea as to what to expect from the novel and if it’s worth reading or not. I was a little bit surprised and a lot excited to find that Exiled by Rashelle Workman was something that none of the people I’m friends with has yet to read. Knowing that it was new and uncharted waters, I eagerly delved in.

Of course, I didn’t expect for it to instantly make me love it, and there was a time that I set it down completely and avoided it (although that was because NetGalley approved me for Wonder by R.J. Palacio and I just couldn’t resist), but when I came back to reading, I practically fell in love.

Venus is a Kelarian, but not just any Kelarian. Venus is the princess of Kelari. It starts off on Venus’s sixteenth birthday, the day that she’s supposed to leave home and take the journey to see the gods, Ith and Athea, so that she can be granted immortality. While that’s all she cares about, there’s different plans set for her, and she finds herself exiled on Earth, accused of killing her irrihunter and being the reason her family has been kidnapped. On top of all of that, she has to make a human named Michael find his soul mate if she wants to live.

A lot happens in this book, most of which I don’t plan on even coming close to spoiling for you, but if you’re curious in picking up a book to read, then I really have to suggest that it be this one. First off, there’s a distinct beauty to the description in this novel, and if you don’t fall in love with the way the characters look (which I have to say is absolutely breathtaking for the most part) then that’s a shame. Second of all, the plot is intriguing. There were twists that I didn’t expect to happen, and it’s very interesting to learn about Michael and Venus and see how their time together allows them to progress and find new labels to their relationship.

On the other hand, there were two things that I disliked about this book. The first has to deal with a spoiler, so we’ll only touch on the key point of my disliking. Venus ends up telling Michael a story about a war that happened on her planet because he asks her to, and while it was nice to know some back history of Kelari, I found myself skimming past these pages because they bored me. It just wasn’t something that I felt needed to be dragged on during this book, but I otherwise liked the story. Well, the end of the story at least.

The other part that I really disliked was the ending. There was a point where the book should have ended and then it just continued on for another two chapters, which was really pointless. Granted, they weren’t long chapters, but that doesn’t change the fact that I really wasn’t a fan of the fact that the book didn’t end at a natural ending and instead took an unnatural ‘cliffhanger-esque’ ending. I’m really starting to not be able to stand cliffhangers. Or love triangles, but that’s a whole other topic that we won’t get on about right now.

Overall, I really did like this book, and I’m really excited for the sequel, Beguiled, which comes out in May! If you’re looking for a book that’s not quite the typical young adult novel but is still right up the paranormal-ish alley, check out Exiled and maybe when you’re done reading it, you can sneak into the novel for me and kidnap me a pair of the boots that I would die for. They’re so beautiful and, in the words of someone that I adore, so fierce! Someday I will have a pair of my own! Someday.

Rating: ★★★★ 3.5/5 Stars
28 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Tainted Soul

Tainted Soul (Tainted, #2)

Title: Tainted Soul
Author: Sam C. Leonhard
Series: Tainted
Pages: 314
Published: 2011

Summary: Gabriel Jordan, part-time werewolf and full-time private investigator, should be living a happy life. Three years ago, he was a homeless thief; now he’s got a loving partner and a job he enjoys, he lives in a nice house, and he doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow. So why the sudden urge to cheat on Aleksei, the handsome and occasionally deceptive fae he loves? Why does Gabriel feel compelled to flee the life he’s built for himself?

Someone’s calling him. Someone’s looking for him. Someone holds his destiny in her hands. The portals to the hidden worlds have become unstable, even dangerous. Fear and madness linger in the dark. Panic and nightmares chase him, but Gabriel can’t fight an enemy he can’t see, and even turning into his wolf form may not be enough to save him.

Review: I have been putting this review off for a while because of all of the feelings that have taken over my poor mind after having finished this book. When I initially read the first book in the Tainted series, Tainted Blood, I found that I really enjoyed the characterization and the way that Gabriel and Aleksei interacted. In Tainted Soul, I found that the plotline was far superior to that of the first novel, something that surprised me because I don’t tend to like sequels more than the original novel. It was a refreshing surprise.

In Tainted Soul, Gabriel keeps hearing this voice that’s telling him to harm his boyfriend, to cheat on him and even kill him. Now, I can’t begin to imagine what in the world I would do if I were in Gabriel’s situation, but I know for a fact that I would not be able to handle it nearly as well as he did. The way that he managed to ignore the voice so long and to the point that he actually thought he’d listened to it when he hadn’t…it was very impressive.

The thing that I liked most about Tainted Soul was that we finally got the chance to discover what Gabriel really was, and it’s pretty impressive. I can’t imagine being just a werewolf or just a faerie, let alone the combination that Gabriel discovers is what he actually is. The discovery and the plot line that led up to it was really what captivated me with Tainted Soul. I had started the book in the beginning of February and ended up setting it down after a little while because I was a little bit dissatisfied with how the story was starting

As with Tainted Blood, I had some issues with the sex scenes. They weren’t nearly as bad as in Tainted Soul, because there thankfully wasn’t an entire chapter worth, but there was one and a half that I really wasn’t sure needed to be in the novel and were just page fillers. I understand that the novel called for sex scenes, but I really don’t think that we needed all of the ones that were actually in Tainted Soul.

I have to say that the ending was quite literally my favourite part of the novel and what made the sequel better than the original novel. The climax of the novel was so dramatic that I was sneaking the chance to read it during my math class, almost daring my teacher to catch me as I desperately determined that I had, had to find out what happened next. There was a part of the novel that left me heartbroken and a part of it that left me screaming for joy (not in math class, I promise).

Overall, I’d love to see what would potentially happen next in Gabriel and Aleksei’s lives, but if the series ends there, then I would have to say that I’m very glad that I got the chance to read the books. Tainted Soul surprised me when I read it, proving to me that I could be wrong when it came to if I would like the book or not. I thought that I’d get bored with it around page 80 and that we’d get to the point of no return when I find myself unable to finish books, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was a joy to read, and I’m really very glad that I requested the title on NetGalley.

Thank you to Ariel at Dreamspinner Press for providing me with Tainted Blood so that I could read Tainted Soul, and thank you to Dreamspinner Press for providing Tainted Soul for review.

Rating: ★★★★ 4.5/5 Stars
26 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Tithe

Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)

Title: Tithe
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Modern Faerie Tales
Pages: 331
Published: 2002

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.

Review: I wish I could say that I expected to finish this book and give it a two star rating, but I hadn't. When I had first picked up Tithe, I purchased it in a trilogy box set as Borders declared that they were shutting their doors. I figured that getting three books for eight dollars wasn't a bad deal, especially since they were books that I had heard were talked about when I was back in high school. From what I had heard, Holly Black had made faerie tales fun, had brought a spark of life into them that hadn't been seen before.

If I were to sit back and think about the six months that it has taken me to actually start and finish this book, I might very generously round my rating up to two and a half stars, but I really can't be bothered taking time out of my day to sit and think about Tithe more than I am right now as I write this review.

When I started this book back in October, I figured that it would be a pretty good book, but I have to say that I wasn't expecting all the language and drama and all that stuff that happened at the beginning. On the one hand, I have to give props to Holly Black for actually making a young adult novel seem like how teenagers act these days, but on the other hand I wanted to say that the swearing was a bit much, especially since it really, really mellowed out farther on in the book.

The only thing that I liked about this book was Corny. I found Kaye to be annoying and Roiben was...I don't even know how to describe him. I wanted to punch him in the face. Also, all of this drama just happened in about a week's time, something that sounds feasible, but really didn't work in this book. I kept expecting that there would be some amount of time lapse in this novel, but no. I have read books that have had less pages and have managed to spread out over a year of a character's life and still ended up being better written than Tithe. It's just that too much happened in not enough pages and the drama was overwhelming. Also, there were too many things to keep track of, and I found myself having to put this book down over and over again just because my head was spinning from all of the nonsense that was in this novel.

Another thing that really bothered me was the writing style. Some of it was really wonderful prose. I found myself locked in a paragraph, rereading it twice or three times because I loved how it was worded, and then all of a sudden we went from that magical prose to this very frustrating writing style that made me want to rip out pages in this book and throw them across the room. I can't stand damaging books, but I really, really wanted to destroy this one, and I really want to stick it on a bookshelf with other novels that I will never go near again, like Twilight.

With the plot that Tithe had, it could have been such an interesting read, but it lacked because of the writing and the unnecessary additions and overbearing drama that was scattered all throughout the novel. I'm disappointed to say that I regret my purchase and don't know if I'll ever come close to reading the rest in the modern faerie tale series.

Rating: ★★ 2/5 Stars

In My Mailbox (1)

I've figured that it's high time we start an In My Mailbox, and since Kaitlyn has been gone all week, I've stopped going to her to see if she's okay with it. Haha. She's back now though, which is good! So hopefully she'll get back to reading and we'll have more reviews from her to look forward to. (:

This week, Kaitlyn and I both received our signed copies of Cinder by Marissa Meyer that we purchased. We're so excited because this has to be one of our favourite reads so far this year!


Also this week, I've received a few titles from NetGalley. Better by Jaime Samms, Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I've already finished Wonder and I love it! A review for the book will be coming sometime this week, and if you haven't read it yet, then you really should! I'm also really excited to read the other two. Better has such an interesting premise, and Wonderlove is all over the blogging community, so I can't wait to dig and get reading!

Better   Wanderlove   Wonder

One last thing! Review Copy Cleanup starts in three days and I can't wait! There's not a better way to get things read and reviewed and out of the to-be-read pile than an entire month dedicated to it! If you have a giant stack of books that you still need to read and review (like me), consider signing up! We're all in this together, remember?

Have a happy Sunday!
25 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent
Pages: 487
Published: 2011

Summary: In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Review: I’m always hesitant of novels that have ended up on bestseller lists, especially since the whole Twilight fiasco all those years ago. Reading Divergent was something that I had wanted to do since it had come out, but I kept having to put it off because of one thing or another, and by the time I got back to it, I was hesitant to read it. It was recommended to me as a read for this month and so I took on the challenge and actually sat down to read Divergent, allowing myself to get into the book and read it, and I have to say that I was very surprised with how much I liked it.

Set in futuristic, dystopian Chicago, Divergent is about a girl named Beatrice who has to pick which of the five factions (groups of people) she belongs in. She finds out during the test that she’s a Divergent (destined for multiple factions) and is told to keep the whole thing secret while she considers which faction to choose.

The five factions: Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, Amity and Dauntless, each have a key defining point that make them a faction. The faction that Beatrice chooses, Dauntless, is known for bravery. She then changes her name to Tris and meets Four, her new coach who is to lead her and the other new transfers through the screening process to stay in Dauntless. If not, then end up factionless, the equivalent of a homeless person and they have no one or nothing to look forward to ever.

I really liked reading Divergent because the plotline was intriguing and the relationship between Tris and Four builds beautifully, in a sort of slow and continuous way rather than choppily or sudden like most YA novels these days. I just had a problem with the way that the Dauntless worked. I mean, the fact that they all wore black and had tattoos and piercings was cool and all, but the concept of jumping on and off of trains, throwing yourself off of buildings and basically letting yourself get killed or almost killed just in order to be accepted into the faction is ridiculous and disturbing. Well, not disturbing, but quite improbable.

The thing that I understood the least was that Tris and all of these recruits just went along with it like there was nothing wrong whatsoever. I understand that had they not, they would have ended up factionless and that is a disturbing thought within itself, but it just seems like people wouldn’t blindly go through all of these tests without even knowing if they’re going to come out of it alive or not. SPOILER: [Also, a place where suicide is considered a bold and heroic movement is…I don’t have words…]

Aside from that, I really liked the plotline and I really liked that the author didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger that made us desperately crave the next one the second it was done. I have to say that I desperately craved it anyway, but the point of that is that cliffhangers seem to be the next big thing in YA fiction and it’s really frustrating because I’m sick of being stuck in these , ‘Will this happen will that happen oh my god what’s next!?’ ending to books. I like that Veronica Roth didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger and yet still left us desiring more. I’m craving the next book so badly that it makes me want to cry.

I can’t wait to see what happens in Insurgent, and if you haven’t read Divergent yet, you really need to. Despite some plot holes that I really can’t get past, it’s a really amazing novel, and it deserves to be read.

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 Stars
24 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: My Enchanted Life

My Enchanted Life

Title: My Enchanted Life
Author: Laura Eno
Pages: 256
Published: 2011

Summary: An American teen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed in England's magical community of Wode Gate. While dealing with gnomes, a cranky dragon, murder and mayhem, Emma tries to cope with her unwanted duties as Sentinel and fights to get back home again.

She finds that things aren't always what they seem, people aren't who they pretend to be, and someone wants her dead. The king of the underworld wants her too, but he may be the least of her problems as Emma struggles to control her powers—while losing her heart to a demon.

Review: I know that the schedule said that I was going to review Divergent tonight, but due to some ridiculously annoying circumstances, Divergent has been pushed back to tomorrow.

I didn’t have many expectations for this book since I knew little to nothing about it, excluding the fact that I had requested it. When I realised that I had to read it for an upcoming review date, I just dug in without even rereading the synopsis. Sometimes it’s better to jump into a book blindly, without knowing what goes on in the book at all and just experiencing it firsthand. My Enchanted Life was definitely one of those books.

In My Enchanted Life, Emma finds herself relocated to Britain when her uncle dies and leaves her his home. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be eighteen, just out of high school and finding yourself the owner of a home in a country that you haven’t been to since you were born. Emma bravely accepted the duty to go and see what the property was like and landed herself in a world that she never expected.

I knew from starting the book that it was going to be some sort of paranormal YA novel, but I hadn’t expected it to end up being such an intriguing novel. There were so many different types of novels in the YA universe these days that stick to one or two different kinds of concepts; dystopian, vampires vs. werewolves, mermaids, et cetera. It was nice to see that this one had a sort of different concept to it. There were the typical concepts inside of the novel and Emma had some Mary Sue qualities, but there was some uniqueness to it.

I enjoyed that there was a variety of paranormal and that they all lived together. My favourite had to be Cussard, a wonderful dragon that was the colours of the rainbow. He just had such a wonderful personality to him, and while he was supposed to be one of those ‘grumpy’ characters, I enjoyed him. I also have to say that I really liked Randolph despite the fact that he ended up being a jerk in the end. I wanted to see more about him and I really wanted him and Emma to get together.

Out of all the characters, the one I liked the least was Matthew. I was not a fan and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face within moments after first meeting him. Of course the Greek God-esque person with the hard past and the troubled heritage was the one and only fit for Emma. It bothered me, to be quite honest, that he was the one that she ended up with, and despite the fact that I really liked the story, I think it would have been better without his character, even though he was vital for about half of the novel to commence.

My Enchanted Life was an intriguing read, and if there is a sequel I plan on reading it, if only to hope that Emma and Randolph will end up together in the end and to see more of Cussard, Lizzy and the rest of the gang. I wasn’t a huge fan of the main characters, but then again, I usually am not when it comes to a novel. Even the best of them don’t seem to have MCs that I want to fall in love with. It’s the side characters that are my favourite, and Laura Eno managed to give me side characters that I fell in love with, side characters that make the novel one worth reading.

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 Stars

I'm sure that you all have had that feeling of being a new blogger, and while it is a wonderful feeling, getting into the book blog community and all, I know that it's caused a lot of havoc on my poor Kindle. Ravishing NetGalley and whatever book review groups that I could find on Goodreads has added a nice little pile of books that I have to read and have yet to get around to, so my plan is to join the challenge that Vicky and Celine have started with their Review Copy Cleanup.

There will be weekly challenges and fun giveaways courtesy of Vicky and Celine, who have decided to add some motivation to the process.

The concept of taking on a challenge and having the chance to participate in it with others is something that I'm thrilled to do, so if you're interested in joining, head on over to Vicky's blog: Book, Biscuits & Tea or Celine's blog: Nyx Book Reviews to sign up and join in on the fun. Also, if you're on twitter, join in by communicating with others at the hashtag #RCCleanup and we'll have a fun March getting all of our reviews and readings out of the way!
22 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Forbidden

Forbidden (The Guardian Chronicles, #1)

Title: Forbidden
Author: Megan Curd
Series: The Guardian Chronicles
Pages: 270
Published: 2011

Summary: Levi's job is to protect his human until it's their time to go. That's what a Guard does. He's done it for years on end, and he'll spend his eternity doing the same, mundane thing, following the same, mundane rules.

...Watch from afar.
...Never share your name.
...And above all, never touch a human.

What Levi doesn't know is that his newest human to protect, Hannah, just might be the catalyst to tipping the scales between good and evil, and he will be forced to decide which side he belongs to. Which friends will he side with, and who will he ultimately protect: his human, or the delicate balance that hangs on stopping the heartbeat of the person he has sworn to protect?

And, when you're already condemned, what's there to lose by breaking the rules?

Review: I really wasn't sure what to expect when I initially started reading Forbidden. First off, props to Megan Curd for writing a first person book from a boy's perspective. It's not something that's really intensely seen in novels, so I approve immensely. I believe that I was hesitant to read Forbidden because of the fact that I hadn't been recommended it and I had heard nothing about it at all. The only bit of knowledge that I had about it was from the summary, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to read it at all.

Looking back, I am so glad that I picked up this book. The days that I read it, I had actually fallen asleep while reading it. That wasn't because it was a boring or bad book, but due to the fact that I had stayed up until almost five in the morning, knowing that I had school the next day, just to see what was going to happen next in the book.

Levi intrigued me. I had almost expected him to be a little frustrating and annoying because his initial personality made me assume that he was going to be as such. It was refreshingly surprising to realise that the entire time that I read Forbidden, I didn't find him annoying or frustrating. Instead, I found his character to be one that grew throughout the book and I really enjoyed the way his feelings for his charge, Hannah, changed throughout the book.

My downright favourite character in the story had to have been Ethan. He entertained me and when I feared that something was going to happen to him, I freaked out more than any normal person should ever freak out when it comes to a character in a book. His personality was wonderful, the way he started out with a nonchalant attitude towards the humans and ended up becoming such a wonderful, starting-to-become-kind character. I really hope to see him progressing in the sequel, which I really can't wait to read!

The plot line of Forbidden kept me clinging to it, and I really was glad that it was a book that I hadn't set aside until whenever I was bored. It was a good choice and I would definitely recommend it to someone who was interested in reading a book about angels and rule-breaking from a male perspective, not that it much mattered whose perspective the book was from. It was wonderful and I won't hesitate to reread it sometime in the future.

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 Stars
20 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Kaitlyn's Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles
Pages: 387
Published: 2012

Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Review: Cinder. The title is the name of the main character, and it’s obvious that this is sort of a spin on the “Cinderella” story. However, Marissa Meyers takes this classic tale most of us grew up with and turns it into something entirely of her own; something as new as her book.

I adored this book! I know, I know, what book haven’t I adored lately, but the fact is that Rhee filters out the bad books and then lets me read them and then I get to rave about them. But! That doesn’t discredit the fact that Cinder was an amazing, amazing read.

First of all, it’s in third person, which is nice. The reader can’t help fall for Cinder. And as per she’s supposed to, she has an evil step mother. Who still makes me angry just thinking about her! Ugh.

There are aspects of the classic tale that Meyers makes her own. IE: the robot, Iko. Iko is adorable and I have my own predictions about her character (which I won’t say!) but I love her.

I also love the premise of the plague. Well, I hate it, because it’s a plague, but without it the book wouldn’t have that certain something that sets it apart from most other YA novels. I love that Cinder isn’t a typical teenage girl—not just in the fact that she’s a cyborg, but because she’s modest without being a Mary Sue that’s like “I can’t do anything right blah blah blah.” While it’s obvious Cinder doesn’t have much self-worth, she knows she’s the most skilled mechanic and doesn’t try to hide it, even if she is humble, which is exactly one of the best qualities about her. It really is almost impossible not to fall in love with Cinder.

As for the love interest, Prince Kai, just let me say there were so many “NOW KISS!” moments that I was groaning and whining at the book. Those really are the only moments when the reader wants to yell at Cinder because she’s being a doofus. Even if she has her reasons!

The premise of the “Lunars” is very interesting. It’s like Marissa Meyers mashed the thought of fairies and aliens and humans into one being. They’re scary, and I hope they never, ever exist, but it’s interesting and once again, adds that unique twist to the book. The book also will make you laugh. Meyers writes with a flow and grace that’s hard to ignore. The book will just flow and you won’t want to put it down, I promise.

If you’re looking for a book that’ll have you on your toes, feeling all the feelings, and leave you with such a cliff hanger that you will cry when you remember the next book doesn’t come out until 2013… then Cinder is for you! I completely recommend it.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars
19 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Between the Land and the Sea

Between The Land And The Sea

Title: Between the Land and the Sea
Author: Derrolyn Anderson
Series: Marina's Tales
Pages: 248
Published: 2011

Summary: Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep waters off the coast of Aptos, California. A few weeks after moving to the charming beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... And maybe even find true love along the way.

Review: To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I first requested a copy of Between the Land and the Sea to read. I feared that it was going to be like all the other young adult books out there which all seem to have the same sort of plot line that drags on and on and on and ends up with the boy and the girl together and everything's perfect in the end. While it doesn't fully deviate from the normal expectations of YA books, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I ended up liking the book more than I thought I would have.

Starting off, I felt like this was going to be a novel that I rushed through just to get it over with. I had a feeling that it was going to be adequate in the terms of a novel, and it would be something that I wasn't impressed by in the slightest. I think a lot of that came with the fact that initially I didn't like Marina at all. I was bored with her character and was much more interested in the side characters rather than her.

It wasn't until somewhere around a third of the way through the book that I realised that I really did like Marina as a character. She seemed well-rounded. Foolish, but well-rounded. She had a wide variety of feelings and they weren't too intense nor timid. She's a good character, and I really like the way that we got to experience the story through her eyes and yet still got a feel of what was happening around her. Most first person novels that I read have a tendency to completely forget that there's a world outside of the main character, and I was glad to know that Between the Land and the Sea wasn't like that.

My downright favourite character was Cruz. He is absolutely adorable and I want one for myself so that I have someone to design amazing clothing for me. Plus, fashion designer cousins are always a wonderful concept.

Between the Land and the Sea was a pleasant read, and I have a feeling that I might read this book again in the future. I greatly enjoyed it, and I hope that others will be able to enjoy it the way that I did. If you're looking for an interesting tale of mermaids and wonderful cousins and friends, then this is a book for you.

Rating: ★★★★ 3.5/5 Stars
17 February, 2012 | By: Rhee


Kaitlyn and I have been ridiculously busy between school, life and all the other ridiculousness that comes between those, and that's clearly been affecting our abilities to read and review all the wonderful books that come our way. We do apologise for that and will be fixing that shortly.

But to keep you guys excited (and potentially interested in continuing reading our blog) we do have some reviews planned.

Sunday, February 19th: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson
Monday, February 20th: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Wednesday, February 22nd: Forbidden by Megan Curd
Friday, February 24th: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Saturday, February 25th: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Sunday, February 26th: Tainted Soul by Sam C. Leonhard

Those are the reviews we have planned for now. On Saturday, March 3rd, we have two authors guest posting for their respective novels, surprises for now (of course!) as well as reviews. And hopefully we will be having a giveaway in March! Stay tuned for more information and exciting reviews along the way.
04 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Bittersweet


Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Pages: 378
Published: 2012

Summary: Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life…and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last…

Review: This novel was downright adorable, but I have to warn you before you even get started, make sure you are either a. Full and have just eaten, or b. Have an entire plate of cupcakes or something sweet next to you to eat while you read the sweetness of this novel.

Some of the cupcake recipes in this novel...I had to stop and salivate over the beginning of almost every chapter because the downright deliciousness of each cupcake description, and if the sweetness of the cupcakes weren't enough, the novel itself made me develop cavities upon cavities.

I really liked the way that Bittersweet started off with a dramatic moment, with Hudson discovering how her father had cheated on her mother and how that threw off everything for her and her family, and I really like the way Sarah Ockler allowed us to see a little bit of the girl's life before we went into the present day.

Hudson's current life is nothing like her past, and she's gone from being an almost-professional ice skater to a nobody hiding in the back of her mother's diner and trying to bury herself in cupcakes. She's lost all of her past friends and only has her best friend, Dani, left, aside from her mother and her brother, Bug (who was my downright favourite character in the entire book. So adorable!). And then we discover this whole new idea that Hudson is secretly skating again, which is where we run into the absolute and wonderful Josh!

Oh Josh. Where do I begin with Josh? He is adorable and I just want one of him for myself, yes please! Throughout the book he seemed downright adorable and throughout the entire book I was just waiting for him and Hudson to get together, especially since they were absolutely precious as friends.

My favourite bits of the book had to be where the hockey team actually appreciated the way that Hudson worked to help train them and make sure that they were ready and prepared to take on the season, but I wanted to punch Will in the face. I get the way he was trying to fix things in the end, but he was selfish and he managed to try and screw everything up between Hudson and Josh, and almost succeeded.

This book was downright adorable and I definitely know that I will potentially reread it in the future. It was sweet and left a heck of a cupcake craving by the end of the book. If you're looking for a cute, quick read (even though it does get a little bit slow in the end), and are desperate to make some cupcakes by the end of it all, then this book is definitely for you!

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 Stars
02 February, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Worlds Burn Through

Worlds Burn Through by Vicki Keire

Title: Worlds Burn Through
Author: Vicki Keire
Pages: 78
Published: 2012

Summary: Chloe Burke has nightmares of a world burned to ash and the strange boy who saves them both.

Underneath the dreams lurks a deeply buried reality; Chloe and a handful of others are survivors of a decade old apocalypse that burned their home world to the ground.

Now their ancient enemies hunt them again. To keep their adopted world safe, Chloe must undergo a ritual of blood sacrifice that will have life-long consequences if she survives. Her lethal protector, Eliot Gray, must keep her alive long enough to do it.

Together they will uncover even more dangerous secrets buried in the past’s deepest, darkest ashes.

Review: Worlds Burn Through was a wonderful little novella about a girl named Chloe and how her life is changing after the death of her father, in mysterious ways of course.

I have to admit that I enjoyed reading Worlds Burn Through more than I thought I would. When I received the ARC from NetGalley, I thought that the premise sounded interesting but would just be one of those books that you enjoy but don't consider continuing with the series. Reading it proved to me that that wasn't the case at all.

Even if you end up reading the book and decide that you aren't a huge fan of it, there's no way that you can deny that Vicki Keire doesn't have a way with words. The way she writes is inspirational and while I was reading it, I could imagine everything so vividly thanks to the description and beautiful wording.

While I'm not sure I'll continue on to read the rest of the series (too many books, not enough time), I do know that I really did enjoy what I did read of it. I hope that whoever picks up a copy of it discovers the wonders of Worlds Burn Through the way that I did, and even if they don't, I hope that they find themselves submersed in the vivid imagery of Vicki Keire's writing.

Review: ★★★ 3/5 Stars

Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Page: 221
Published: 2005

Summary: Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Review: When I initially finished reading Looking for Alaska, I was completely overwhelmed by the end of the novel which involves too many spoilers to count, and I considered it to be an almost 5-Star book. I realise now that that had a lot to do with the fact that it was somewhere around four in the morning and I was not only sleep deprived but in love with the ending that really does make the book worth reading.

I can't deny it. John Green has a way with words, especially when it comes to the ending of Looking of Alaska. He knows how to take a novel and play with it enough to make it sound like an intriguing read, and he also manages to make his stories seem realistic and have just a proper touch of drama that could theoretically happen in life. Despite all of that, I found Looking for Alaska to be just an average teen novel, and while it did have its moments, it did not deserve the 4.5 Stars that I had first given it, so 3.5 is what I'll stick with for the purpose of this review.

There were times while I was reading the book that I was wondering if we were ever going to come to a point where something exciting or dramatic would happen. I am all for novels where the merry band of friends go around and do crazy things like get drunk, party and plan pranks to pass the time, but when there's so much hype surrounding an author, I expected more, and while I did get more, I don't think it was enough.

SPOILER: [I kind of had predicted that Alaska would either get injured or disappear/die/something during the book, but I hadn't expected why she would have. After we got past the fact that she wasn't going to see her boyfriend, the reason behind her leaving was predictable but I have to give John Green some credit. It takes a whole lot of love to leave school at (I think it was three) in the morning to go and leave flowers on her grave. Even if she thought she was the cause of her mother's death, it was beautiful.]

I found the end of the book, not the last scene, to be funny and sweet, but the very last scene of the book, where we were with Miles as he thought about the religion teacher (who I loved. The religion class was such an awesome concept.) and Alaska's question and he came to his conclusions about life and getting out of the labyrinth to be one of the best endings to a book that I've read, and that's why I may or may not have fallen in love with Looking for Alaska.

To be honest, I most likely would not reread it, but I would reread that last scene and I would see a film version if they were to create one. I do hope that other John Green books are as wonderful as the ending of Looking for Alaska and I will continue to read his works.

Rating: ★★★★ 3.5/5 Stars