Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{Mini Review} School Spirits (School Spirits #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Four Stars

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Remember that person from the third book of the Hex Hall series, Spell Bound? Yeah, me neither. But I found out that School Spirits takes place in the same world, and I loved the descriptions of that witch world, so I had to ask for it. And then I got accepted!

I didn't enjoy this book as much as Hex Hall, sadly. The actual rating is more of a 3.5 stars than an solid 4 stars. 

This was a pretty quick and fluffy read, and it doesn't really stay with you in the long run.

There still is a sense of humor in this novel, but it isn't as pronounced.

The setting is a high school, and that sort of bored me. It seems every young adult novel is set at a high school nowadays.

I really liked how Dex wasn't exactly like Archer. I felt there was a pretty big difference between the two.

I will read the next books in the series. School Spirits is an engaging read, and I hope the next books answer my questions.

Thank you Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

And now my favorite quotes:

“You are my new hero. Seriously, I might actually be in love with you now. Would it be awkward if we made out?”
I didn't highlight that much in this book so there are not that many favorite quotes.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm #1) by Adam Gidwitz

Five Stars
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

A delightful and thoroughly entertaining tale, A Tale Dark & Grimm takes elements from the original Brothers Grimm book and adds a new spin. The book is a collection of bloody yet charming stories that follow the adventures of Hansel and Gretel. Yes, that Hansel and Gretel. The ones that pushed a witch into the oven. That story isn't where tale ends, or even begins, though.

The books opens before their birth. The book talks about how their parents met and how they averted tragedy. After those two or three chapters, it starts talking about Hansel and Gretel.

I don't know about you, but I never liked the story of Hansel and Gretel. It wasn't because it was violent. I think it was because Hansel and Gretel seemed so idiotic. I mean, if you walk into the woods and find a house made out of candy, are you really going to start eating. Seriously, think of all those germs! And yes, I was a strange child, caring about mud and dirt on clothes. I didn't even like sweets.

Before I give you an entire essay about how weird I was a kid, and how crazy I still am, I should probably start talking about the book.

Hansel and Gretel started as naive little children. Their parents were the king and queen of the Land of Grimm. One day, the king and queen had to cut off their heads to bring someone back to life. Yeah, just casually take an ax and chop off the heads of their only children. No biggie.

Around five minutes later, after they brought said dead person back to life, he tells them that Hansel and Gretel can come back to life. This was the part where I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, because three people came back to life in the first part of the book.

Naturally, Hansel and Gretel were a bit pissed at their parents for killing them. Just a little. Not enough to- you know- run away into the scary world filled with murderers and thieves and cannibals and- most important- germs. Oh wait. Never mind. They did run away. And thus begins the start of their adventures to find good parents, and later on- yeah, I'm not telling you people. Find it out yourselves. And read the book.

I really liked how there was so much character growth to Hansel and Gretel. They started out as childish children and ended up as mature children. The changes in the characters were slow, and I didn't even realize it was happening until the book ended. So I did what anyone else would do: I reread the book and completely psycho-analyzed it. I'm talking about sticky notes filled with every little detail of what the author chose could possibly mean.

Talking about Adam Gidwitz, there is a lot of commentary in this book. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but then decided it added on to the story. Gidwitz is basically talking to the audience throughout the entire story. So, 7th grade Language Arts teacher who told me I couldn't talk to the audience, I prove you wrong.

My favorite parts of the story were probably all of the bloody and gruesome parts. I mean- the message. Totally the message of courage. Not the wonderful killing parts. Because that would be weird. And I am most certainly not weird. I'm the normal-est person ever.

Basically, read this book. It's really, really good.

Now, some of my favorite quotes:

“You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide. 
No guide, that is, but courage” 
“Once upon a time, fairy tales were AWESOME!”  
“You see, Hansel and Gretel don’t just show up at the end of this story.
They show up.
And then they get their heads cut off.
Just thought you’d like to know.”  
Seriously, go get this book.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Eternity Cure

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming titles we're highly anticipating.
Waiting for: Eternity Cure
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Author: Julie Kagawa
Expected publication: 
Published By:   Harlequin Teen
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

 I tried requesting it, but I was denied. So now I have to wait. Grr...
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Monday, April 22, 2013

{Mini Review} Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman

 Four Stars

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...

...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no onger exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he he's found a home, but allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of

haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.

In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

 Woah. That was awesome. Nick and Allie are both in cars and accidentally crash into each other.

They see this tunnel with a light at the end of it, but don't go in. And then, they wake up in a forest and find out its been nine months. And then, they find out if they step on land, they will sink to the center of the Earth.

The characters were very interesting. I like the different viewpoints. I could relate with the characters.

The setting was well written, as was the dialogue.

The plots of all the books seemed reasonable.

I was a little confused and bored throughout the novels, but otherwise, the series was great.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Sister's Keeper By: Jodi Picoult

Five Stars
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for
most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

At first, I wasn't going to write  a review of this. My Sister's Keeper deals with a controversial issue and is very confusing. However, I figured that if I can write "mean" book reviews and not care if people hate it, I can write a book review about this book.

Anna Fitzgerald is a thirteen year old girl that has had blood transfusions, shots, and surgeries. It is not Anna that is sick though, but her older sister, Kate. The medical procedures were to help Kate live a little longer. In fact, the reason Anna was born was to be Kate's donor. One day, she gets pushed too far. Her parents are asking her to give up a kidney for Kate. Anna gets a lawyer to sue her parents for medical emancipation.

There are valid arguments of why Anna should donate her blood and why she shouldn't. Both make you think a lot. Sometimes, you might hate Anna for being selfish, but other times, you'd cheer her on. Either way, this book makes you think a lot.

The characters of My Sister's Keeper were well developed. They all had their own issues they needed to deal with.

There was a main plot of this book, which was Anna suing her parents, but there were other subplots, unlike in many other books.

Campbell Alexander, the lawyer of Anna, was very fun to read. He has a service dog, and he tells many people different explanations of why he has the dog. Over the course of the book, he changes from an uncaring jerk to a caring one.

I both hated and admired Sara Fitzgerald. She did everything she could to save one child, but what about the others?

I really enjoyed the multiple point of views in this book. 

When I started reading, I was expecting a serious book. I read what I thought I would read, but there were also a couple of jokes in there, which I did not expect. It didn't take away the seriousness of the book but actually lightened it a little bit.

And the ending. I know most reviews talk about the ending, but it was very unexpected. Well, it was unexpected to everyone except for me because my friend ruined it for me. I'm looking at you, Tiny Korean.

If you read this book, and I really recommend you do, you really have to keep an open mind. If you don't you're probably going to hate it a lot. And, if you didn't understand the hints in this review, this is not a quick and light read. You're going to sit and think of what you might have done in their situation and change your mind a lot.

I am definitely going to read Picoult's other books. Her writing style is very interesting and is hard to pull off, but she does.

Read this is you want a compelling book. However, do not read it out in public. You'll probably start crying, and that's not embarrassing at all.

And now, some of my favorite quotes from this book. I think I'll start doing this in reviews.

“You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.”

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” 

“Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it.” 

“The bottom line is that we never fall for the people we're supposed to.” 

“It is the things you cannot see coming that are strong enough to kill you.” 

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Antigoddess

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming titles we're highly anticipating.
Waiting for: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Expected publication: September 10th 2013
Published By:  Tor Teen
Old Gods never die… 

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin
Kendare Blake. Mythology. This will be awesome. And anytime now, this book will fall out of the sky. What is it waiting for? Does Blake and Tor Teen really think I can wait six months? **Waits a bit longer.** Oh my Gods. They're actually expecting I can wait that long.

What are you waiting on?
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why I Wasn't Online For A While

I meant to put this up on the blog, but the wi-fi up in the mountains is not good at all. However, I thought I posted it, and I didn't check my blog.

This is what I said:

I'll be in the mountains for a few days, and the wi-fi there sucks. So, for the five of you that actually look at my blog, there will be no updates for the next week or so.

And now, I'm back. So there will be regular updates after this post, starting on Friday. Tomorrow and Thursday, I will be playing at a concert and will not have an opportunity to write reviews.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Author Kate Evangalista's Request to Bloggers

We Want You...To Be Part of "The List"

Calling all bloggers!Calling all bloggers!

Entangled needs you! *points at you*Be part of The List.

Here's what you need to know:

One of my awesome publicists at Entangled is compilinga list of bloggers.

Here are the requirements:

Do you have a blog?

Do you love to review books?

Do you want access to books before they release?

If your answers to these questions is a resounding

"YES" then you're the right blogger for the job.

We want you! Now's a great time to join The List.

If you want to be a part of The List, here's what you have to do:

1. Add Til Death to your Goodreads TBR pile:


2. Leave the following in the comments section:a. Your Nameb. Your Blog URLc. Your Goodreads Named. Your Email Address

Additional Option: URL to your blog post aboutthis call for bloggers.

Priority will be given to those who help spreadthe word by creating a post on this call forbloggers on their blog. *smiles*

If you have any questions, let me know in thecomments section and I'll reply right away.

Don't miss this exciting opportunity.

Be part of The List today. 

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Monday, April 1, 2013

{Mini Review} Ghost Hand by: Ripley Patton

Four Stars
Olivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world. Olivia can pickpocket the soul. But she can’t control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn't trust.

Wow. This was a very interesting read. Olivia was born with a birth defect called a ghost hand, and she finds out she can reach into people's souls. That hooked me in from the start.

Ghost Hand starts out interesting, but soon gets boring. However, it picks up again, which is great.

Even Batman agrees with me.

There were twists that kept me on edge, but some things were predictable.

I really liked the way Patton wrote the story. It seems like I was in Olivia's head, the mind of a sixteen year old.

The world building seemed professional. I could picture what Olivia was talking about.

Ghost Hand is a great read, and I can't wait for the next book.
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