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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I know, I know, another Covermance post with no reviews to speak of. But, seriously, my dad just had a seriously life-threatening cardiac arrest and I've been completely insane with stress and worry, so I think I deserve some slack. I'm totally being lazy and whiny, but I promise I'll get a review up soon. :) And, darlings, I went and got out five gorgeous covers!


If you had a second chance at love, would you do it all over again?

Amy has enough to deal with for one lifetime. A superstitious Chinese mother. A best friend whose mood changes as dramatically as her hair colour. A reputation for being strange. The last thing she needs is to be haunted by someone only she can see.

Logan is a ghost from the Eighties. He could be dangerous. He's certainly annoying.

He might also be Amy's dream boy.







PREORDER PRELOVED!



In Hollywood, fame can be found on every corner and behind any door. You just have to know where to look for it. Nineteen-year-old Madison Parker made a name for herself as best frenemy of nice-girl-next-door Jane Roberts on the hot reality show L.A. Candy. Now Madison's ready for her turn in the spotlight and she'll stop at nothing to get it. Sure, she's the star of a new show, but with backstabbing friends and suspicious family members trying to bring her down, Madison has her work cut out for her. Plus, there's a new nice girl in "reality" town—aspiring actress Carmen Price, the daughter of Hollywood royalty—and she's a lot more experienced at playing the fame game... When the camera's start rolling, whose star will shine brighter?

Filled with characters both familiar and new, Lauren Conrad's series about the highs and lows of being famous delivers Hollywood gossip and drama at every turn.



PREORDER THE FAME GAME!
  

When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. But it’s not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories of Devin and his shocking betrayal come flooding back.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she’s capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can’t forgive the Order for nearly killing her, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

A Fractured Light picks up right after A Beautiful Dark‘s shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate’s Fallen and Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga.



PREORDER A FRACTURED LIGHT!
  

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.



All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself. 

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

PREORDER ROMEO REDEEMED!
  


(I know, darlings, I know. This post is totally late. Shut up. I love you!)


Welcome to the Transcend Time Saga Title Hunt! The title hunt is the reveal of the title for the final novel in the Transcend Time Saga. Each of the bloggers participating in the hunt have been given a letter. Hop around to the blogs participating to hunt for the letters. (And remember that two of the letters are used twice, so the title is eight letters long.) 

Once you've unscrambled the title, go to Michelle Madow's blog and use the title name to enter the giveaway for a voucher for an advanced e-copy of the final Transcend Time novel! (She is giving away a voucher because the novel is planned to be released at the end of the year, and she hasn't finished writing it yet! This voucher will ensure that you will receive an advance e-copy once they are available).

For a limited time only, the e-version of Remembrance is on sale for the low, low price $0.99 until Michelle's USA tour ends in April! (I strongly recommend it!)

Okay, I know, you want to know what my letter is.




Have fun, my darlings! E buona fortuna! (And good luck!)



Postscript: So, I've figured out what the title is, and it is PERFECT. I can't wait until the cover is released!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory. 

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning.... 

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.


PREORDERAmazon.comBarnes & Noble.com


One last chance...
for Max, Fang, and Dylan...
before it all ends.

Are you ready for the final chapter? Are you ready for the ultimate flight? Because THIS IS IT. One last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.



PREORDERAmazon.comBarnes & Noble.com
Thursday, February 16, 2012
So, darlings, guess what? My blog has won the Lovely Blog Award!! Aren't you totally excited? Because I know I am :) My thanks go to Mel from Journey with Words for stopping by and nominating me in this category!

The award was created with the purpose of not only recognizing really fantastic, spectacular blogs, but also a way to check out other blogs in the community. The award comes with a set of rules to follow, which includes me choosing which blogs I think deserve this award.

For those of you who I have picked, please follow the instructions below to pass along these awards to other bloggers you think have great blogs. Pretty please? I'll love you forever… :)

The award received by Sparkles and Lightning is....






The rules are simple. They are so, so simple. They are unbelievably simple, so take a moment to read them and be amazed at their simplicity. ;) Participation is optional, but smiled upon greatly. :D
1. Link back to the person that bestowed the award upon you.
2. Follow the person that bestowed the award upon you.
3. Pass along to 15 Lovely Bloggers!



See? I told you they were simple.


Now, without further ado, my chosen winners for the Lovely Blog Award! They are in alphabetical order by blogger name, for two reasons: 1) I'm an OCD freak who likes things organized, and 2) this way you can't actually tell which blogs I like the best. Of course, there are ways to find out… ;)



  1. April at Books 4 Juliet
  2. Giselle at Xpresso Reads
  3. Hayley at The Fable Faerie
  4. Jennifer at Some Like it Paranormal
  5. Jessica at The Daily Bookmark
  6. Jessica and Donna at Book Passion for Life
  7. Kathy at I Write, I Read, I Review
  8. Kristin at Beneath Shining Stars
  9. Mari and Nina at Escape in a Book
  10. Mimi at Mimi Valentine
  11. Natalia at Dazzling Reads
  12. Rachel at The Rest is Still Unwritten
  13. Scarlet at Lost in Wonderland
  14. Taneika at Flipping Through The Pages
  15. Wendy at A Cupcake and a Latte
Love love love,
Annabelle
I know these excerpts have been up for a while on Aprilynne's website, but I couldn't resist sharing them here. (And in spectacularly BIG font!!) I admit that these books are not incredible, but, um, well, Tamani is really hot. I can't lie.


So without further ado…


Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to touch her hair behind her ear. He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.


She hated how much it felt like goodbye.


***********************************************************************************


"I honestly thought that might be the end," Tamani whispered in her ear. When his lips fell on her neck, her cheeks, and dotted her eyelids, she didn't pull away. It wasn't until that moment that she realized just how narrowly they'd cheated death.


Isn't this sweet and totally heartbreaking? Destined needs to come out so I can read more about Tamani!


And here's the official blurb, because I just cannot get enough of it…


Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and she is working with Klea to conquer and destroy Avalon. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares for a fight she never thought she would have to face. 

Filled with heart-pounding action, sweeping romance, and higher stakes at every turn, Destined is the series conclusion that readers have been clamoring for—with a twist that will leave them breathless. 




Friday, February 3, 2012
****FINAL RATING: 4.40 STARS****

CATCHALL
Ordinarily, this book would probably sit on my review less shelf for longer than a day before receiving a review. I am drastically behind on my reviews, so um…yeah. I'll get to them eventually. The main reason I'm writing my review now is Project Tell Taylor. Even though Taylor Swift isn't exactly my favorite singer, I like doing giveaways and helping others. I was also, through this, offered the chance to read and review Remembrance. But wow! I thought Remembrance sounded intriguing, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did!

THE HEROINE
ELIZABETH DAVENPORT
I really liked Lizzie. She was cute and sweet. Not exactly my favorite heroine of all time, but still up there. She seemed genuine and real, unlike so many YA heroines I could name but won't, because I'm a nice person ;) I was kind of annoyed by her at times, however, when she keeps agonizing over Drew. I understand the feeling--but I don't necessarily want to hear about it for pages and pages. Also, she had some serious indecisiveness going on, and that kind of things grates on me personally. It created a little bit of a divide. But happily, in the end I knew I really liked her. It was her relatability that made her stand out and be special.

THE LOVE INTEREST
ANDREW CARMICHAEL
I really like the name Andrew, so I was somewhat upset that he goes by Drew. This is, however, a totally minor thing. Ah, he is definitely one of my new book boyfriends. He just oozes hotness in this totally amazing way and apparently makes me sound stupid, because I totally do. (And suddenly, I understand why my boyfriend gets so adorably jealous when I talk about guys from books.) Back on topic, Drew is probably my favorite character from Remembrance. I love how he's so protective of Lizzie--it goes to show that he really does love and care about her. The mistakes he makes make him seem stronger and all the more real. He's very human, and I love him for it :)

THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS
JEREMY
He was a layered character. I completely wrote him off at first, but he surprised me. I didn't expect to find out some things about him that I did, and I most certainly didn't expect him to have such an important role in the story. I found myself pitying him but also admiring him in a strange way. I expect I'll be seeing more of him in future installments, and I'm looking forward to it. Villains can be so much fun, and Jeremy is no different. In a way, his character is heartbreaking.
CHELSEA
Ah, Chelsea. I really didn't like Chelsea. I kind of hated her, if I'm honest. But I can't love every character ever, and I didn't love her. For most of the book I kind of wanted to slap her upside the head. She was annoying and far more selfish than any three people put together should be. I did get the vibe that she genuinely cared about Lizzie, but she cared more about a boy. This is the type of thing I can't stand in a girl. Chelsea was maybe the worst best friend character I've ever read. Unfortunately, I do understand that she kind of did have to be this way for the story to progress the way it did, so I'll cut some slack. I hope to grow to like her more later on.

THE PLOT
I'm usually not a fan of reincarnation or soul mates, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But for some reason, Michelle managed to make me accept the idea. Everything clicks into place flawlessly. The past lives meld with the present in a way that somehow manages to work. It is understandable--I didn't feel lost or confused more than I should have. Things that weren't stated outright were clear enough to see. In general, I liked the plot. It kept me interested. I barely put this book down at all, which resulted in further procrastination of my AP Physics homework, my worst class. That's how good and intriguing the plot of this book was. I almost never felt bored, and when I was bored the action quickly picked back up.
There were a few things I didn't like, like how Lizzie's single mother doesn't care where she is or what she does. There's too much of this in YA, and I don't like these mysteriously absent-or-don't-give-a-damn parents. It's just too unrealistic. And then her mom does pop in randomly to have a "meaningful" conversation with her daughter, and I feel like this was extraneous. But oh, well.

THE ROMANCE
Oh, the romance here was so sweet. Unfortunately, it was a little underdeveloped, but this didn't take away from its beauty at all. The moments between Drew and Lizzie are just so sweet. The love triangles worked in this story as well--there are times when they don't, but in this case they needed to be ere exactly as they were. There's an especially tender moment near the end of the book that I really loved, and Drew and Lizzie's first "date" is going to always be one of my favorite romantic moments in the books. I found it completely gorgeous and absolutely lovely--the chemistry between them was undeniable.

THE WRITING
Michelle has excellent writing, given that this is a debut novel. Even with considering the debut-novel-status, the writing is fantastic! Lizzie's voice is contemporary and easy--it flows and sounds natural, not forced. She sounds like any normal high school girl would, but with her own distinct little something. At times, she can be irritating, but unfortunately most YA heroines' voices are at some point. Still, this was kept to a minimum and the writing here wasn't flawless, but enjoyable. Overall, Remembrance was well-written.

THE ENDING
The ending of Remembrance was so sweet! I kind of didn't like how the conflicts are brought up again, however. I knew well what they were at that point, and that they would most likely be addressed later. I didn't feel I needed to be reminded again. But generally, the ending was pleasant to read. It is redeemed in the last few lines, which are a bit sappy but so sweet I couldn't mind. I genuinely liked this ending, and it definitely left me wanting more.

WRAPUP
Oh, man, I really want to read Vengeance, the story that follows Remembrance, even though it features Chelsea. I just can't resist. I need to know more. And of course, I'll be wanting Timeless once it comes out (and has a cover!). Remembrance has left me aching in a good way. Reading the next books will be no chore.

FINE.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Michelle Madow's debut novel Remembrance was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. She talked all about it in a blog entry a few months ago, discussing how Remembrance was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. She even wrote a letter to Taylor Swift and sent it to her, along with a signed book!

It's been a few months now, and she has yet to hear back from Taylor that she received the letter and book. She really wants to tell Taylor about how inspiring she and her music have been to her, but since Taylor Swift is an international superstar, she’s a little hard to reach. This is where YOUR help comes into play! Michelle is giving away the biggest prize pack she's offered yet, and the ways to enter to win are by telling Taylor Swift about Remembrance.

The Goal: Get Taylor Swift to Tweet about Remembrance!

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.


Isn't it wonderful how Michelle was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video?!! I won't deny it--when I first saw it, I thought of a story I could write too. It's not the same one Michelle told, but, you know ;)

I've also been inspired by dance, especially. Being a dancer and all, it's not hard to see why. I mostly dance ballroom--which is, as most of you know, a tad outdated. But I think it's beautiful! Whenever I attempt to work on my own novels-in-progress, I try to find a way to incorporate ballroom dancing since it's such a big part of my life and inspires me so much. It's fun, too. You should try it! Really! Especially with a sexy, sexy partner ;)

What inspires you, darlings? Tell me in the comments!


Here's the magnificent prize pack Michelle is offering, my dears! Isn't it huge and beautiful? I'm totally entering!





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Welcome!

Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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I'm a high school senior and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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