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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Daughters
Mary Hart Perry
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: Publisher
The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert produced nine children—five of them princesses, all trained for the role of marriage to future monarchs. However, the fourth princess, Louise—later the duchess of Argyll—became known by the court as “the wild one.” She fought the constraints placed on her brothers and sisters. She broke with tradition by marrying outside of the elite circle of European royals at a time when no child of the English throne had wed a commoner in 300 years. Some said she married for love. Others whispered of scandal covered up by the Crown.
In fact, many years after Louise’s death, a civil lawsuit claimed that the teenage princess secretly gave birth to a baby boy out of wedlock. One Henry Locock sought to prove through DNA evidence that his grandfather was Louise’s child, delivered by Queen Victoria’s gynecologist then secretly adopted by the doctor’s young son and his wife, thereby avoiding scandal and preserving the line of succession to the throne. But the mysteries and drama involving Louise’s life don’t stop there...This is her story.
CATCHALL 
I don't read a whole lot of adult novels, because I just…don't. It's not like I have anything against them, I just choose to spend most of my time reading and reviewing young adult. However, when I saw the premise of this novel I knew I wouldn't be able to resist. And there aren't quite enough words to describe how happy I am that I decided to pick this up. Not only was it a beautiful love story; it was also so much more than that. There was legit danger and a mystery to be solved, and a brave princess who never backed down.

THE HEROINE 
LOUISE
Louise was one awesome princess. She was brave, but not foolish. Bold, sometimes too bold, but she also knew when to back down. She's lived for a long time in the shadow under the influence of her mother, and she wants nothing more than to break free. But trapped by a loveless marriage, she resigns herself for a while to the life that she'll never have. However, it's only a matter of time before she takes matters into her own hands. She's strong and independent without being polarizing, and is herself with or without a man by her side.

THE LOVE INTEREST 
STEPHEN
Stephen is our dashing American hero, who's about as sexy as they come. Dark and tall and dangerous, he intrigues Louise from the beginning. Though his job is to keep the entire royal family safe, he cannot help but be drawn to Louise, seeing to her personal protection before all else. He's not a shallow character, either. In fact, he's pretty awesome. He certainly keeps things interesting. It's obvious that he cares deeply for Louise, and wants to protect her.

THE PLOT 
The plot is awesome. Although yes, this is a love story, there's so much more to it. There are people who want to free Ireland, and they've gathered into a coalition as they try to kidnap members of the royal family for hostage, planting one failed plot after the next. The first leads to Louise and her family nearly getting killed.

Stephen is launched into the investigation, as Louise offers him her own private investigation that would give her peace of heart. In an uneasy type of peace, the two work together and try to fight their growing attraction to one another as they work to protect Victoria and her children.

Everything unfolds beautifully and flawlessly. One event flows seamlessly into the next. Everything happens for a reason. Moreover, the things that happen make sense. There are a few extraneous plot lines one the side, and a few things that seem a bit obvious. However, overall it was wonderful and genuinely enjoyable.

It does I think dwell a bit too much on Louise's past. However, her past is important and it does have to be told.

So yes, I loved this! It was totally action-packed and romantic. There was ever really a good moment to put it down, because I constantly felt that I needed to know what was going to happen next.

THE ROMANCE 
The romance in this book developed beautifully. Louise's and Stephen's relationship really grows, and doesn't feel fake or instalovey at all. There's a ton of chemistry, and so much tension. It's seriously one of the best-written romances I've ever read. And it's not smutty, which is a plus. It's passionate and yet also sweet, which makes it feel so realistic. I loved it. Honestly, it was just…wonderful. There's not much more to say here, but that's a good thing.

THE WRITING 
Mary has utterly lovely writing. It alternates POV, mostly between Louise and Stephen but occasionally there's someone else, only rarely. Despite the writing style being the same, both of their voices were so distinct. Even without knowing who was narrating, I would have been able to tell just by their voices. While there's not so much description in this novel to speak of, it somehow glitters anyway. And the dialogue is so wonderfully done.

THE ENDING 
HEAs are one of my drugs of choice, and so of course I was immensely satisfied with this ending. It made me incredibly happy. As far as happy endings go, I'm not sure that I could have asked for more. It's perfect and adorable, and made me smile. It was definitely a bit far-fetched, but who cares? It was fun and I loved it. Totally romantic, and completely satisfying.

WRAPUP 
I'll definitely be reading more of Mary's works, and I can confidently recommend this one! I know most of the people who read my reviews are YA readers, but I honestly believe that even if you read solely YA you'd still enjoy this one. It's not too heavy and it's still intriguing and majorly interesting. The story completely drew me in, and the characters are awesome. I really, really loved this one!

FINE.

  ****FINAL RATING: 4.50 RED ROSES****
tinytinytinytiny
Monday, July 30, 2012
It's a brand-new Monday, and of course, here and Sparkles and Lightning, we believe in making Mondays into something happy and cheerful!

See my Features page for more details.


Well! It took me some time to decide on this week's featured book, but at long last I have chosen one of my favorite recent reads, with one of my favorite recent hot guys.

The Rise of Nine
Pittacus Lore
I've been locked up and tortured for the past year, man. Being in motion, in control of where I am and when I'm going there, is something I do not plan to give up anytime soon.

To make things clear: I will be giving away the B&N exclusive edition, of which I've already preordered a copy for myself :) Yay for awesome books and sexy boys!

So, want to enter? You know you do. As long as you're a darling and read my Giveaways page before entering, we're golden!


Great! So, good luck, my roses!

Lovelovelove,

Hi there, loves! It's a new week again, which naturally means that we have some more wonderful YA books releasing!

There's a few pretty awesome and highly-anticipated books coming out this week!

Storm of Books may or may not include new and/or paperback editions of previously released books.


FEATURED RELEASE OF THE WEEK
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. 
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. 
"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.



Sunday, July 29, 2012
In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?


PREORDER CLOCKWORK PRINCESS!
  
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Tiger Lily
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future--to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Peaches" comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
  
CATCHALL 
I'd heard such awesome things about Tiger Lily, so when I saw it at the bookstore, I knew that I had to buy it. So I did.

One of the dumbest things I have ever done in my life.

Don't get me wrong; Tiger Lily wasn't totally awful, but I will definitely not be singing its praises. I could totally have lived a happy life without having ever read this. Because unfortunately, even though so many people have told me that it is amazing and awesome, it appears that we have a difference of opinion.

THE HEROINE 
TIGER LILY
Tiger Lily is supposed to be "strong" and "independent," but if I'm honest I actually just thought she was a total bitch. She constantly acts like she doesn't really care about anyone else and she probably doesn't. She's incredibly selfish and never focuses on anyone but herself. For mostly the entire book she focuses on things that are important to her and never stops to think about how they'll affect anyone else. I just did not like her at all. She has no compassion whatsoever and I found her absolutely impossible to relate to.

THE LOVE INTEREST 
PETER PAN
I'm not even sure how I felt about Peter. There were some moments where I was like, This is the Peter Pan I fell in love with as a child, and then there were moments where I wanted nothing more than to slap him for being such a jerk, because he kind of is a jerk at a ton of places in the novel. Still, I do think that I ended up liking him more than I disliked him. Also, his character is a dynamic one and it is interesting to see the way that he grows and changes.

THE ENGLISH GIRL 
WENDY
Honestly, I didn't care for Jodi's portrayal of Wendy. It's like she made her as pretentious and ridiculous as possible for no reason at all. Frankly, it was…irritating. Condescending. There was no reason to make Wendy some insipid idiot. And yet that is what she was made into.

THE FAERIE 
TINKER BELL
I pretty much have nothing to say about Tinker Bell, but since she is our narrator I feel obligated to mention her. I didn't really like her, either. For one thing, she likes Tiger Lily, which doesn't exactly score her any points in my book. I mean, she was okay at some points, sure. I don't really have strong feelings about her either way.

THE PLOT 
Okay, well, see, I liked the plot mostly. So much of the reason this book was ruined for me was because Tiger Lily existed.

I mean, Jodi's retelling of Peter Pan is gorgeous. I don't really many classics other a few treasured favorites, so I've never gotten around to reading the original Peter Pan. Obviously I've seen the Disney movie. But even with only that to go on, I completely fell in love with the Neverland that Jodi provided. It was brilliant, really. As far as I know, it fit it with the original story while also managing to secure its own unique appeal.

One of the main problems is, the plot was a bit…how do I say this nicely…erratic. Since Tinker Bell was the narrator and not Tiger Lily, it was difficult to get a straight insight into the story. Tiger Lily's feelings aren't always clear, and Tinker Bell spends a lot of time tangenting (which I'm pretty sure is so not a word, but whatever) into her own story. Not only was a that story not solid enough to be important, it took away from Tiger Lily's story and made the whole thing confusing. I spent more time than I should ever have to spend trying to keep the story straight.

Not to mention, there were too many random side plots that apparently contributed to the story, only they didn't really. Something random would pop up, and optimist that I am, I assumed it would be important later, but most of these random things never were relevant at all.

However, for all the time I have spent complaining, the plot actually was done really well, and it was one of the aspects in the novel that I most enjoyed.

THE ROMANCE 
Despite this supposedly being some kind of awesome love story, it wasn't anything special for me. In fact, I'm not sure it's entirely instalove, but it didn't seem to be entirely genuine to me either. There wasn't really enough development for Jodi to convince me that Peter and Tiger Lily actually loved each other. Yes, I could see that there was something that drew them together…but that's about it. When it came to Peter, though, I could see the development, and he changes and evolves from "loving" Tiger Lily to Wendy.

THE WRITING 
Jodi's writing is lovely. Her descriptions of Neverland are gorgeous. Peerless. I can really picture the island and its inhabitants. The people, the nature, everything. The world-building is awesome. Neverland feels like such a real place that it seems impossible to believe that it's not real. However, for all that the description is perfect, I found the dialogue lacking. It didn't sparkles, and in fact it was rather dull. I wish that the dialogue had been less simplistic, but oh well.

THE ENDING 
The saving grace of this novel that won it an overall three stars is the ending. It was, of course, absolutely heartbreaking, but somehow perfect. Although it was expected, I couldn't bring myself to dislike it for that. It was everything a tragic love story should be, and beautiful. It did bring tears to my eyes, especially that last letter. It was full of truths, which sounds crazy dramatic, but there you have it.

WRAPUP 
So, I'm not sure that I could recommend this. A lot of people loved this, so you should keep that in mind, but I personally cannot give you my recommendation. I did end up liking this book at the very end, but for the majority of the book it was a huge struggle just to convince myself to finish. However, I know that there are tons of people out there who love it and more who will. I will be reading more of Jodi's work in the future, too.

FINE.



***FINAL RATING: 2.65 RED ROSES***
tinytinytiny
Friday, July 27, 2012
Until I Die (Revenants, #2)
Amy Plum
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Purchased
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.
As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.
 
CATCHALL 
I'm not sure how this book managed it, but I enjoyed Until I Die even less than I enjoyed Die for Me. It was easily one of my least favorite books of all time, ever. Pretty much nothing happened throughout the book. It was honestly a chore to finish it. I wasn't impressed by Die for Me, but I was absolutely turned off by Until I Die. I didn't like it at all. Not only was it boring, it bordered on ridiculous. A ton of people sing these books' praises and I'm obviously in the minority here, but whatever.

THE HEROINE 
KATE
I didn't think it was possible, but somehow Kate manages to be even more of a Mary-Sue in this book than she was in the last. I actually kind of wanted to slap her at so many points throughout the novel. To begin with, she is so damn stubborn. She keeps on insisting she's right even when pretty much everyone else in the novel is saying that she isn't. And she usually isn't right. Also, of course she has wonderful intuition and because of her remarkable intuition manages to save the day at the very last minute possible. She is just…incredibly annoying. I couldn't stand her AT ALL. Alright, now this is bordering on rant territory so before this actually becomes and full-on rant I am going to stop.

THE LOVE INTEREST 
VINCENT
Yikes. I'm not sure what to think about Vincent. It isn't that I don't like him, because I do. I think he's a great person and an awesome love interest. However, I will never understand what the hell he sees in Kate and that unfortunately significantly lowers my liking and my respect for him. So, if I pretend that Kate doesn't exist (which would be awesome) I actually really, really like him. He's protective and sweet, but also strong when he needs to be. He can be bold but also knows when to stay silent. He's obviously intelligent, and basically an all-around wonderful character.

THE OTHER REVENANTS 
Or at least three of them
JULES
As far as I'm concerned, Jules is the saving grace of this novel and the only character I like completely. He's fun and funny, and so caring and fiercely loyal. I adore him. I really wish we got to know more about him, so I hope that he shows up more in future installments.
ARTHUR
I had mixed feelings about arthur, but I definitely liked him. He obviously has some problems, but overall I think that he's a pretty awesome character. I'm sure we'll see him again, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.
VIOLETTE
There was something wrong with Violette from the beginning, and I most definitely did not like her at all. I don't even know where to begin, and actually I won't say too much so thatI give nothing away. But just…ugh.

THE PLOT 
Well, this was boring. As aforementioned, nothing vaguely interesting ever really happens.

I mean, sure, every once in a while something interesting happened. But not really. The plot was incredibly predictable and it was impossible to believe that every freaking person in the book was so incredibly stupid. You'd have to be, to not see some of this coming. The ending was clear pretty much within the first fifty pages, and half the characters are so dense that no one suspects it coming. And when someone does, everyone ignores their warnings completely. (Idiots.)

I couldn't stand it. It was terrible.

So, yeah. I don't actually have much to say here. Boring, predictable…that about covers it.

THE ROMANCE 
The romance in this book was pretty much nonexistent as far as development goes. It was very static and uninteresting, and Kate and Vincent don't even really have much chemistry as far as I'm concerned. It's really, terribly awful, and the instalove that occurred in book the first has continued into book two. The so-called romance is just physical and a bit ridiculous.

THE WRITING 
It's really hard for me to get past Kate's annoying voice, and honestly, why should I? It's the authors job to create voices for their characters that draw in readers, particularly when using first person. The description I liked—it was gorgeous, I'll admit—but everything failed to enthrall me. The dialogue is dull, and it has no real dynamic. Honestly, it was nothing special at all.

THE ENDING 
The ending was pathetically predictable really. Not the very ending, actually, but the climax especially, not that it was really even much of a climax. However, while the very last part of the book was unexpected, it also caused a WTF moment worthy of Juliet Immortal. It was just weird and random and I have no idea where it's going to go, but honestly I do want to know.

WRAPUP 
I couldn't recommend this series, but as so many people like it, you're probably safe if you're going to read it. I will be reading the next book, because I do want to know what happens next. That is mostly the only reason. However, a part of me does hope that the last book will be significantly better and worthy of my liking. So, here's to hoping!

FINE.



**FINAL RATING: 1.85 RED ROSES**
tinytiny
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Obsidian (Lux, #1)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Emily @ Doodle's Book Blog
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is.
 
CATCHALL 
Most of the absolutely awesome things to say about this book have already been said, and yet of course I feel the need to throw my two cents in. This book was awesome, just like everyone says. i mean, it was unbelievably awesome. Aliens are something new and fairly unheard of in YA, except in cases like I Am Number Four, and likely in the last installment of the Across the Universe trilogy. Yet the Lux series is certain to blow them all away. This book was absolutely incredible, and undeniably awesome.

THE HEROINE 
KATY
Katy was an awesome heroine. Not only is she a dedicated book blogger (win!) but she's strong and determined and never lets anyone bring her down. But she's also not stupid. She doesn't just go around barging into things and potentially getting people killed. She also is a very realistic character and actually has a reaction upon discovering that Dee and Daemon are aliens. She's intelligent and sensible, all without being at all boring.

THE LOVE INTEREST 
DAEMON
Mmm. What is there even to say here? I mean, every single girl knows he's sexy. Am I right, ladies? Despite the fact that he acts like a jerk for so much of the novel, it's pretty obvious that that isn't really what he's like underneath. The brief glimpses we get of what he's really like inside only made me want to get to know him more.

THE FRIEND 
DEE
Dee was such a sweet and energetic person that it was really impossible not to adore her. She's always nice to everyone, but especially to Katy. She has a good heart, and she really cares about people. An all-around awesome character, really!

THE PLOT 
Obsidian is completely action-packed. It seems so much like there's something happening every single second. When I picked up this book I intended to read only a few chapters, but as it turns out once I started I was physically unable to stop. It drew me in completely and I really felt like I was a part of everything that was happening.

So much was revealed in this book, and even though it seemed to take a painfully long time, everything actually developed fairly quickly. There was just so much going on! This was not a slow-moving story by any standards, and especially not mine. It was the epitome of perfection as far as pacing goes.

And the idea! Oh, it was so magnificent. It's totally unique and really fresh, and different than anything I've ever read. These aliens are incredible and awesome and yet not so fantastic that it's ridiculous. I did think they were a bit too powerful for my taste, because that just seemed unrealistic and kind of like a crutch. But that's just me.

Still, to-much-powerness asidem the plot of Obsidian was a ton of fun! The events that occur are relevant to one another and they make perfect sense. They aren't ever random or pointless. Even if they seem to be at some point, they end up being important later.

Obsidian's plot was spectacular, and basically just one of my favorites ever.

THE ROMANCE 
Obsidian had awesome romance between two characters with chemistry so intense it practically oozes through the page. The sparks are strong between Katy and Daemon, and also undeniable. They obviously have a connection beyond the superficial and if they could both agree to give it a chance at the same time, of course it would be explosive. I love the romance. It actually develops realistically, and there's no sign of instalove anywhere.

THE WRITING 
Jennifer has some of the most amazing writing in the world. It's first person, but somehow it really works for this book. Katy has a spectacular voice. She is every girl. Every teen, even. It makes her such a connectable character. Not only that, but the description is lush and lovely. It's so easy to picture Daemon & company in alien form. And the dialogue, especially the banter, just glitters. the humor is peerless and gave me myriad laughs. Undoubtedly some of the best writing I've ever read!

THE ENDING 
Obsidian ended on the perfect note. The plot was resolved, and yet a twist was thrown in that meant there was more to come. Everything wraps up nicely, and even though it actually confused me a little bit, it was still the best ending. I was very impressed with it and couldn't have done better myself. Obviously there was a lot of thought put into it, and I definitely can appreciate that.

WRAPUP 
Obsidian is easily one of my all-time favorites, with a special place in my heart. Especially for Daemon. but anyway, I really did love Obsidian, and I wish I'd read it sooner! Still, at least I have now. It's easily high on my list of recommendations, and I truly think that this book will appeal to most people! Love, love, love!

FINE.



*****FINAL RATING: 4.90 RED ROSES*****
tinytinytinytinytiny
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Hi there, my darling roses! It's Wednesday, so naturally that means that it is time for another Waiting on Wednesday, courtesy of the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Guess what I am waiting on this week?? No?? You want me to tell you?? Okay, fine.

This week I am waiting on…

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)
Jay Kristoff
A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.
 So, first things first. I mean, hello, that cover is freaking beautiful. Like, possibly the most beautiful cover I've ever seen. I seriously would consider buying this book just for the cover. In fact, who am i kidding? I totally would!

But them it even sounds awesome and epic and incredible and a bunch of other words that start with vowels and probably some that start with consonants too. Positive words that no one actually knows, which are the reason that thesauri exist.

But anyway, I am crazy CRAZY excited for this one.

You know the feeling?

The feeling where I NEED this book as if, you know, the blood that flows in my veins depended on it or something equally melodramatic.

(Actually, I totally have an ARC of this book, but whatever.)

Lovelovelove,




What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Source: Publisher
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.
CATCHALL 
Seraphina was easily one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It deserves every single one of the five stars that I have given it. Seriously, it was just…awesome. If I had the words to describe how awesome this book was, I'd happily do so. But there are no English words capable of expressing how truly awesome this book was. I absolutely loved this book. It was not only a wonderful fresh twist on dragons, but it awesome world-building and is seriously unlike any fantasy I've ever read, and I love fantasy.

THE HEROINE 
SERAPHINA
Seraphina is such an incredible and relatable heroine. She doesn't just accept that she's half-dragon. She rebels against it and wants nothing more than to be human. She tries to push her dragon inheritance away and be only human, but she can't. It's a part of who she is, and the way she slowly begins to accept that at a rational and believable pace makes her one of my favorite heroines. She's brave and sometimes a bit impulsive, but no one is perfect, and Seraphina's flaws make her a better character. She's not polarizing at all. She's not even always honest, but somehow she found her way into my heart nonetheless.

THE LOVE INTEREST 
LUCIAN KIGGS
Kiggs is the prince and Captain of the Guard, and a wonderfully developed character as well. He had depth and conflict. He isn't patronizing . He's forgiving, but he also doesn't just go around forgiving things randomly. When Seraphina does something that hurts him, he is angry before he forgives her. I love that about him. Kiggs is a strong character and it's easy to get a read on his personality, but not so easy that it's boring.

THE MENTOR 
ORMA
Actually, I really liked Orma. He's so stiff on the outside, but it doesn't take a genius to tell that there's conflict and struggle with emotions in his heart. He obviously cares about Seraphina, and that warmed my heart. He's definitely not sweet, but he's got a softness to him that I like.

THE PRINCESS 
GLISSELDA
Glisselda was such a bubbly character with such a fun personality that it was pretty much impossible not to like her at least a little. She can be a bit naïve about some things, but it's clear that she's intelligent at the same time. I am looking forward to hearing more about her, and watching her grow into her role.

THE PLOT 
Seraphina seriously had one of my favorite plots ever. There are so many favorite things I have to say about this book. But I mean them all.

I mean, to begin with, it was incredibly unique. A half-dragon girl? Nothing gets more amazing than that. It's a brilliant idea, and one that is fleshed out beautifully. The entire take on dragons was wonderful. I've never read anything like it. Dragons can take human form and they're an important part of politics and everyday life. Put bluntly, it's unique and awesome. Probably one of the most amazing takes on dragons in existence.

And everything about it flows so smoothly and awesomely and it would have been literally impossible not to fall in love. From the first pages, I was completely drawn into Seraphina's world. Everything is so beautiful and gorgeous.

One thing turns into the next, until there's a long chain of wonderful and connected events. There are so many twists that I never saw coming but absolutely adored. Rachel constantly kept me guessing, never sure what was going to happen next. I was in constant anticipation of the next event. I couldn't wait to finish, but at the same time I didn't want it to end!

Really, I loved Seraphina's plot. It was totally original and such a fresh story. Additionally, it was fun and enjoyable!

THE ROMANCE 
The romance in this book was adorable, too. It develops slowly, yet potently, and doesn't feel like instalove at all. I loved watching every minute of it. Seraphina and Kiggs make such an unlikely couple, but seeing them interact makes it obvious that they're perfect for each other. The spark between them feels genuine and is obvious from the beginning, yet takes its time to grow. It's actually a little heartbreaking, but and so sweet and sad too.

THE WRITING 
Rachel has some of the most gorgeous writing I've ever seen. The description is gorgeous and so is the world-building. In fact, it's magnificent. Incredible. Again, I just truly have no words. It's so awesome I can't describe it with words. And Seraphina's voice is so heartbreakingly real. It makes her likable and relatable at once. And the dialogue, too, is beyond gorgeous. I could read writing like this all the time.

THE ENDING 
The ending of Seraphina left me feeling supremely satisfied. Much was resolved and not dragged out for an unnecessarily long period of time. Instead, it ends at the perfect place, with a stunning revelation that draws everything to a close beautifully. Yet, though the ending was perfect, it left me wanting more! Even though everything closed so flawlessly, of course I wanted to know what happens next.

WRAPUP 
I adored this book. Not only is it the ideal fantasy, but I really couldn't have asked for more in any book. It's everything a book should be and really even goes above and beyond that. It is without a doubt one of my all-time favorites, and I'll be eagerly anticipating the next book! If it's half as amazing as the first, that will be twice as much as I could want.

FINE.



*****FINAL RATING: 5.00 RED ROSES*****
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Want to read the gorgeous SERAPHINA prequel story?

Seraphina Prequel WEB
Monday, July 23, 2012
Hi there!

It's Monday again, and you all know what that means.

See my Features page for details on how to participate!

This week, I am featuring a certain book that I personally didn't care for much at all, but since some people (for reasons unknown to me) will love it. Also, I am pretty sure the author said something rude to me, which also does't make me happy. Still, I am willing to forgive and let it go. I am featuring this book anyway!

Romeo Redeemed
Stacey Jay
I will become one of them, learn their secrets, and find a way to use my new power for good. And I will do it all for her.

So, let's get moving, shall we? It's time to enter! All I ask is that you read my Giveaways page before entering.




Good luck, my darlings!

Lovelovelove,

Hello there, darlings! This week is going to be one of the most marvelous book hauls ever! There's a ton of highly-anticipated titles releasing, quite a few that I will be buying myself!

Storm of Books may or may not include new and/or paperback editions of previously released books.


FEATURED RELEASE OF THE WEEK
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.



Sunday, July 22, 2012
Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is only just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues as to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that Kira knows she is a part of, a plan that could save both races. Her allies are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what’s left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira’s journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and they will both discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn’t even know existed.


PREORDER FRAGMENTS!
  
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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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