DNF Review: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

The Weight of SoulsTitle: The Weight of Souls
Series: Standalone
Author: Bryony Pearce
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (now defunct)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: ARC
Pages: 318
Source: Publisher
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Rating: 0 Sugar Cubes (DNF)
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Summary: 16 year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her… She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy. Continue reading

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

SJMaas - Throne of Glass PB Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass, #1
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 404
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 sugar cubes!
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Summary:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Continue reading

Vampire Week: Review: Blue Bloods

Vampire Week is an event hosted here at T3 to celebrate the release of Holly Black’s
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Click the banner for more information.

Today for Vampire Week I actually give you a re-post of an old review. Blue Bloods was the very first review on T3, and it’s also the start to one of my favorite book series, so it was only fitting that I talk about it. Why re-post? Well, I thought about reviewing the 2nd book in the series for Vamp Week, but decided against it because I really wanted to stick with a 1st book VW review, for people who had never read.

Title: Blue Bloods
Series: Blue Bloods #1
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Disney*Hyperion
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 302
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: 2 cubes of sugar
 
Summary: Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she’s starting to crave raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. Now, all of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when one of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it.


Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger? Melissa de la Cruz’s vampire mythology, set against the glitzy backdrop of New York City, is a juicy and intoxicating read. 

(Taken from Goodreads)

Post-“taste” Review: 
Absolutely loved! A very different take on vampires unlike everything else I’ve read, and it was beautiful. A must-read for vampire fans.

Review: This was my third time reading Blue Boods, and I still enjoyed it as immensely as I did the 1st time around. De la Cruz offered a very lyrical and in-depth 3rd person POV of the glamorous (and not-so-glamorous) lives of New York’s teenaged vampire elite. 

Something I loved, though at times felt was unnecessary, was being told what brand the important characters were wearing. Most of the time I don’t really care what brand characters are wearing—any characters in any book—but because these characters are New York elite, they are supposed to be fashionable, and how better to get that across than to include top name designers in your descriptions.

I love the mythology of the whole story, and how all the committees work to keep the Blue Blood identity a secret. I absolutely loved where the book ended, with Sky discovering part of the Van Alen legacy, and deciding what she needed to do, even in the midst of tragedy. 

Today’s other Vampire Week post:
Amanda’s Top 9 favorite vampires, from books and TV

See you tomorrow!

Vampire Week: Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Vampire Week is an event hosted here at T3 to celebrate the release of Holly Black’s
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Click the banner for more information.

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Series: Standalone
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Genre: YA Paranormal
Pages: 419
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher/BEA
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Rating: 5 cubes of sugar! All the cubes of sugar!
Buy: IndieBoundThe Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Summary:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
(Taken from Goodreads)

Post-“taste” Review:
This is the vampire book I didn’t know I wanted. Loved everything about it, and Holly’s writing was exquisite. A must-read for vampire fans and non-fans alike.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion. I was in no way paid for my review.*
Review: 
**Minor spoilers, but only for the first 4-5 chapters, which you can download as a free eBook from any retailer.**

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown starts off with the main character, Tana, waking up in a bathtub after a party. She goes into the living room, and finds the ravaged bodies of the other partygoers. Then she goes to find her shoes and phone, but discovers her ex-boyfriend tied to a bed, with a vampire chained at the foot instead. That’s the first chapter. That’s when I got sucked in. I know, it doesn’t seem like enough, but Holly’s descriptions and word choice made everything flow so nicely, I kept turning pages.

The rest of the book flowed just as well as the first chapter, even though the main storyline was broken up every so often by flashbacks Tana had of her mother (background: Tana’s mother was infected when Tana was 10, and made it 37 days before Tana unlocked the door. She then attacked Tana in bloodlust, and was killed by her husband before she could do any real damage.) or other POVs. In fact, the flashbacks and POV changes enhanced the plot, as they should. I especially liked Gavriel’s POV (the vampire chained to the bed), because while it was infrequent enough to keep much of him still a mystery, it did shed some light on an otherwise shadowy character.

The ending was superb! And the outcome at the end of the “final battle” was quite unexpected. I can’t go into more detail without spoiling, so I’m going to leave it at that. I loved how all throughout the novel you could see that Coldtown was inspired by the short story of the same name, especially the very end. Reading those last 2-3 pages made my little fangirl heart go “YESSSSS!” Holly is quite an amazing storyteller, and I think this is my favorite of her novels, and most definitely one of my favorite vampire novels.

Today’s other Vampire Week posts:
A spotlight on Holly Black’s book tour for Coldtown
A “would you like to live an a cold town?” poll

See you tomorrow for more vampy fun!

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Series: Standalone
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Rating: 5 cubes of sugar
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

Summary:
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend, and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken—and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end in the French kiss she’s been waiting for? (Taken from inside flap)

Review: 
I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss. So much. I read a library copy, and now I want to go BUY a copy, so I can read it again whenever I want. That I even want to read it again right now, just a few days after finishing, says something huge about the story—I usually only re-read when I want a refresher before a sequel comes out.

I loved the writing style. Stephanie emphasizes like I do, with CAPITAL LETTERS, as well as italicization. I have never seen another author emphasize with capitals (in a published book), and it made me happy to see I wasn’t alone.

The storyline was excellent, as I said earlier, though I spent most of the book telling St. Clair to “Just dump Ellie already!” I actually said that out loud, multiple times. This novel was fun, and light, and a little infuriating, but it was a nice change of pace from the edgier romance I read right before this. I definitely recommend Anna and the French Kiss to anyone who wants a cute contemporary romance, or even just a fast read.

Review: Claire de Lune

Title: Claire de Lune
Series: Claire de Lune #1
Author: Christine Johnson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: ARCycling
Rating: 1 cube of sugar
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

Summary:

Torn between two destinies… Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire’s new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever…

(Taken from Goodreads)

Review:

There’s not a lot of good I can say about Claire de Lune. The only thing that kept me reading was wanting to know who the rogue werewolf was. And if the rogue’s POV hadn’t been included, even as few times as it was, I probably wouldn’t have continued at all. The main character, Claire, and her best friend, Emily, were so very annoying, and would say things like, “OMG! I totally can’t believe this is happening!” Claire was less vexing when she wasn’t talking to Emily, but there were moments when I just wanted to slap her and say, “GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF! AND STOP OVERUSING THE WORD TOTALLY!”
 
Other than an annoying main character,  I was about ¾ of the way through the book before anything really happened. Yes, Claire found out she was a werewolf, and yes, she turned for the first time, but most of the book was her talking to Emily, going out with Matthew, the romantic interest, and trying to get information about being a werewolf out of her mother. In the last fourth of the book the rogue hits close to home, and a chapter or two later unveils her identity. That is when things really start to get interesting, but up until then? Very boring.
 
Over all, I was disappointed with Claire de Lune. The only saving grace was the ending, but even that can’t totally make up for the beginning and middle. I gave it a ½ lump rating because I don’t think the book is poo, but I would borrow it before you bought it.
 
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way paid for my opinions*