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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Review: Blood Red Road (Dust Land #1) by Moira Young

Release Date: June 2, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Dystopian, Adventure, Action, Romance, Epic-ness
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 492

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction. 

Amazing! Where are all these awesome YA Dystopian novels coming from?! I think that 2012 should be remembered among bookaholics as the year of  kick-ass post-apocalyptic novels! Yowzer... it's like each one gets better and better. First it was Matched, and then Delirium, then Divergent... and now Blood Red Road too! Fantastic!!

Moira Young is so exceptionally talented, and I can't WAIT for the sequel to Blood Red Road. The language she uses throughout the whole novel is so unique and different from all other YA books these days, and I don't think that there is a single book out there that has the same kind of writing style that Young incorporated into this book. And just to give you a tiny taste...

"The day's hot. So hot an so dry that all I can taste in my mouth is dust. The kinda white heat day when you can hear th'earth crack. We ain't had a drop of rain few near six months now."

It was a little hard to understand at the beginning of the novel, but towards the end I forgot all about it, probably because I was too busy focusing on the other spectacular events going on in the book. And although this book is as good, if not better, than some of the other Dystopian novels that have started coming into view recently, it's also so much different. Blood Red Road will stay with you for a long time after you've read it. *SPOILER ALERTS*

The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger *grinds teeth in frustration*, but it works well to keep the reader wanting more... and I suspect that as soon as the sequel hits the shelves, fans of Blood Red Road will be going crazy trying to get their hands on it. I can barely control myself... every time I start thinking of what could have happened to Jack *deep controlled breath*... well, some things are better left unknown.

Another thing I LOVED about Blood Red Road. The characters.  Saba is one of my favorite characters. She is so fierce and strong and brave... a true fighter. At the beginning of the book I was a little annoyed with how she would always follow her older brother around everywhere. She described herself as being his shadow. There were times when I felt like shouting at her to grow a backbone and stand up for herself! But things started picking up when her brother got kidnapped, because then Saba's personality and raw determination started shining through, and the powerful will she had to find her brother.

I loved the family aspect of Blood Red Road, because I feel like a character's relationship with their family is really important. And these days, most books forget about that. Saba's relationship with her family was very touching, but also heart-wrenching... mostly because of her younger sister, whom Saba secretly blames for the death of her mother. It just broke my heart to see how everyone treated her... but I can't go into too much depth otherwise I might give away TMI (too much information). 

Along Saba's journey, she meets a 'handsome daredevil', Jack. During the long and tiresome journey to her brother, they start to fall in love... and you know the rest. Jack's character is wonderful. How Young thought up a character so multi-dimensional and special, I have no idea. Jack is portrayed as a daredevil from the very first time we meet him. It's only as time passes that we start to see a more vulnerable and sweet side to him (although I did quite like the whole bad-boy vibe). And the same for Saba. At first she seems impenetrable and tough, but then she starts to open up a bit more.

Saba's main conflict in the book is not finding her brother (well, ok, but only to some extent), or being the ultimate warrior... it's about learning to trust people,which she starts doing towards the end. *SPOILERS OVER*

It's always hard to review a book that you love so much, but I just had to give it a try and get as many people as I could to give it a go, because it's so worth it. An incredibly unique, fresh Dystopian tale that will leave readers craving more.

5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!

If you like this, try:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Legend by Marie Lu

Friday, 30 March 2012

Review: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Release Date: May 13, 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy-tale
Rating: YA 12+
Pages: 400

She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale's likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm. 

Confession time. Sometimes... just sometimes, I pick up a book because of its cover *hangs head in shame*. I know what you're thinking, but sometimes the cover is just so alluring and gorgeous... ever heard the phrase 'a picture is worth a thousand words'? Well that's how it is sometimes. This book, I am proud to say, was not the case.... and I just want to stress to everybody how important it is that you don't judge a book by its cover, because if I had overlooked this book just because it's cover isn't eye-catching or special, I never would have read The Goose Girl.... and that would have been such a shame. Everyone out there, at some time or another, is guilty of being dazed by the glossy exterior of the book, whereas they should be more focused on the words inside. 

The Goose Girl is such an amazing read. It made me remember how it feels to become so lost in a story that you can't think about anything else. To fall so in love with the characters that you cry when the book ends (shh... don't tell). But most of all, it reminded me why I love reading so much. Shannon Hale is a master at story-telling, and she creates a world so magical and beautiful, it's hard not to fall in love with it. Ani, the main character, is so likable and will immediately steal your heart. 

 Something so amazing and magical happened in The Goose Girl... everything in the book come alive. The world of this book, so vividly imagined by its talented creator, captivates you and is easy to get lost in. *SPOILER ALERTS* It starts out with Ani at the age of seven, taking a walk with her Aunt. Her Aunt always tells her magical stories and wonderful yet frightening things about people out there with special gifts that make Ani's mother, the Queen, shake her head in disapproval. But Ani likes them. She loves to get lost in stories of any kind. 

I have to say, I really disliked Ani's mom. But not because her character wasn't written well or anything, but because Hale crafted her in such a way so that the reader would automatically despise her. Genius. This book kind of reminded me of Cinderella, with the whole evil stepmom and the handsome prince, and what-not. Another thing I really like about this book is that, even though it's a fairytale retelling, our lovely princess-in-waiting here, Ani, comes to the rescue and saves the whole palace. It's not the prince who has to dash in, but in his stead, is Ani (and I just love me some girl power!).  *SPOILERS OVER*

Aaah... the prince. The main guy in this book is actually really likable and down-to-earth, even though, you know, he's a prince and all that. But I'm not going to tell you too much about him, so you'll have to read The Goose Girl to find out more.

Shannon Hale's books, from what I've read so far, are always entertaining and captivating, and never fail to ignite my love of reading. The other three books in this quadrilogy are already out, and are high on my TBR (to be read) list. I would highly recommend this book to anyone out there who loves getting lost in the world of stories, is a fan of female kick-ass characters, and just has a really good taste in books!

5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!

If you like this, try:

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Guardian Advert 2012

Hey fellow bookaholics!! :)

Just happened to stumble across this new advert for the newspaper The Guardian. It's so cute and clever I just had to share it with you guys!! Enjoy!!

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Release Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: Puffin
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 366

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. 

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Everywhere I went, I was hearing about Matched by Ally Condie. All my friends were gushing about how great it was, and even my friends who didn't like to read had heard about it. I kept telling myself that I would get around to it, but for some reason I just never did.

Finally, for my 14th birthday, I received a paperback version of Matched. And there it lay, on my bookshelf, collecting dust until three days ago when I finally picked it up, curled up on my sofa, and began to read.

I have to say, after hearing such amazing things about this book, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't by any means bad, but I just couldn't see what was so great about it. The beginning, for me, was the best part of the novel. Ally Condie portrayed the scene of the Banquet so beautifully, it was like I was there with Cassia. But as the book went on, it became harder and harder to keep reading. It became a drag.

Matched was actually my first YA Dystopian novel, and also the one that got me hooked onto them. However, there are a lot of YA Dystopian novels out there that are very similar to Matched, yet much better, and gripping, such as Delirium and The Hunger Games, (just to name a couple of my favorite).

However, I really loved the idea of Matched- to be trapped and have every choice made for you; who you marry, the number of kids you have, your job. It really made me sympathize with Cassia- how can she marry someone she doesn't love? And how must it feel to keep your emotions hidden all the time? I was so happy when Cassia started to question her life and the system. I loved how Cassia's character began growing and showing more strength as the book went on, where at first I had found her a little annoying, to be honest.

Now. Onto the romance... I have to say, Ky and Cassia's relationship is not my favorite...or even one of my favorites. It was just so... fluffy. And I didn't really like Ky's character that much... there wasn't  anything about him that made him stand out from all the other YA heartthrobs. I know I am being a little harsh, but that's just how I feel. However, I would recommend that you give it a go, because Condie's writing really is so lyrical and beautiful, and that kind of makes up for all the not-so-good parts.

3 Muffins - Mmm... Yummy!

If you like this, try:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

Eve by Anna Carey

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight books I just can't wait to read!

              This weeks WoW is...

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

In the end, all that's left is an echo... 

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye....

Release Date: April 17th, 2012

The Last Echo is one of the most highly anticipated novels of 2012. The lovely, the talented, the Ah-maz-Ing, Miss Kimberly Derting is sending an ARC of this book to me, *jumps up and down* and it is set to arrive in a week or so, so tune in to read my review!!

What are you waiting on?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 404

Can there truly be love after death?
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever. Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss. 


A paranormal ghost story. The last paranormal ghost story I read was probably The Mediator series by Meg Cabot (so kick-ass), which I read over two years ago. Thank the gods that Hereafter came along, because I was beginning to fear that YA paranormal ghost stories were slowly going extinct. 
Hereafter was beautifully haunting, and it left me with goosebumps. I’ve always been a little nervous around the topic of ghosts, probably because they scare me. Amelia, the main character in Hereafter, was actually a friendly ghost, not exactly like Casper, but not evil either. She seemed normal, and sometimes I even forgot that she was a ghost. But my favorite character would have to be Joshua. Sigh. But I’ll tell you more about him later.
In a heavily populated realm of YA paranormal romance, Hudson brings a very unique twist to the table. The main character Amelia, a female, is the one who possesses the paranormal characteristics. While I don’t particularly mind, and in some cases prefer, the male to be the one with the supernatural element in the story, it was a welcome change, and it’s always nice to break up the monotony from time to time.
The story focuses in on Amelia, a ghost who hovers around the river of High Bridge, the place she met her death. She has no recollection of how she died, and bit by bit, as the novel progresses, she begins to regain pieces of her memory. Joshua, a very much alive human, plays her love interest. *SPOILER ALERTS* Amelia saves his life, and it is soon revealed that Joshua happens to be the only person who can see her...and even *giggle* touch her. It seems like they are meant to be...that fate has brought them together. 
As Amelia begins to remember how she died...and her life before, deadly secrets are revealed. 

Amelia and Joshua’s relationship was instant love, and while I am not normally a huge fan of the romance in YA paranormal novels, this relationship was very sweet and I really liked how Joshua didn’t bolt when he found out that Amelia was a ghost. He remained true to her. If you're a fan of paranormal romances that don't beat around the bush, then you will enjoy the immediate electric connection between these two characters, although some may say that it was hard to connect with at times, doubting it's believability. I felt like that in the beginning of the book, but as their relationship developed, it was just so romantic and touching that I forgot all about that minor flaw. *SPOILERS OVER*
This book brings something fresh and unique to the paranormal table, and I have a feeling that YA paranormal readers and hopeless romantics alike are going to gobble it up!

5 Muffins- Positively Enticing!

If you like this, try:

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story by Various Authors

Release Date: December 28, 2011
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 197

What do guys and girls really think? 
Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated because there are two sides to every story.

**This review is based on an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy)**
Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. It is so unique and different, and I have to say I am really surprised that it hasn’t been done before. Featuring short stories from James Howe, Ellen Wittlinger, Chris Crutcher, Kelly Milner Halls (who's also editor), Terry Davis, Rebecca Fjelland Davis, Rita Williams-Garcia, Terry Trueman, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Sara Ryan, Randy Powell.

Love or Something Like It/Some Things Never Change is about a sweet-natured jock who falls in love with a dangerous girl who lives on the edge. I have to say, I really, really liked the guy in this story because there aren’t really any characters out there that are like him. He’s very much a jock...but he isn’t a jerk *gasp!*, something which I didn’t think possible. On the outside he may be good-looking and popular, but on the inside he is sweet, caring, and has a big heart...the very opposite of a cliche jock. The girl’s view of the story is admittedly more interesting, but I didn’t like her character as she seemed to be a player from the very start. 
Falling Down To See The Moon/Mooning Over Broken Stars is about a Basketball and a geeky and artistic boy who both secretly have a thing for each other. Sweet. That’s the first word that came to mind after reading this story. This was so innocent and cute, and I really loved it. It reminded me of young in Middle School, when two people secretly like each other, but are too scared to admit it, or something along those get my drift. I enjoyed hearing both the boy’s side of the story and the girl’s. I think that I liked the girl in this story a teensy bit more because she was so....womanly, and the thing I really liked about her was that she was a powerful woman, and there aren’t that many of those in the world today. Two words to describe her: plus-sized and proud!
Want to Meet/Meeting For Real is a story about a girl, Alex, who is trying to find a match for her older brother, who’s gay. Alex finds someone on an online chat site. Enter Max, the guy who has been chatting with Alex online, not knowing that she’s a girl. I found the girl’s side of the story more interesting and definitely more emotional, as it had a stronger foundation and a better story line. Want to Meet/Meeting For Real touches on some very controversial and delicate topics, such as homosexuality and domestic violence, without going into too much depth and detail.
In No Clue, aka Sean/ Sean+Raffina, a relationship consisting of a shy white boy and a beautiful black girl is explored. It was very interesting to see how two completely different backgrounds could come together and work so well, and both of the characters were lovable in their own ways. Sean, the shy white boy, is trying to pluck up the courage to ask out Raffina. But he is having some trouble getting past their racial differences. Raffina, the gorgeous, tough black girl known Sean has a thing for her and is waiting for him to just ask her out. In both stories there is a lot of inner dialogue and inner-conflict which I thought worked really well in this story.
Mouths of the Ganges/Mars at Night is another story about overcoming racial differences. It’s about a Bangladeshi boy who has lived in Iowa his whole life, and his relationship with a white farm girl who loves him back very much. I found Rafi’s version (the guy’s version) of the story a little confusing and hard to understand in some places. It also strayed a little from the story line (girl meets boy), but I liked the basis of the story, and the idea where it came from. 
Launchpad to Neptune was probably the most surprising story in this anthology. It follows a girl and a boy who were childhood friends and their reunion. It was a little confusing at first but became easy to follow as the story went on. I enjoyed the building of the tension as the novel went on, both of them nervous and anxious to meet the other one. Both of the characters were extremely likable, in my opinion. I also enjoyed the change in perspectives when a change occurred. Launchpad to Neptune was a very original and captivating story, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Girl Meets Boy is really an anthology for everybody, no matter who you are, because everyone can relate to at least one story in the novel. Whether your heart has been broken, or you’re in love, or you thinking of a change, Girl Meets Boy has covered every aspect of love. It has shown the beautiful, the ugly, and the miraculous. The concept used for this anthology; the he-said-she-said idea is used magnificently to zoom in on both sides of the story. Girl Meets Boy is a very unique anthology, and I am surprised it hasn’t been done before, because, especially when it comes to love, there are always two sides to every story.

4 Muffins- Simply Delectable!

If you like this, try:

Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Holiday Kisses by Shannon Stacey

Friday, 23 March 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 487

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

First off, let me just say that I honestly cannot believe that I waited this long to read this book. Probably because I was a little skeptical about how this book was going to turn out as it was Veronica Roth's first novel. However, picking up this book from the library shelf was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit... but I seriously loved it. Like, love love loved it. There are many  books out there that one might read and think, oh, what a good read. But there are only a few books that make an impression on you, and stand out... books that you will probably remember a long time after you have read them, because you can relate to them... reading the book is like reading your life story. Or maybe it's because you fall in love with the characters... or maybe you just loved the book. A lot. For whatever reason it may be, the book is going to stay with you for a long long time. I hope I'm making sense... or is it just me who feels like this sometimes?? Whatever the case, I absolutely loved Divergent. My only critique is that it should have been longer, because that's just how much I loved it. I know I'm repeating myself a lot  but there is just no other word to describe how I feel about this novel other than the word love. L-O-V-E. 

I tore through the entire 487-page book in an afternoon -- an afternoon when I was sick with a cold and supposed to be napping.  Instead, I was locked in my bedroom reading.  (Shhhh. Don't tell.)  I had so much fun!

Divergent is set in future-day Chicago. Beatrice (Tris) is going to take the aptitude test, a test to determine which of the five factions she belongs in. The choice will be hers, she will decide the rest of her life, and whether she stays with her family or abandons them. The five factions are: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). *SPOILER ALERTS* To everyone's surprise, including herself, she chooses Dauntless. *gasp!*

I have to admit, one of the main reasons I liked Divergent so much is because of Four. Four is one of the trainers Tris encounters in Dauntless. Tris describes herself as being 'drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.' Four, in my opinion, is the perfect guy. He is brave and fierce, yet at the same time he has a very vulnerable and soft side to him. Tris is also one of my absolute favorite characters of all time. Unlike most female book characters these days, Tris seems real. She is real. I think that the worst book characters are the ones who are unrealistically brave and self-sacrificing... characters whose personal thoughts and opinions sound planned out... fake characters. It's impossible to relate to those types. This book was most definitely not the case. Roth made Tris raw and open when she needed to be, and brave and strong when the time came. Every single emotion... every word that Tris spoke was believable. As the reader, I went through every up and down, every high and low with Tris... and I felt every heart-break and every joyful moment with her. *SPOILERS OVER*

I have to admit I am a little nervous about how Divergent the movie is going to turn out. Some books, I think, are better to just be left as great books. However, it is understandable why there is going to be a movie based on this book. Full of action and adventure, a heart-stopping romance and a killer plot, Divergent keeps the reader captivated till the very end. The next book in the trilogy, Insurgent is coming out soon and I can't WAIT to get my hands on it!

5 Muffins- Positively Enticing!

If you like this, try:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games trilogy #1) by Suzanne Collins

Delirium (Delirium trilogy #1) by Lauren Oliver

Legend by Marie Lu

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: YA 14+
Pages: 336

Every second day,

Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year old girl. She goes to high school. She attends prep rallies (reluctantly). She's human.

And every other day... she's not.

Though she's not quite sure what she is on those days, Kali knows what she does-she hunts, traps, and kills demons, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures that threaten her world. On those days, she is practically indestructible.

But when Kali notices a mark on a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these unworldly beings. And she knows she has only twenty-four hours to save her.

There's only one problem----it's the wrong twenty-four hours.                                                          

Every other day Kali is a fearless hunter of the preternatural menaces that hide in the shadows. In a world where Darwin discovered the existence of mythical creatures like dragons, kelpies and hell hounds, Kali is unique, a slayer of the creatures that go bump in the night. But every other day Kali’s ability fades and she is an ordinary sixteen year old high school student protecting her secret, lonely and insecure.

Every Other Day is a unique urban fantasy tale full of suspense, nail-biting excitement, and hilarity. Jennifer Lynn Barnes takes paranormal to a whole new level with Kali's oddly intriguing condition. 

However, Kali isn't the only strange creature in the book. Barnes includes hellhounds, chupacabras, dragons and basilisks.  In the beginning of the novel I was thrilled to have found a relatively recent paranormal book without any vampires,*SPOILER ALERT* however, towards the end of the book it is revealed that Kali herself is at least half vampire. Sigh... oh well. I guess my quest to find  a modern YA paranormal novel without any vampires in it isn't over yet. *SPOILER OVER* However, all of the monsters serve to give the story a very fresh vibe.

Despite the fact that Kali's character was tiresomely emo and, at times, seemingly emotionless, Every Other Day has an appeal that extends beyond its teenage audience. There is a touch of gore and violence that is necessarily part of the story though luckily Kali is almost, but not quite, indestructible – every other day at least. Genetic tinkering provides an interesting base for conspiracy and dark secrets about how Kali came to be and exactly what she is keep the reader guessing.

I am very happy to say that Jennifer Lynn Barnes stayed far away from the usual YA Paranormal tendency to favor a love triangle or romantic relationships over the plot. The friends Kali makes in Bethany and Skylar are more important to the story while her developing relationship with Zev remains firmly in the background. While on the topic of relationships, I have to say that Kali's relationship with Zev is definitely one of the most, err... disturbing that I have read about in a long time. I'm not going to tell you why, otherwise I would be giving away a huge part of the book. 

Every Other Day is a definite page turner. Jennifer Lynn Barnes pulls the reader in and keeps them captivated until the very end. In fact, when *SPOILER ALERT* one of the main characters died, it ruined the rest of my day! *SPOILER OVER* I have to applaud Barnes for that because it is not easy to make such relatable, realistic, and touching characters to whom the reader grows so attached to. 

I would not say that this is one of my favorite books and I don't think it is quite memorable, but it was a very interesting paranormal read. However, although it did have a few flaws, Every Other Day was fast-paced, entertaining and thrilling... a unique urban fantasy tale for the young adult reader. 

4 Muffins - Simply Delectable!

If you like this, try

Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight books that I just can't wait to get my hands on!

This weeks WoW is...

he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the fourectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school. Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

Release Date: April 1, 2012

Take a Bow on Goodreads

What are you waiting on?

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. It showcases a small section of the book/s I'm currently reading just to give you a taste of the book. Enjoy!!

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
It's pretty exciting so far... Evil demons to hunt, telepathic communication, zombie attacks, and a dark and handsome stranger...totally action-packed!!

"I don't know what you want me to say." My arms hugged my chest, like I could keep my emotions from the surface by sheer force of will. "I already told you guys. I'm not normal. I'm a freak. I showed you the ourobros—that's not normal. Normal people die when they're bitten. I got stronger. Normal people go crazy if a zombie takes a chunk out of their arm. I took a little nap. I don't know why. I don't know how. All I know is that I'm not normal."
~Every Other Day, page 202
Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.
And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.
Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

That's the only book I'm reading at the moment... so that's it for now, I guess!

What are you reading?
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