Sunday, October 31, 2010

Review: Torment

Title: Torment

Author: Lauren Kate
Date Released: September 28th, 2010
Pages: 452
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

Review:
I've been waiting for this book FOREVER because I reaaaaallllllyyyy liked Fallen, which is the first book in the series. And let me say, I thought it was pretty good! I think it was actually probably better than Fallen and I'm so glad that I got my hands on it! It still had a few things that I was kind of disappointed about and didn't really like throughout the book

Here are the good points: It transitioned pretty smoothly even though in the beginning you're probably like "WHAT? WHY ARE THEY (meaning Daniel and Cam) MAKING A TRUCE?" But Lauren Kate does a great job of explaining why they're having a truce and won't kill each other for now. It was cool how at the beginning of each chapter, there was sort of like a countdown to how many days were left until the truce was finished. Kate also introduces a couple new characters like Miles and Shelby. I was really suspicious of Shelby in the beginning because of her sort of because in these books, it's really hard to see who you can trust, and who those of whom you can't. Torment also leaves you on this MAJOR cliffhanger... which actually makes sense because I read somewhere that the third book, Passion, that it's mainly going to be about Luce's past lives... which should be really interesting!  Lauren Kate also concentrates more on the "shadows"/Announcers which have always been following Luce and explains what they are and how they're sooo significant to Luce.  I was also very happy when some of the old characters like Arriane, Gabbe and Molly showed up as well... I thought they would never make a reappearance since Luce was transported to a totally new setting but Lauren Kate made it work out :)

My problem with this book was Luce. She is kind of a weak character. She's not really strong because she always wants to cry... or is crying. And she's sort of whiny in a way too. It kind of reminds me of Bella (from Twilight).  I think I kind of understand why she would be this way since she's lost so many things and is really confused about what's going on, but she could really be a little stronger.  And Daniel upset me as well because he was being waaaay to secretive and wouldn't let Luce in on anything that was happening! I think that if he did, she would at least understand and wouldn't have been so mopey and have to think about if they're really meant to be or not. I personally think that if some guy has been waiting for you to be reincarnated over and over again, you're definitely meant to be together.  Some things also happened kind of slowly and later in the book, like Luce discovering some pieces of her past lives, which were the more fascinating parts of the book.

Just a random note, but, I would totally envy Luce if she were like my best friend and we kept in touch. Shoreline is probably like a dream come true. Come on! Who wouldn't want to go to a prestigious boarding school next to the OCEAN! With a nice view of it too!!

Overall, I thought that this was a pretty good follow up to Fallen and I can't wait for Passion to find out more about Luce's past lives :D  Sometimes it could be a little slow, but you see Luce slowly learning about what she's been sucked into and more about the angels that protect her.

Cover Review:
THIS COVER IS GORGEOUS! I love the dress that the girl (most likely Luce) is wearing in this cover.  I love this cover so much that I made it my desktop background!!! 

Cleo :)

*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is... (2)

This is a weekly meme that's hosted by A Tapestry of Words, where every week up until Christmas, you choose a book that you would like to see under your tree! You also have to say why, which shouldn't be too hard :)

This week, I want: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

I've heard a lot of good things about this book and can't wait until I can finally get my hands on it!

Cleo :)

Follow Friday (11)

I've kind of been M.I.A this past week due to lots of homework... but I'm back now just in time for Follow Friday :)  Which is brought to you by Parajunkee's View!




This week's question is:

If you have, or would have a daughter, what book would you want your daughter to read?

Well, I'm still kind of a teen...  so, obviously I don't have any children yet, but if I had a daughter, I think that I'd have her read... Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata or Outside Beauty by the same author.  My mom bought Kira-Kira recently, and I remembered reading it how it kind of emphasises the importance of having a older sister, and how it can be hard sometimes in life.  I'd also have her read Sharon Creech's books because she was my favorite author during my childhood times :)

This week's recap:
Well, since I wasn't exactly here for the past few days, I'll just tell you guys what's been happening, of course relating to books :D

So, this week I've finished Torment!  And there should be a review up soon :D  I also got two new books this week!!! Which I'm SUPER excited to read!  The books are: Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz and  Freefall by Mindi Scott.  I won Freefall  in a contest over at Princess Bookie and when I got it I thought it was sooo cool that the author wrote a little card and gave me a bookmark.  I feel so special XD

How was your week?

Have a great weekend!!!

Cleo :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Keys to the Repository

Title: Keys to the Repository
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Date Released: June 29th, 2010
Pages: 212
Rating:  5 out of 5

Description:
Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Midterms. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, exists a wealth of revealing information about the vampire elite that dates back before the Mayflower. In a series of short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters, New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz gives her hungry fans the keys to the Repository and an even more in-depth look into the secret world of the Blue Bloods. Won't you come inside?

Review:
I thought that this was a great little companion book because I really needed help remembering who's who, what's what, and so on :)  I should've bought it though!!!  I found it really helpful while reading it because it had all the major character profiles, maps and everything!  It even had definitions, too!  Since de la Cruz is planning to make this series pretty big, it was a great idea to write this since I tend to get confused with characters and wonder who this person is even though he's been in it before, etc. 

It also had some little short stories that were like little sides stories that could be from the perspective of someone else.  The little short story "Shelter Island" and "Wolf Pact" were probably the best because they were totally seperate stories from the series but add more of what they're (meaning Dylan and Bliss) up to.  "Wolf Pact" is also turning into a spin-off series starring Bliss that's coming out in 2012, so it's like a little preview!  There's also the first two chapters of Misguided Angel in here, as well, which I was certainly happy to read.

I think that this is a must read if you're a big fan of these books because it'll keep you updated and not so lost while you're reading througout the series.  I'd recommend that you buy it because it could be like a little reference/dictionary of the Blue Blood series.  If you have a great memory then you don't need to buy it... but in my case, you could say that I have a little bit of amnesia :D 

Cover Review:
The cover is so coooool!  I like how's there the eye in the keyhole, kind of saying something like,"This is top secret!  Only enter if you have the key!" or something like that...

Cleo :)

*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from library.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fallen

~Baylee's Review~

Title: Fallen
Author:Lauren Kate 
Publisher/publish date:Delacorte Press/December 8th 2009
Pages:452
Average Rating:3.82 (courtesy of goodreads.com)
My Rating: 4.00/5.00

Synopsis 


There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. 

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. 

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.


Review


     Okay, so at first the only reason why I decided to read this book was because I loved the cover art. I was still a little hesitant because the synopsis on the back of the book made it seem like just another one of those "girl meets, and falls in love with mysterious guy who has a deadly secret" type book as so many of young adult books are now. Hey I'm not complaining. I enjoy reading about fictional guys that would make me melt with their gorgeous looks if I met them in person just as much as the next girl, but I wanted something different. Man...did this book deliver. 
     
The excerpt in the back of the book truly did not give you any clue into what you were reading. Luce, our heroine has just been sent to Sword & Cross, a "boarding school" in Georgia. Its actually just a place where delinquent kids are sent as a last resort before prison. In Luce's case, she was sent there because what happened over the summer with Trevor was just a first offense, and has the police questioning her sanity. There she meets the gorgeous Daniel Grigori. I mean come on even his name is hot. So anyways of course Luce feels an "instant connection" to Daniel...and he doesn't want anything to do with her. But the reason for why that is isn't revealed until the end of the book. Oh. and lets not forget about Cam? Our dark haired knight in shining armor? Get it...Sword & Cross....Knight? hah. 


But, is Cam really only looking out for her or does Luce play a bigger role in his life than she thought? 


I thought all of the characters were pretty interesting... except for Luce. She basically let Daniel treat her like dirt and went right back for more, even though she new he was just going to hurt her again. She relied on her friend Penny to get all her information while she flirted with Cam. Don't get me wrong, she turns out to be quite worthy of praise in the end, but the beginning threw me off and I disliked her from the start. She was just..a character. Someone who the story was about, not a character with substance. Like the only thing that made her interesting was the "connection" she felt for Daniel. Oh and lets not forget the shadows. Daniel was..well to put it in simple terms, an A class jerk. And while he has more than his fair share of shinning moments, I still can't figure out what he's thinking. AND I'VE ALREADY FINISHED TORMENT! Cam is an interesting character because instead of being just the third wheel in a love triangle as I thought he was, he turns out to be a dangerous opponent for Daniel, and knows a lot more about what's going on than Luce does. 


The reason why it wasn't a five out of five book was because the book could be a little slow at times and I wasn't a big fan of Luce. (Mind you, that my view has completely changed now that I've read Torment) But the really awesome thing about this books is that Lauren Kate writes in such a way that you feel just as lost, confused, and frustrated as Luce does because you have no idea what's going on. In a lot of cases that means the book sucks. End of story. But in Fallen it just makes you feel closer to the characters and that much more determined to find out what the truth is once and for all. If you decided to read Fallen you'll probably like Torment much better, but all in all this is an awesome series and I can't wait for Passion, the third book from Lauren Kate about the painful journey of Daniel and Luce.

Supernatural: Live Free or Twihard


*This is just me rambling about last night's episode of Supernatural*
So, my favorite TV show in the world is Supernatural (starring the awesome Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki).  And last night it was on and I thought that it was funny how they tried to tie in Twilight (hence "Twihard" in the episode title) and the whole vampire craze.  Somehow, I knew that one day they'd try and do this with the whole Twilight/vampire craze. 

It was also funny how there was this one girl, named Kristen (Kristen Stewart? Get it?), was completely obsessed with this vampire novel and the characters in it.  It was called something along the lines of Summer Blood? Or something like that...  And then Dean comments on the cover of the book which I would say, but its kind of inappropriate ;)  The girls room also had a gothic theme, with posters and life-size cutouts of Robert... Or whatever the character in the book's name is.  Also, there was this vampire guy, and his name was Robert (Hahaha Robert Pattinson), but let me say, he kind of looked like Robert Pattinson but waaaay hotter.  If they ever make a remake of Twilight, they should cast him as Edward hehe :D

I don't think that I'll really be writing more... I guess you could call them reviews? or ramblings?, on TV shows/episodes, but I just wanted to point this out, and it is book related ;)  Basically, this was just me rambling on about the funniness of this episode and how its related to the whole Twilight/vampire craze.  Although this was funny, it totally got serious half way through and it's not really about Twilight.  Just a warning :D

From the girl who loves Supernatural and used to have Supernatural marathons,
Cleo :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Follow Friday (10)

It's our tenth Follow Friday!!!  Which means that we've been around for 11 weeks or so... And it's been totally fun so far!!! I love giving out my opinion on a book that I just read or read a while ago :D  Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.


This week's question is...
What are you currently reading?  Basically, what book is that?

Well, as you can see in the Currently Reading section of the sidebar... I'm reading Torment by Lauren Kate!  I've been waiting to get this book for a while and now I have it!!  I kind of just started and am in the third chapter... And I've heard that it's better than Fallen, so who knows! 

Have a great weekend!!!

Cleo :)

All I Want for Christmas is... (1)

I think that this is a cool meme!  Especially since Christmas is coming soon!  This is a weekly meme that's hosted by A Tapestry of Words, where every week up until Christmas, you choose a book that you would like to see under your tree!  You also have to say why, which shouldn't be too hard :)

Lies (Gone, #3)This week, I want:  Lies by Michael Grant

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most - Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness - or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

I have been waiting to get this book forever!!!  I L-O-V-E-D the first two in the series and couldn't wait for more... It's already out, but I just haven't really found the right price to buy it at, yet... (I'm really picky when it comes to spending money).

What do you guys want under your tree?

Cleo :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Button Contest @ Ashley's Bookshelf!

Ashley at Ashley's Bookshelf is currently getting read for what I think is going to be a pretty big giveaway (you can see some of the things that she's planning to giveaway in her giveaway).  One of the things she needs is an awesome button to promote it!  If you make one (or 2, or 3... maybe even 4), you can enter it here!  And she'll choose the one that she likes the most and that person will win 20 extra points (for the giveaway) and a bunch of swag and goodies!!!  If you don't win, but still entered, you'll get some swag too for participating :)  Also, this ends on the 23rd of October!

I made some buttons... and I don't know if they're that good... and I've never really tried making a button before and don't know how... so this is my first time.  But I hope that she likes them and that they're sort of awesome!  As you can see, most of them have a birthday cake theme... they're making me hungry right now!





Hahaha I made 5!! I kind of got carried away... :)  Hope you like them Ashley!  And Happy Early Birthday!!!

Cleo :)

Review: Blue Bloods Series Part Two

Titles: Revelations & The Van Alen Legacy
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Dates Released: October 28th, 2008 & October 6th, 2009
Pages: 256 & 369
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description for Revelations:
Schuyler Van Allen's blood legacy has just been called into question: is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force.

When an ancient place of power is threatened in Rio de Janeiro, however, the Blue Bloods need Schuyler on their side. The stakes are high, the battle is bloody; and through it all Schuyler is torn between duty and passion, love and freedom.

Description for The Van Alen Legacy:
With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged. Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.

Review:
If you haven't read my review on Blue Bloods and Masquerade, then you should read that first!  And I'm writing these reviews on the Blue Bloods series because the 5th book, Misguided Angel, is coming out in a couple days!!!

I loved these books a lot more than the first two.  Everything started to unravel in these books (especially in Revelations, hence the name).  So many shocking things happen that keep you on your toes!  Or at least keep the book in your hands!  It was a lot more informative and intense than the first two, or at least that's how I felt.  The love square (is that right?) between, Schuyler, Jack, Oliver, and Mimi gets a whole lot interesting too.  I'd say what happens... but that would be spoiling everything!  The Van Alen Legacy is where things really start to pick up because something absolutely stunning happens in the end of Revelations that leads into The Van Alen Legacy

I've been thinking and what I noticed about Melissa de la Cruz's writing style is that it seems sophisticated, the way she writes.  It's not rushed, but at a nice pace, and everything flows nice.  It also has this tone that matches the setting of the books. 

Overall, it keeps getting better and better!!!  I definitely can't wait for Misguided Angel, coming out on October 26th, which I've been waiting for since I finished The Van Alen Legacy.  It kind of sucks that it takes at least a year for the next book to come out :(

Cover Review:
I like these covers (as I liked the first two...)!  I noticed that on the bottom is each of the cities where something really major happens, like in Revelations it's in Brazil on Corcovado, and in The Van Alen Legacy, it's in Paris!  On the cover of Revelations is who I think is Bliss because of the reddish hair.  And the tattoo on her is symbolic of something that I will not say because it will ruin some things :) 

Cleo :)

*Descriptions from Goodreads.com
**Books purchased.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: The Iron King

Review: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Released: February 1st, 2010
Pages: 363
Rating: 5 out of 5


Description:
Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.


Review:
THIS IS PURE AWESOMENESS!  I like it's originality and the storyline.  I think that Kagawa does an excellent job of making this story interesting and definitely intriguing!  I haven't read a lot of stories about feys or faeries.  I've only read about pixies, in the Need series by Carrie Jones, and they're pretty much the same as the fey in this book because they've got the sharp teeth thing going on and their evilness (who knew that fairies could be so evil???).  But this book adds a whole new WORLD of fairies, called Nevernever.  It's also filled with a lot more magical creatures like dryads, the Cait Sith (I <3 Grimalkin... In a way, he's very cool!), and satyrs.  It also introduces the Iron Fey, which have developed because of the human's dependency and imagination of technology.  And the normal "oldblood" fey are allergic to iron, and they're all pretty territorial so accepting a new race of fey would be pretty hard.


Meghan ties into this because she is the summer faery king's daughter!  I could sort of tell since the beginning, even though her father that did disappear isn't the king.  I thought that he was.  I think that Meghan is pretty strong to be able to handle the situation that she's in because I would've totally freaked out.  Especially if I saw all the sharp teeth.  I really liked Robbie/Robin Goodfellow/Puck because he tried to make everything seem like it was going to be alright.  I thought it was totally cool how Kagawa weaved in A Midsummer's Night Dream into the story.  Ash, to me, seemed sort of mysterious, probably because he's a winter faery and I associate winter with darkness which connects to mysterious to me... But I think that I'm Team Ash (since there seem to be teams between Ash and Puck) because... I don't have an explanation yet since it's the first book, but I will probably in the second book!


The only problem that I had with this book was that some things seemed just a little bit spontaneous.  Everything kind of happened quickly as well, meaning that the events were kind of short.  Like, she'd be in Nevernever one day, then be in the mortal world the next. 


Overall, I thought that this was amazing.  I constantly wanted to read it even though I had school or had to go to sleep early.  It left me quite satisfied.  I'd totally recommend to anyone.  I can't wait until I get my hands on The Iron Daughter!!! 


Cover Review:
The thing that I love the most about the cover are the pretty designs that go around it.  They're also on the beginning of each chapter and I thought that they were really cool!  I also attempt to draw those swirly lines, but it usually fails...   I also like the color theme which was green.  It adds a calmness to the cover.


Cleo :)


*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow Friday (9)

Sorry! Today I'm extremely late doing Follow Friday (which is hosted by Parajunkee's View) because I had a lot of stuff to do today and never got a chance to go on till now... BUT! It's Friday!


Today's question is...

What is your reading suggestion this week?

HUNGERGAMESHUNGERGAMESHUNGERGAMES!!!  I would say Mockingjay since I recently read that one, but the first one is The Hunger Games and it was awesome!! If you haven't read it, you should.   Even though you probably have... Because who hasn't yet?  If you've already read The Hunger Games, then I would also suggest the Gone series by Michael Grant.  It's totally awesome like The Hunger Games, but maybe a little more violent... Hahaha I don't know what it is with all these really good somewhat violent books ;)

Cleo :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: Eleventh Grade Burns

Title: Eleventh Grade Burns
Author: Heather Brewer
Date Released: February 9th, 2010
Pages: 320
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:
Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood. And Vlad’s arch enemy, D’Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.

Review:
I didn't find this book as exciting as the other ones that I read... I actually stopped reading it for a while and managed to finish it yesterday night.... after like 2 weeks.  Which is a long time considering the fact that I read each book in The Hunger Games series in a couple days.  This book bored me, but it still had some really good information that explain the legend of the Pravus, which kind of makes me want to buy the last book.  I'm a sucker for finding more about legends or what's-going-to-happen-next-since-some-really-shocking-cliffhanger-happened in a series.  This one actually had a VERY surprising cliffhanger that seriously shocks you... I had to read the page a couple times to see if it was actually legit, just in case because you never know...

Joss also came back in this book... which was surprising after what he did to Vlad in what I believe is the third book...  But I really can't get over Vlad and how sort of childish he is.  He really believes that he and Joss can be friends again, even though, there are things about Joss that can't make their friendship possible.  Honestly, to me it feels like Vlad hasn't really grown up a lot since 8th grade...  He's in 11th grade going on to 12th and still feels the same to me.

This book is okay.  It's definitely a must read if you want to read the series because, as all books in a series do, it contains vital information that will make you want to read the next book just so it can relieve you of the mystery...  So, plus sides: awesome cliffhanger and the legend of the Pravus.  Not that great because: sort of boring and Vlad seems the same.  Despite it's slight boringness, I still want to read Twelfth Grade Kills because of the cliffhanger and the Pravus.

Cover Review:
I really like these covers and I think that that's what attracted me to the series.  I love the smileys!!!  And the colors of each smiley on this cover and other covers have a meaning.... which I won't tell you guys about ;) It's a secret :D

Cleo :)

*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Today is Waiting on Wednesday (I haven't done this in a while...) which is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is a post where you can write about upcoming releases that you REALLY are looking forward to reading (like I always am :) ).



This week I am waiting for...

Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Releasing on: February 8, 2011
Description:
Johnny works after school in a shoe repair shop in a swanky hotel in Miami. He loves shoes and is talented; he even aspires to be the next Manolo Blahnik. But the real reason that he is working so hard is because his dad left when he was a baby and he needs to help his mom pay the bills. At least he has his friend, Meg, who works at the hotel coffee shop, to keep him company.



When beautiful Princess Victoriana comes to stay at the hotel, Johnny is thrilled when Victoriana invites him to her suite. There she tells him that her brother has been turned into a frog, and that she needs his help finding him in the Florida Keys. Johnny thinks she is crazy and does not believe her, until she gives him a magical cloak that immediately transports him to another location. Armed with the cloak and a magical earpiece that can help him talk to other transformed humans Johnny sets out to save the Prince ...
 
I'm really looking forward to this book because I've read Beastly and A Kiss in Time which were both great, and I'm hoping that this one will be too!  It sounds really interesting since there's a magical cloak involved... I'm excited :D
 
Cleo :)

Review: A Kiss in Time

Title: A Kiss in Time
Author: Alex Flinn
Date Released: May 1st, 2009
Pages: 371
Ratings: 4 out of 5

Description:
Talia fell under a spell . . . . Jack broke the curse.
I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic. . . .
I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.
I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger's soft kiss.
I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.
Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!
Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels. . . . The good news: My parents will freak!
Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?

*(Pink is Talia and Blue is Jack)


Review:
I really liked Flinn's modern retellings of fairy tales that we all know and love.  I really liked Beastly, which was a retelling of Beauty & the Beast (hence "beast" in title).  This time, it's a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty. 

I thought it was kind of funny how the main character, Jack, is suddenly stuck with a hopeless, spoiled  princess stuck in the wrong time.  If she were at least from this time, it probably would've been easier to handle her.   Jack was a great sport throughout the book, though, because he was patient with her even though there were times where he wanted to ditch her.  And it must've been crazy for him since Talia claimed that he was her true love, since he kissed her awake.  Talia was a pretty strong character, too.  Imagine being in a totally different time with technology that you would've never thought of back in your time.  And missing your family who you haven't seen in a long time due to sleeping for 300 years.  I'd say that she's pretty brave :)  There's also always the evil villain, a staple of fairytales.  This one was named Malvolia and I liked her not because she was evil, but she had a reason to want to Talia and her kingdom into a deep sleep.

I give this a 4 out of 5 because sometimes I think that Flinn tries a little too hard to write like a teenager.  Sometimes it'd kind of cheesy what she does, like incorporating jello shots, but at the same time, I really like this story, despite it's cheesy-ness.

Back to the plus side:  The ending was super uber cool.  And it was cute :)  I'm not going to give anything away... but it is a fairytale sooo, you can probably guess the ending ;)

Overall, a pretty good book that I liked.  If you decide to pick it up, you might find it to be a little cheesy.  But you'll end up liking it, if you like retellings of old fairytales.  If you haven't read Beastly, I would recommend that one, too!  There's also another book that's coming out next year called Cloaked that's a modern retelling, but weaves in several different fairytales. 


Cover Review:
I think that this cover is really pretty with the single white flower.  It's like the one for Beastly.  I like this one better than the original version, which had Talia on the cover. 

Cleo :)

*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Mockingjay

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Date Released: August 24th, 2010
Pages: 390
Rating: 4 out of 5


Description:
"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead."

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

Review:
I JUST finished Mockingjay and I thought it was great, or at least okay... I'm still deciding... I don't think that it was as great as The Hunger Games and Catching Fire because... I don't know.  Some parts were kind of boring and didn't seem to have the intensity (until the end) that the first two books had.  Most of it was just plotting and planning and thinking.  I wanted more action and adventure and excitement! 

The ending was great!!! ... I think that I wanted to cry but my tear ducts don't exactly work properly...  The ending left me quite satisfied.  Collins always adds some really good and suprising twists, too!  They always keep the suspense going and make you want to read more. 

I think that Katniss deserves all the reasons in the world to act as she does in the beginning.  It's probably really traumatizing to go through soooo much in just over a course of 2 years.   Peeta shocked me the most though in this book... what happened to him proves how powerful the Capitol is and how advanced their technology is.  I'm was still Team Peeta throughout this book as well because, Gale doesn't really ever seem to fit with Katniss exactly...  But I like both characters both, as an individual.  Prim has got to be the sweetest character in this book.  I would love to have her as a little sister because she has such a caring nature and is like the total opposite of everyone else in this book.  I really liked all the other rebels, too!  Except for Coin.... I was kind of suspicious of her. 

Even though this series has ended, I think that there should be like a spinoff series or something... Maybe just another book on the aftermath of everything... Or something!  I don't think that I can part with this series.  It's probably now one of my favorites.  Wait, no, it IS one of my favorites :) 

If you haven't read the first book in this series, The Hunger Games, I strongly recommend that you read it!  I love this series waaaay better than when I loved Twilight (I think... or I actually could've felt the same, but the whole Twilight thing is in my past now...)!!!  I think that if I ever have kids, I'm going to force them to read these books ;)  But of course when they're old enough, because it can be a little violent.

Cover Review:
I think that the cover is really cool, especially since it has the symbolic mockingjay on it.  But I also noticed that on the other covers, around the main image, there are circles around them, but on this cover, the circle is shattered into pieces, scattered around the mockingjay.  It's almost seems like it's symbolizing that Katniss is breaking free or that she can't be held down, captive.  Does it seem like that to you guys?

Cleo :)

*Description from Goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from library.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: Blue Bloods Series Part Uno

 
Titles: Blue Bloods & Masquerade
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Dates Released: May 1st, 2006 & May 1st, 2007
Pages: 302; 320
Rating: 4 out of 5


Description for Blue Bloods:
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.


Description for Masquerade:
Schuyler Van Alen is starting to get more comfortable with her newfound vampire powers, but she still has many unanswered questions. A trip to Italy in search of her grandfather only serves to make things more confusing. What secrets are the leaders of The Committee hiding? Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the famous Four Hundred Ball. In true Blue Blood fashion, the ball is totally fab, complete with masks, and hidden behind this masquerade is a revelation that will change the course of a young vampire's destiny.


The thrilling sequel in Melissa de la Cruz's vampire mythology has all the glamour, attitude, and vampire lore that made the first book a hit.


Review:
Since the release of the 5th book, Misguided Angel, is coming out soon, I'm going to be telling you guys about my opinion on the series so far :)  And I'm splitting it into half because 1) It splits evenly (4/2=2) and 2) If I did all four, this will be long and humongo just like the one I did for The Luxe.


Blue Bloods sucked me in right away, so I had to buy Masquerade right away.  I think that most things about it were pretty awesome :D For example, de la Cruz's take on the mythology of vampires and how they can really be anyone... like, your hairdresser hahaha.  The characters each had their own personalities which made them all unique.  Their personalities varied as well from outsiders (Schuyler) to totally popular (Mimi).  To me, this series seemed like a Gossip Girl meets vampires (even though I've never read Gossip Girl...), which I thought was really cool because de la Cruz executed it quite well.  I think it fits well with the series because the traditional vampires, like Dracula, aren't like the socialites in this series.  And the Blue Bloods vampires have to be able to dwell in the sun to live in New York City, otherwise like half of the population would be stuck indoors.  With their curtains drawn.  And only coming out at night... :)


Overall, I think that this is a really cool series.  I like how it's different from other vampires related books that I've read because of it's setting and how these vampires are different from traditional vampires or even the vampires in Twilight.  This books are pretty intriguing and sucked me in.  I've read other reviews on these books, and they didn't seem to quite like them, but I guess being a teenager who likes reading books like these changes the perspective, right?  Be on the look out for Part Two of this review :)


Cover Review:
I think that they're really cool!! On the bottom, they have like little, would you call them silhouettes? of New York city and Italy!  And Masquerade is really cool because it has the model wearing a mask, which is what people do at masquerades.  The Blue Bloods one is also cool because it has two little bite marks, which basically tell you what the whole series is about... Vampires :[  On my copy... it some how got ruined and now it looks like there's an extra bite mark... hehe :)  Whoa, I just found $5 in the back of my book... :D


*Descriptions from Goodreads.com
**Review copies purchased.


Cleo :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: The Luxe Series

Titles: The Luxe, Rumors, Envy & Splendor
Author: Anna Godbersen
Dates Released (hardcover): November 20th, 2007, June 1st, 2008, January 27th, 2009, November 1st, 2009 (respectively)
Pages (hardcover): 433, 432, 405, 391 (respectively)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (averaged)

Description for The Luxe:
A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancĂ©; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dĂ©nouement.

Description for Rumors:
After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.
All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.
As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.

Description for Envy:
Jealous whispers.
Old rivalries.
New betrayals.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
In this next thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets. . .

Description for Envy:
New beginnings.
Shocking revelations.
Unexpected endings.
A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.
Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.
In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

Review:
WHOA! That's a lot of descriptions.....  but I guess I'll just make this short and sweet and to the point :)
 
Hmmm... I reallly liked the first three books :D  They all got 5 out of 5's, but Splendor didn't quite make it (I gave it a 3 out of 5, which is still good).  I thought it wasn't as good because the ending was SOOO confusing... and I thought there was going to be a 5th book to round it off smoothly. 
 
Here's why I liked the first three books: They just realllly captivated me... I think it was all the love triangles and romances and you really wanted to see who would end up with who... or if they ended up with anyone at all 0.o Ooooo, mind boggling... :)  Now, here's why I didn't really like the last book: I was kind of disappointed that this series ended (and to me it was abruptly since I had no clue that that was the last book...) because it just seemed... unfinished.  To me, it was like so many questions were left unanswered and somethings just didn't feel complete.

Overall, great series.  The ending wasn't all that great though... but I thought that the setting was really cool, too!  Books like these are what really get me into reading historical fiction. 

Cover Review:
THE COVERS ARE GORGEOUS!  The dresses are beautiful as well!  I also like how each person in the cover is a character in the book.  I think that in The Luxe, it's Elizabeth, Rumors is Penelope, Envy is Diana, and Splendor is Carolina :D

*Descriptions from Goodreads.com
**Review copies borrowed and bought.

Cleo :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Follow Friday (8)

YAY!!! IT'S FRIDAYYY!!! No more school for... two days!! Even though it's supposedly Columbus Day on Monday... I still don't get school off :(  Oh well.  But, since it's Friday, it's Follow Friday at Parajunkee's View!!!

This week's question is:

How many reviews do you like to do in a week?

I like to do at least one or two reviews in a week :)  Right now I'm working on one for The Luxe series, but plan to finish another by the end of the weekend!

If this is your first time visiting, comment on this post or another one and I'll visit your blog (if you have one)!

Have a great weekend guys!

Cleo :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cherry On Top Award!

Today, we received the Cherry on Top Award from Hafsah at Icey Books!!  Thanks so much Hafsah!


All you have to do for the Cherry on Top award is:

1) Answer the question "If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?",
2) Pick up to 6 people and give them this award,
3) Thank the person who gave me the award.


Sooo, here's my answer!
I don't think that I would go back and change one thing in my life...  Everything's going great so far... so yeah!  No changes necessary here!


Here are the 6 people that I choose:
Cleo :)

Cleo's Mini Review: Catching Fire

Maybe some of you guys haven't heard yet... but here we're doing Mini Reviews since there are three of us who sometimes read the same books and really want to get our opinion out even though one of us has already written a review on that book.  I hope that made sense... 
MarMar already wrote a review for Catching Fire, which you can read here if you want :)

This is probably what everyone else thinks, who's read The Hunger Games:  WHY DOES THIS SERIES HAVE TO BE SO GOOD???  As you can tell, I thought it was great!! Maybe not as good as The Hunger Games, but the plot totally captivated me!!  There's something about this series that just captivates you and makes you want to read more.  I had to stop myself from reading further so I can go do my homework... it kind of became a problem...  But it was totally worth it!  I didn't think it was as good as The Hunger Games because I felt that maybe a little too much happened, but it was great overall :)  I really want Mockingjay right now... Oh, and I'm still Team Peeta!

Cleo :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Contest Craze Mini Challenge 2: Date A Celebrity

Cindy at Princess Bookie is hosting her Conest Craze right now, and this is her second mini challenge :) If you do the mini challenges, you can win ARC packages!


In this mini challenge, you have to choose a celebrity and make up an imaginary date!


Originally, I would've chosen Jensen Ackles, but he's waaay to old (since there is a like... 16 year age difference), but instead I have chosen Diego Gonzalez, who you've probably seen in Pretty Little Liars, who is still pretty old for me I guess (HA! 5 years age difference ^^).  Here's a lousy reason of why I would choose him, but, I think that he's really cute (my friends don't...) and he's a GREAT singer.  He mainly sings in Spanish, but I managed to find a really good song of him singing in English, called Losing Me.  It's like the best song ever...  But hey, now I can practice my Spanish if I listen to his other songs :P

Ok, here's my imaginary date (it's probably boring because I actually haven't really been on a date yet...... so yeah hahahaha... just another fact from my kind of boring life :P ):

Well, I'd REALLY want him to sing one of his songs to me...  I think his voice is amazing, especially in Spanish.  I think that's about it actually.  Maybe we'd grab some food too :)  And watch an awesome movie that just came out.  OR He's sing me a song, and we'd go to the beach :D

I decided that I will post the song here.  But the music video is kind of weird and I don't really understand what's going on, but I think it's great.  It's better in Spanish, too, but I'm guessing that all of you guys speak English, so here it goes:



Cleo :)