Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Series: Cold Kiss #1
Pub. Date: September 2011
Genre: YA/Paranormal Romance
From Goodreads: It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.
Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants–what she must do–is to bring Danny back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.
Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her–and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.
But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought–even if it means breaking her heart all over again.
My Reveries and Ramblings: This book was okay. I was able to read it fairly quickly in one sitting. There was very little detail. It was pretty much plot driven. The characters were a bit flat to me. I wanted to know more about Wren’s power and why her mom wouldn’t talk about it, or why her dad left. I also wanted to know more about Gabriel. But instead most of the book was entirely devoted to how badly she messed up by bringing Danny back to life and how she loves and loved him so much. I just wish Ms. Garvey spent more time on fleshing out the characters. The plot is there, the characters, not so much.
Having said that though, I do think the story was good, albeit predictable. It felt more like a novella or short story. There just wasn’t enough…of everything. But i did enjoy it. I’m not the biggest fan of zombie books and there were quite a few moments where Danny creeped me out. But I loved the message in the book. The messages were of love, loss and grief. Wren has to come to terms with losing her first love prematurely. Most people have lost someone in their lives. So I can assume everyone can relate and sympathize with Wren’s battle: her desire to keep the one she loves and her need to let him go.
Overall, I thought the book was okay. I will probably read the sequel at some point. I really hope the author expands on the world and answers some questions left from the end of the last book.
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Title: Angel Star
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Series: Angel Star #1
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing LLC
Pub. Date: May 2010
Genre: YA/Supernatural/ Romance/Angels/Fantasy/Christian
From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.
But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel’s malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel’s sacrifice collides with another angel’s vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.
My Reveries and Ramblings: Angel Star, written by Jennifer Murgia, is the story about good vs evil, or light vs. dark. Teagan’s life isn’t that great: she has only one friend, Claire, is the object of torture by a group of girls at school, is plagued by nighmares, and her father disappeared when she was a baby. One day while sitting on a bench, a new transfer student, Garreth, approaches and talks to her. He seems to shine/glow. She realizes that not only does she feel strongly for him, he makes her feel safe from the nightmares and the dark shadows that seem to follow her. Garreth is her guardian angel. He has watched over her and kept her safe for years. He is finally allowed to appear to her as a human, but only for eight days. During those eight days her destiny will be revealed.
I had mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the chemistry between Garreth and Teagan. Their bond was beautiful. Whenever Teagan was worried he would breathe for her, calming her. It was so sweet. Their dynamic was the best part of the book. Hadrian, Lucifer’s brother, is the dark angel. He tries to corrupt people’s guardian angels so that he can control humans. Garreth and Teagan are constantly running from him. When Hadrian starts targeting people close to Teagan, they stand and fight. While Garreth symbolizes light, Hadrian represents the darkness. Teagan finds herself drawn to Hadrian and the darkness only to be reminded of her light, Garreth. This situation is parallel to the good-angel-bad-angel-on-your-shoulders. Both are trying to pull Teagan in different directions and get her to do something. It is both an internal and outward struggle for Teagan.
There were many things I didn’t like about this book. There were times when I was confused as to the location of the characters; one minute they are talking in the car, the dialogue going, with no mention of leaving the car then all of a sudden they are in the park on a swing set swinging. There were times when I couldn’t tell the difference between her nightmares and reality because she kept “waking up” suddenly in her bed like it was all a bad dream. I could never tell if the action sense took place in her nightmare or in reality. I really liked the basic story of Angel Star. I think Jennifer Murgia could have slowed it down a bit by adding more detail to the action scenes and adding more depth to the characters.
Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I didn’t really like it. In all honesty, I only continued reading, and will probably read the sequel, Lemniscate, because of Garreth and Teagan’s relationship. Their connection was deep, like down to the soul deep. It was fascinating. Jennifer Murgia’s idea was fresh and different from many of the angel books I’ve read.
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Title: Claimed by Shadow
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer #2
Pub. Date: April 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance/Time Travel/Paranormal
From Goodreads: Clairvoyant Cassie Palmer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it’s a whole lot of responsibility she’d rather not have. Now she’s the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her-and her magic-over to their side. But one particular master vampire didn’t ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn’t know if what she feels for him is real-or imagined.
My Reveries and Ramblings: Cassandra Palmer escapes the Senate with a duffel full of weapons only to be attacked by the Circle. Pritkin and Cassie are forced to become allies due to a common goal-although she never truly trusts him. Besides Pritkin, Cassie is helped by Billy the ghost and Mac, a tattoo artist mage. Cassie’s Pythia powers drag her into the past to save Mircea from Myra who is set on making sure Cassie never lives to get her powers. By going into the past, Cassie accidentally sets the geis, a bonding spell Mircea had cast, in the future on the past Mircea strengthening their bond. This becomes problematic for both of them since they can’t seem to keep their hands off eachother when together and when separated are in total physical pain (a pain that has led others under the same circumstances to commit suicide).
After reading the first book in the series, Touch the Dark, I thought this can only get better. I was a bit disappointed. I mean, yes it was action packed. And yes, there was never a dull moment. But the plot didn’t really progress until the last 10 pages or so. Also, I love Mircea, and I hated how he was barely in this book. He showed up briefly in the present, but only for short periods of time in the past. Also, the whole thing with Tomas at the end was weird. I did like Cassie’s spirit in this book. No matter how many times she was knocked down, she just got right back up again. All she wants is to find her father, kill Tony, and live a normal life. But everyone else wants something from her. They are all one-step ahead of her. Even though the odds are in no way stacked in her favor, she keeps on fighting for what she wants. Honestly, I like the series so I’ll keep reading. I want to find out how it ends.
I felt rushed through the book, and I found myself confused several times wondering if I missed something but after rereading realized I didn’t miss anything. By the end of the book I got the gist of what happened, however I was still lost. Both in this book and the first I felt like I was thrown into the middle of it and was left to figure out what was going on.
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Title: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pub. Date: 2010
From Goodreads: On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.
My Reveries and Ramblings: Dead Beautiful centers around Renee and her life after she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest. Throughout the story Renee tries to solve the mystery of their “death by heart attack” which seems to be a reoccurring theme/death of students who have died while at Gottfried Academy. Of course, everyone tells her she is looking too much into their deaths and that it is perfectly possible for two people to die of heart attacks at the same time in the woods.
Besides her investigation into the mysterious deaths, her growing attraction to Dante, a student who causes her to literally go weak in the knees, has left her with more questions than answers. I liked Dante’s character and how unselfish he was but he just didn’t give me that I-want-him-gotta-have-him feeling. Honestly, I really really really wanted to love this book. I really did! But sadly, the idea of the Undead creeped me out. Even though they specifically stated in the book that the Undead are not the same thing as zombies, to me, they basically were; and I’m not a huge fan of zombie anything. But I tried. Also, I did not like Renee. I thought she was rude and was selfish most of the time.
This book wasn’t my type of book. However I think it was well written. The world Woon created was detailed. The mythology surrounding the Undead was original and put together nicely. The mystery was good. In fact, it was what kept me reading even though I wanted to stop because of the whole Undead thing. I wanted to find out who was behind all the murders. The end was not what I expected and I was a bit disappointed.
Overall, it was a good book, just not for me. Although I can understand why so many people really liked it. It was kind of like Twilight but with Zombie-like people instead of vampires.
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