Book Review: The Sext Crime by Jason Ancona

Title: The Sext Crime
Author: Jason Ancona
Series: C.Y.A.: Covert Youth Agency #2
ISBN: B004PYDOCI
Pub. Date:  February 2011
Source: Kindle
Genre: Espionage/YA/Humor/Mystery
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads:  SNAP–a girl sexts racy pics of herself.
She thought the fun shots would stay between her and her boyfriend.
SNAP–an anonymous hacker hijacks her photos.
If she doesn’t obey, she’ll be exposed.
SNAP–the Covert Youth Agency takes the girl’s case.
The agents jump headfirst into Operation: Sext Crime. Their new client has less than a week to surrender to the hacker’s ultimatum. Or else the naughty photos go “wide.”
SEND–a squad of goons are closing in on C.Y.A. members.
Agent identities may be unmasked.
REPLY ALL–end communication.
It’s not safe.
WARNING–this book contains NO explicit sexual content.
Material suitable for ages 12 and above. May contain some humor.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  The Covert Youth Agency (C.Y.A.) series is about a group of teenagers in high school who run the C.Y.A., a secret crime fighting group that helps students (like the C.I.A. for high school).  The CYA is made up of three members: Pi, Tollhouse, and Lightman.  Pi is the leader; Tollhouse is the main field agent; and Lightman is the computer genius.
In this installment, the group gets involved in the student council elections.  When Meredith, one of the candidates for student council president, gets blackmailed into dropping out of the race, the C.Y.A. steps in.  But whoever hacked into Meredith’s phone is extremely skilled.  After Meredith dropped out, the C.Y.A pushes for another candidate to run against the remaining one, supporting the same issues in hopes that the blackmailer might try to strike again.  However, this time, the hacker/blackmailer targets Pi.  Now it’s a race against time.  Meanwhile, Deeks, the gym teacher, is out to get the C.Y.A. since they blackmailed him into resigning from his coaching job since he was responsible for the bullying of the “Noble Nerds.”
I was smiling and laughing the entire time I was reading The Sext Crime.  Tollhouse and Lightman had the BEST scenes.  Just having them in the same room together brought at least five minutes of straight-up-out-loud laughing (per scene!).  Honestly, they are my favorite characters.  They have a love-hate, well, maybe a like-hate relationship.  They are always bickering; but deep down, and I mean deep deep down, I think they like each other.  Unlike the last book, Lightman is allowed to work in the field.  Although she quickly regrets it when she realizes that being undercover means going shopping with “the girls” for a dress.  Lightman is so smart and can be nice when she wants to (very rarely).  She uses her genius status to bully the principal and teachers in to letting her do what she wants.  Tollhouse is a likeable nerd.  He’s not the coolest guy in the world and he does get picked on by the jocks, but he is very easy going.  He can get along with anyone (well, anyone that’s not trying to bully him-and Lightman).  Pi was such a cute nerd!  Seriously!  Some of my favorite Pi scenes involved rap music, youtube videos, and some awkward dancing.   One word: hilarious!  He’s a bit insecure when it comes to social interactions with people other than family and very close friends.  When it comes to the C.Y.A., he’s in his element and the insecurity disappears.
Jason Ancona did a great job!  I was drawn back into the world and did not want to leave.  I felt like I was back in high school with all the drama.  Ahhh, it was so funny.  I really wish Pi, Lightman, and Tollhouse went to my high school (if it was co-ed).  I would SO want to be in the C.Y.A..  Also, if I was Vera, Pi’s crush, I’d give Pi a chance.  He’s so sweet.  The whole book was very entertaining.  I can’t wait until the next book (fingers crossed that there will be a next book).

Amazon

The Sext Crime (C.Y.A. : Covert Youth Agency)

Covert Youth Agency Trailer:

Book Playlist:

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/7cs03ddRFpa6TBcRkdMloZ]

Book Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Title:  Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
ISBN: 1423119568
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Romance/YA/Mystery/Paranormal/Horror
Pages: 464
Rating:  2/5

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.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)
Book Playlist:
[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/3X2BnJWomJ8u4nGdZqDYz6]

Book Review: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Title: Juliet
Author: Anne Fortier
ISBN:  978-0345516107
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery/Treasure Hunting/Shakespeare
Pages:  464
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads: Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.

My Reveries and Ramblings: I had seen this book on B&N’s coming soon page and had to get it as soon as it was released-which I did at the end of August 2010.  This book brought me into a month long obsession with Italy.  I grilled my parents for days about our family which came from Italy.  I was secretly hoping that there was some sort of cool mystery, death, or curse or something that would allow me to go on the same kind of adventure as the protagonist, Julie, did in Juliet.  I was so disappointed when there was nothing-but I’m not giving my hopes up until I step foot in Italy and find out for myself 😉
      Juliet begins with Julie Jacobs finding out about the death of her great aunt, who raised her and her sister, Janice.  After she is told by Umberto, the butler, and her aunt’s lawyer that the estate was left for Janice, a broke Julie goes to Siena, Italy to find the family treasure that was left for her by their mother.  In college, Julie Jacobs went to Italy with a group of peace activists only to be kicked out of the country and asked to never return.  This time she enters the country as Giulietta Tolomei, her birth name.  On the plane she meets Eva Maria Salimbeni who informs her to be careful about who she tells her name to.  She begins to tell Julie, or Giulietta, about the history between their two families.  What follows is 400 pages filled with a treasure hunt for Juliet’s eyes, a gold statue with very very valuable jewels for eyes.  However, this statue is said to be located at the grave of Romeo and Juliet, which no one has seen since the black plague.  Led by only her dead mother’s notes and a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Julie sets out on a wild treasure hunt.  There is another thing-a powerful curse that all started with the Friar Lorenzo, who was the friar responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s romance all those years ago.  As he was being tortured he cursed the Tolomei (Juliet and Julie’s family) and the Salimbeni (Eva Maria’s family-and the evil man who tore Juliet and Romeo apart’s family) family.

“A plague on both your houses
You shall all perish in fire and gore
Your children forever wail under a mad moon
Till you undo your sins and kneel before the Virgin
And Giulietta wakes to behold her Romeo.”

      Of course Julie doesn’t have an easy time trying to end the curse and find the treasure- what with Alessandro Santini wanting her to stay away from him and his godmother Eva Maria.  Then when he finally befriends Julie, he starts doing some very suspicious things.  Then there’s the issue of someone on a motor cycle who keeps following her everywhere.  And to top it off, the Maestro painter who she befriends and who owns the painting of the original Juliet from all those years ago, tells her that Romeo comes to his studio almost every night to drink a glass of wine and look at the painting.  And no, he is no ghost- for ghosts don’t drink wine.
Take The Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, Romeo and Juliet, and Anne Fortier’s imagination and writing and you get Juliet, a beautiful love story spanning centuries and a treasure hunt.  This is one of my favorite books.  I opened it to skim through before writing this review and ended up rereading it completely -I did not expect to stay up until 5 AM.  And now all I want to do is go to Siena.  Having been to Italy once before (about 4 or 5 years ago) I have to say it felt like Italy, I was right there.  Not only that but I remember seeing the places that she describes in the book, which make it all the more real.
The middle chunk of the book alternates between the past and present.  The past being the “real” Romeo and Juliet in 1340.  The story is sad and tragic.  In my opinion, it’s even more tragic than the Shakespeare version.  Now many years later, their decedents are cursed and trying to break it.  But will Romeo and Juliet of today’s world find love or tragedy?
Julie Jacobs, or Giulietta was a great character.  I truly related to her.  I hated her twin sister, Janice, so much.  But eventually grew to like her.  Alessandro Santini is a hot Italian man.  He is the head of security for the local 500 yr old bank, very hot, and a tortured soul.  Who doesn’t love all that?  Plus he’s got some secrets.
I URGE you to read this book.  Juliet is a passionate tale of love, death, secrets, fate/destiny, and finding oneself.  It will have you believing that Romeo and Juliet existed and that this curse is for real-which of course both aren’t true.  You will be transported to Italy and will never want to leave. You will wish/pray/hope/beg that you can find your Romeo.  You will beseech your parents to let you go to Italy to find love and adventure.  You won’t know what to do with yourself when it ends.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Juliet

Book Trailer: 

And

Just because I think Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest (albeit tragic) love stories of all time:

Book Playlist: 

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/3FKQaWKZT88U9kbfaoi3Bq]

Book Review: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Title: Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
ISBN: 9781599905105
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Mystery/Romance
Pages: 256
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:  The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can’t, and there’s nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she’s ever experienced. When Ben reveals he’s a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she’s not the only one who can’t remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  When I first picked up this book all I knew about it was that it was a book about a girl who falls in love with a werewolf.  Which seems to be a popular plot element in most paranormal YA books along with vampires and angels.  But since I’m obsessed with love stories I picked it up anyway.  I do not regret it one bit!   It’s a short book so it didn’t take me that long to read.  The book was fast paced and heart racing.  Seriously, my heart was actually racing.  It was beating so hard I had to stop reading to calm down-that’s how suspenseful it was-especially the ending.

The story revolves around Avery Hood, whose parents were just brutally murdered.  She witnessed the murder but can’t remember it.  The only thing she remembers is a flash of silver and blood.  Haunted by nightmares and forced to live with her grandmother, Avery buries herself in the pain of losing her parents.  Strange things start happening to Avery as she tries to remember who murdered her parents- her hair starts changing color (to blood red), her love of her old home draws her into the woods, the murderer is out to remove his only witness, and a cute new student arrives at the local public high school (which Avery attends).

Ben and Avery have a seriously intense relationship.  I love it!  They can sense/feel each other’s emotions which makes it difficult to hide things.  They both know what the other is feeling.  Imagine how amazing it would be if you could feel the love and know with out a hint of doubt how much they loved you.  That’s how Avery and Ben’s relationship is.  Of course both have secrets that they keep, even ones that they don’t even know they have.

Ivy Devlin did a beautiful job with the writing.  I felt the pain that Avery felt when she mourned her parents.  She truly loved them.  She didn’t have that typical “teenager hates parents” relationship that I’ve seen in a lot of YA books.  She was close to her parents.  Also, in the book whenever the word “moon” came up, the word was printed in red-as well as the cover.  The color red was seen throughout the book, not just the typography but also in the story.  It fit perfectly with the story since red symbolizes both love and blood.

Low Red Moon was a sensational debut novel that had me flipping through the pages.  This modern day paranormal retelling of the popular Little Red Riding Hood will leave you wanting a sequel.  I really really really hope Ivy Devlin writes a sequel.  So far I haven’t read anything that says she is-but I’m hoping anyway. I give it 5/5.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Low Red Moon

Book Trailer:

Book Playlist:

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/7byKoHI1BqjJVSBUuZN8Nd]

Book Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #1
ISBN: 0373210035
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Library
Genre: Paranormal/YA/Romance/Mystery
Pages: 279
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads:  She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Kaylee is trying to make her way through high school with as few problems as possible.  Keeping a low profile at home and school is the only way to keep herself off the medication and out of the hospital.  Her uncontrollable screaming around a dying person causes her to have a hard time being normal.  After helping Kaylee stop her scream, before it happened, Nash, her swoon worthy crush, helps Kaylee learn who she really is.   Kaylee is a Bean Sidhe.  They scream, or wail, when someone dies.  Although, male Bean Sidhes hear a mournful yet beautiful song instead of a scream-but to everyone else it’s just a high pitched loud and long scream.  When girls literally start “dropping dead” Nash and Kaylee enlist the help of a Grim Reaper, Tod, to help them solve the mystery.

I felt bad for Kaylee.  She had to deal with a lot, especially with her family, before Nash stepped in and helped her.  Speaking of Nash, my goodness, if only he would sing softly to me in my ear!   I loved Nash.  He’s so down to earth.  He made Kaylee feel comfortable and not freaked out about who she was.  Tod was hilarious.  I really liked him.  It was fun reading the dialogue between Tod and Kaylee.  The mystery was good, it wasn’t that suspenseful but I still wanted to keep reading.  The end was really good!  The twist at the end took me completely by surprise.  I would recommend this book!  It was a refreshing take on the supernatural -mixed with a bit of mystery.  I give it 4/5.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)

Book Trailers:

Book Playlist:

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/1UP8LROSM5Qvp59YW2r2SR]

*Plus, Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift 

Book Review: Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Dreamfever
Author:  Karen Marie Moning
Series:  Fever #4
ISBN:  0440244404
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal/ Romance/ Mystery/Dark Fantasy
Pages: 512
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

They may have stolen my past, but I’ll never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the insatiable, immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, MacKayla Lane is caught in a deadly trap. Captured by the Fae Lord Master, she is left with no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive who can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of arcane black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds.

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle-filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient, secret sect, through the tangled lies of men who claim to be her allies into the illusory world of the Fae themselves, where nothing is as it seems—and Mac is forced to face a soul-shattering truth.

Who do you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Let me start by saying WOW!  I seriously love these books.  Karen Marie Moning is such an excellent writer and storyteller.  She left the end of Faefever with one of the worst cliffhangers I’ve ever read-well, it was at the time.  After reading Dreamfever, I was forced to change my mind and say, “Now that was the most torturous cliffhanger EVER!”  Basically anything I say will spoil what happens if you haven’t read the book so I will just ramble on and on about how much I loved it.  There were so many amazing moments and scenes in this book.  I must warn you though-make sure you buy Shadowfever with it because the cliffhanger at the end will drive you crazy-you will be dying to know what happens.  This book blew me away and I can’t wait to pick up my copy of Shadowfever tomorrow.  If you haven’t read this series then read it!  It is one of my all time favorite series.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Dreamfever (Fever, #4)

A Song from the OFFICIAL soundtrack to the Fever Series:

Book Playlist:

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/3hbPoPL1i3l2TyR4XS2ONk]

Book Review: C.Y.A.: Covert Youth Agency: The Case of Tangled Love

Title:  C.Y.A.: Covert Youth Agency: The Case of Tangled Love (Volume 1)
Author:  Jason Ancona
Series: Covert Youth Agency #1
ISBN:  145372463X
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: From Author
Genre:  Young Adult/Mystery
Pages: 258
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:  An elite group of nerds fight injustices by running a clandestine operation in high school. The C.Y.A., a.k.a. Covert Youth Agency, hacked into the digital school sign and posted their message: – – – If ever you’re in need of help and you have nowhere else to go, seek out the C.Y.A. We’re always watching and we’re here for you – – – Peter “Pi” Samuels, a fourteen-year-old sophomore, runs the shadow operation. Pi’s obsessed with the high school band’s lead violinist, who’s as beautiful as the music she plays. When she contacts the C.Y.A. to find out if her boyfriend cheated on her at a party, Pi’s objective becomes clear. Prove that her beau was unfaithful. Then maybe Pi will be the perfect shoulder to cry on. Pi schemes to destroy his love’s boy-toy, all while avoiding a deranged coach bent on exposing an untraceable geek squad for hire. The Covert Youth Agency.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Covert Youth Agency is a young adult novel about a group of young high school students who use their intelligence and individual talents to fight “crime” in school.  Peter or “Pi” is the leader of the C.Y.A. (Cover Youth Agency).  Tollhouse is the chubby yet hilarious field agent.  Lightman is the computer genius.  All three make up the C.Y.A.  In this particular case, Vera, Pi’s crush, doesn’t know whether or not her boyfriend cheated on her at a party.  She hires the C.Y.A. to find out.

This book reminded me so much of when I was younger.  I loved the pop culture references.  I really liked the songs mentioned throughout such as “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift-there is a whole scene kind of like the music video, which I consider one of my favorite scenes in the book.  Tollhouse reminded me of Chunk from The Goonies.  I could relate to each CYA member in a different way. For example, I felt for Pi because of his unrequited love and since he looked young for his age.  There were only two things I had a problem with: -1-a lot of clichés and -2- I really don’t think high school boys/guys would where Heely’s to school.  I wasn’t sure what to think of the clichés only because I thought in clichés when I was 13, 14, and 15.  The Heely’s shoes seemed more like elementary to middle school fashion-not so much high school.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  It was an easy and fun read.  It brought me back to when I thought the world would end if the guy I liked didn’t like me back.  This book was like Agent Cody Banks meets Recess meets Codename Kids Next Door.  I hope you all enjoy this book.  The next book comes out on March 1, 2011.  I will definitely continue reading the series.  I give it 3/5.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Case of Tangled Love

Book Trailer:

Book Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Title:  Faefever
Author:  Karen Marie Moning
Series:  Fever #3
ISBN:  0385341636
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: 2008
Source: Paperback
Genre:  Paranormal/Romance/Mystery/Dark Fantasy
Pages:  327
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads:  He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. 

When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it. Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

My Ramblings and Reveries: After Mac’s encounter with the Lord Master, she decides to learn how to defend herself against Voice (what the Lord Master uses to control people).  Barrons, in all his mysteriousness, agrees to help her.  Although his help is more like bullying but I guess “pot-A-to, pot-Ah-to.”  On top of that, Mac also has to deal with the other sidhe-seers attacking her, the rivalry between Vlane and Barrons, and the murders caused by the Sinsar Dubh.

Grrrr! I want to know what Barrons is- the mystery deepens in this installment.  Mac learns more about Barrons and his past, but it only raises more questions that he is unwilling to answer.  Mac also starts spending more time with Vlane, much to Barrons dismay.  During one of their meetings, Vlane tells Mac about the Lord Master (his history).  Almost every time Mac is with Vlane, Barrons appears with no warning whatsoever.  Then he storms off upset about something (hmm, I wonder).

This book was soooooo good.  And the end- what a cliffhanger! But I guess I should have seen it coming since the previous Fever books have had cliffhangers.  This one, though, was especially brutal.  What I disliked: I found some of the scenes with the other sidhe-seers annoying.  Personally, they seem to be completely unhelpful to Mac and her quest.  I don’t trust them.  This isn’t my favorite of the Fever books but I still love it.  I give it 4 Kisses 🙂

AND now for those of you who read the book, highlight the area below (Warning: spoilers):

AHHH! I don’t know what to think anymore.  I thought I was completely team Barrons but then he practically abuses Mac during the Voice lessons.  What’s with that?  Every time he did that I became sooooo angry with him and was shocked!  I thought he liked her (not showing it but deep down in side).  And then Vlane comes in and is helpful, sexy, and patient with Mac and doesn’t force her to do anything.  It’s just so frustrating.  (at least I own Dreamfever now so as soon as break starts-2 weeks, I can read it!)  That ending!!!!!!!!  This is what was running through my head at the very very end:  “WHAT?!?!?!? NOOOOO!  NO NO NO NO NO !! Where’s Barrons? Where’s Vlane?”

It was almost too much- in terms cliffhanger endings.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Faefever (Fever, #3)

A really good music video (Barrons in this video is how I pictured him):

Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title:  Soulless
Author:  Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
ISBN:  0316056634
Publisher:  Orbit
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Kindle
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Paranormal / Historical Romance / Mystery
Pages:  373
Rating:  5/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as “a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” At the center of Soulless‘s “parasol protectorate” is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

My Reveries and Ramblings: Alexia Tarabotti is the daughter of an Italian-making her tan, assertive, big-nosed, and curvy.  Unlike her mother and half sisters, she also happens to be soulless (the preferred term being preternatural).  After being attacked by a vampire, Alexia is forced to uncover the mystery behind recent vampire and werewolf disappearances.  In doing so, her relationship with the alpha of the London werewolves, Lord Maccon, intensifies in every way.

I loved this book.  Gail Carriger does a fantastic job twisting the paranormal into steampunk Victorian England.  This satire is filled with great characters, an interesting plot, and lots and lots of tea.  The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti was born a preternatural, or without a soul.  By simply touching a vampire or werewolf, she can rid them of their supernatural abilities, or turn them human.  This only works if she is physically touching them; as soon as she removes her touch, they are back to their supernatural state.  Lord Maccon arrives right after Alexia kills her attacker with her parasol.  He is a Scottish alpha werewolf who finds Alexia to be a pain in his-well, you know what I mean.  Lord Maccon grows deeper feelings for Alexia-or rather, he comes to realize his deeper feelings for her throughout the first half of the novel.  He is accompanied by his Beta, Prof. Lyall.  Even though Prof. Lyall is a werewolf, he is the opposite of Lord Maccon.  Where Lord Maccon is rude, primal, and a bit wild, Prof. Lyall is well-mannered, civilized, and tame.   I loved Lord Maccon.  I really enjoyed reading the banter between him and Alexia.

The story is set in 19th century (steampunk) Victorian England.  This novel had me laughing out loud.  Alexia, like everyone else at that time, is obsessed with manners and proper etiquette.  To her, the end of the world would occur when it ran out of tea.  However, she does realize the absurdity of her family and how they judge others.  Alexia’s family reminded me so much of the Bennet family in Pride and Prejudice.  There were also some similarities between Alexia and Elizabeth, not tons, but definitely some.

I would highly recommend this book.  Warning: there is a sex scene, kissing, some nudity, and a bit of blood.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

Book Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Darkfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever (#1)
ISBN: 0385339151
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: 2006
Source: Library
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Mystery/Paranormal Romance / Fantasy
Pages: 309
Rating: 5/5

From Goodreads: MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Mackayla Lane goes to Ireland to find her sister’s murderer.  She ends up living in a bookstore with Jericho Barrons, helping him find a powerful book.  To make matters worse, she confronted by a “death-by-sex” Fae, Vlane, who adds humiliation to her emotional ride abroad.

I loved this book.  It had everything: action, mystery, paranormal, and even a little bit of romance…a little bit….more like a hint of a possible romance.  There were moments that had me laughing out loud.  The contrast between Mac and Barrons made their relationship much more interesting to read.  The bickering that went on between the two of them was hilarious.  I just wish that the hint of romance would have turned into something more.  Hopefully in the following books, their relationship will grow.

The action was thrilling and suspenseful.  I read the book in one day-I couldn’t stop reading. I absolutely LOVED it.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Darkfever (Fever, #1)

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/121171848/playlist/1eZA1UqZ6iQ8TomNuoraey](also, Possibility by Lykke Li)