Book Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

10429015Title: Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Series: Cold Kiss #1
ISBN: 9780061996221
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date:  September 2011
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Rating:  2/5

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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Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1)

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Book Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

7740152Title: Torment
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #2
ISBN: 978-0385739153
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub. Date:  June 2011
Source: Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Young Adult/ Fantasy
Pages: 464
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:   Hell on earth.
That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts – immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something – something dangerous. What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series…where love never dies.

My Reveries and Ramblings: Torment is one of those “in-between” books. You know, the kind of book where you LOVED the first and third one but the second is just eh. Well, I haven’t yet read book 3. But I’m really hoping I’m right.
I read Torment when it first came out. I didn’t like it very much. So it stayed on my to-be-reviewed shelf for a few years because I really didn’t want to sit and talk about a book that wasn’t that great. However, recently I picked it back up, wanting to get back into the Daniel and Luce story. And I found myself flipping through the pages rather quickly–stopping when I couldn’t stand what certain characters were doing–then picking it right back up again after popping some chocolate chips into my mouth.
Fallen (book #1) centered on the insta-love of Daniel and Luce. Book # 2 goes a bit deeper and has Luce questioning whether or not she trusts the mysterious Daniel, who has sent her away to keep her safe. In the process of trying to figure out who she is and was, she meets and befriends a whole bunch of really awesome people (Miles, Shelby, and a bunch of other angels, nephilim, and demons).
So I’m not going to lie, Daniel and Luce have a LOT of problems, starting with their ever-present and growing trust issues. Daniel spends most of the book trying to stay away from Luce only to fail and visit her while refusing to tell her anything useful other than “I love you.” and “You can’t do that.” Meanwhile, Luce is falling apart. She’s having a major identity crisis, which fuels her fights with Daniel. All the while, she is searching for anything that could help jog her memory of the past.
While I definitely related to Luce, I had a hard time accepting some of Luce’s decisions. It was so obvious what was going on, why she needed to be protected. But she just kept breaking the rules. Daniel, too. He was all “I love you!” but then when asked even a tiny question about what was happening, he was all brooding and distant. Come on!
Even though I wanted to strangle certain characters in this book, I still liked it and was able to finish it (with interruptions) in a day. I will FOR SURE be reading the 3rd book in the series.

 

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Torment (Fallen, #2)

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Book Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel

3975774Title: Evermore
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: The Immortals #1
ISBN: 9780312532758
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: February 2009
Source: Library
Genre: Paranormal Romance/YA
Pages: 306
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:   Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste . . .  Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.
My Reveries and Ramblings:  I first read Evermore over a year ago. I recently re-read it to write this review. I feel the same way now as I did last year: I liked it, but nothing really popped out at me. I’m not sure why but lately I find that I get very annoyed with the I-just-met-you,-now-I’m-in-love theme that is so popular among YA books. It doesn’t really happen that way in real life. This book had that, even though Ever does try to avoid Damen. That was pretty much the main issue I had with Evermore.
What I did like though was Ever’s friend Miles. He reminded me of one of my best friends. They could be the same person. I also really liked Ever’s ability to read auras. I would LOVE to have some ability like that. I just wanted to scream at her when she was trying to block it out and refused to get help, especially when she had multiple chances to harness it. I felt like I spent the majority of the book mentally yelling at her. She kept making one bad or selfish decision after another; and it drove me crazy!
Now onto Damen. As the love interest, he wasn’t very swoonworthy. Maybe I’ve just read to many Twilight-esque books (don’t get me wrong I love Twilight…), but I’m seriously getting tired of the same old same old. Perfect guy with no real flaws swoops in and spends his days pining over the girl (but not in a pathetic way). He was sweet and of course, drop-dead-gorgeous but I found his “mysterious” actions to be very predictable. Also, I really wish he had more personality. Hopefully in the next books his character is explored more.
Even though I had some issues with the book, I still liked it. It’s about past lives! That’s enough to get me to like pretty much any book. I will continue to read the series (hopefully they do get better). The last book or two look really good. I give it 3 kisses.

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Evermore (The Immortals, #1)

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Book Review: Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

9935444Title: Torrent
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Series: River of Time #3
ISBN: 978-1434764294
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: September 2011
Source: Publisher/Author
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance/Christian Fiction
Pages: 388
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:  When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series. 

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times. But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Right now, there are 2 types of people in the world: 1) those who have read The River of Time series and 2) those who have never read it. If you are in that second group, then please do, these books are epic.

(SPOILER ALERT=some spoilers)
Okay, now for those of you in that first group, get ready to feel like you will burst from all of the emotional energy you will have while reading this book. It is pure epicness.
Even though the central goal in the beginning is to get Fortino back. That is just a small battle in the whole war. Actually this book made me realize how big this really was. In Waterfall, we aren’t really aware of just how high the stakes are raised, everything is tense, but life does go on. In Cascade, we are made aware of the waging war, but it still doesn’t hit us. It’s not until book three, Torrent, that we fully acknowledge the scale.
In Waterfall, Gabi is brought into the past, unprepared, and even a bit naive (not much though). Throughout Waterfall and Cascade she learns that in order to survive and protect the ones she loves, she has to make choices and sacrifices. Almost every one of them are not easy. Most are dangerous and life threatening. But through all these experiences she learns that life is short, and is meant to be lived. Gabi is tested, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In Torrent, Gabi starts to feel the stress from everything she has done. All the exertion, all the fighting, everything pushes her to her limits.
What I love most about this series is Ms. Bergren’s ability to really pull the reader into the book. Every chapter had me screaming, crying, smiling, and jumping out of my seat. I started this book while on a plane and I think the kid sitting next to me thought I was crazy. I was so into this book that I completely forgot where I was and started tearing up, making exclamations out loud, and moving around in my seat when the energy from all the suspense was too much to take sitting still. There were so many of these moments throughout the book, that it never lags. The pace is perfect!
Another reason why I love this series, is the characters. All the characters grow and change throughout the books. As a reader, we are only keyed into Gabi’s thoughts and feelings. Like every normal teenager, she is constantly questioning everything: her faith, her relationships, her morals, etc. Ms. Bergren takes the reader on the adventure with Gabi, which is so cool!
The Plot: Ms. Bergren doesn’t disappoint at all. After reading Waterfall, I had no clue how Cascade would hold up. Well, it exceeded all my expectations and more. Then, I began to feel the same about Torrent. How would this epic series end? With a bang? Or with disappointment? I was seriously hoping to love the ending. And….I DID! I was constantly left guessing what would happen next; Torrent was completely unpredictable. In fact, when books get too suspenseful, I usually end up sneaking a peak at the end (please don’t yell at me!). It took everything, and I mean everything, I had not to do this. I love this series too much, to ruin it for myself.
The action, was a huge bonus in this book. Seriously, it is action-packed up until the very end. I’m not exaggerating. Just when you think its all over, its not. Which is GREAT!
Now onto our swoon-worthy heroes.
Dear Marcello, ahhh, my love. I love him! I do, but about half-way through, I decided to accept the fact that Marcello and Gabi were made for each other. So my sights moved onto Greco. Oh My Gosh! Lord Greco is now my favorite swoon-worthy Italian man in this series. He completely shocked me with his loyalty. I didn’t really like him in Cascade, but I loved him in Torrent. And now I’m gushing just thinking about him. Ahhh.
Ms. Bergren, you are my hero! I love this series. In fact, the second I finished Torrent, I said “This series is better than Twilight!” (Please Twi-hards, don’t kill me!) I love Twilight, but the writing, plot, characters, and setting of The River of Time series were all so much better. This series is definitely one of my favorite series EVER. I can’t recommend this these books enough! It deserves 5 BILLION Kisses!

BIG Thank-you to Ms. Bergren and David C. Cook for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Torrent (River of Time, #3)

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Book Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

10118172Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Spellbound #1
ISBN: 9780373210305
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: June 2011
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Romance/ Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death?  Life hasn’t been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she’s irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can’t stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma’s been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

My Reveries and Ramblings: Oh. My. Goodness. This book seriously surprised me. Going into it, all I knew was that it was a YA paranormal romance. Boy, was I amazed to discover there was so much more. For starters, Cara Lynn Schultz successfully wrote from a teenager’s perspective. I never once cringed at the language used. (Don’t you hate it when a YA author starts throwing around the word “Yo”). Actually, I really enjoyed Emma’s voice. She was nice, funny, and completely relatable. She has insecurities, like every teenager. She worries about her hair, if she will fit in, and what Brendan thinks of her. Also, Emma is not a push over. Especially when it comes to the kids at school who constantly gossip about her. Cue the jerk: Anthony. He just makes Emma’s life a living hell at school (and outside it). At first its just a matter of ego, but it soon turns into something much more dangerous. As the story progresses, Anthony’s darker side surfaces. He is seriously insane. By the end, I was scared of him.

The second thing that literally brought this book up a full kiss was the fact that it a) has a tragic love story for a base; b) involves soul mates; and c) involves past lives/reincarnation. As you know, I love books that contain even just one of those. But this one contained all three! The tragic love story: Emma and Brendan are cursed to fall in love over and over again only to be torn apart by an untimely death. Something is different this time around. They might have a shot at breaking the curse. If they don’t hurry, it could all end, once again.
Poor Emma. In every life she is born poor. This one was especially brutal for her. After her mom and brother die, she lives with her step-father who would rather drink and abuse her then man-up and be a father for her. After getting into a DWI accident with Emma in the car (she gets injured), Emma escapes to her aunt’s home in NYC. Going to the exclusive Vince Academy has Emma feeling even more of an outsider with all the rich students (think Gossip Girl).
Yes, it does have a HEA. But, you know, it was still a lot of fun to read. The ending was suspenseful. The romance was lovely. And Brendan was just soooo cute. You can’t see me, but I’m crossing my fingers hoping there will be a sequel.

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Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)

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Book Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

9284655Title: Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
ISBN: 978-1402784033
Publisher: Splinter
Pub. Date: January 11, 2011
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Romance
Pages: 448
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Tiger’s Curse begins with Kelsey starting her new job at a visiting circus. While working, she becomes attached to one of the animals, a very tame white tiger. When Kelsey is given the opportunity to help transport the tiger back to India, she readily accepts. Once she arrives in India, she finds out that the tiger, Ren, isn’t really a tiger, but a cursed prince. The real reason she was tricked to escort the tiger was to help break the curse. What follows is a journey filled with love, friendship, heartache, magic, and adventure.
Tiger’s Curse is such a refreshing YA novel. I have yet to come across a novel for teens that takes place in India. The romance was just so beautiful. It was touching and very real. It felt very natural. Although Kelsey’s inability to make the, ahem, correct decisions at the end made me angry. I could go on an on and on about the awesomeness of their relationship and how devoted Ren was to her. It was so cute! I had a big smile on my face for 2/3 of the book. The other third was when Kelsey had her nightmare (which by the way, I was freaking out, I felt like I was in the nightmare-scary!) and the few chapters when Kelsey was acting irrational.
I absolutely loved every moment of this Indian adventure. There was so much going on. Ms. Houck kept throwing complicated Indian names and myths/legends around, but they all made sense later. The only problem I had was with Kelsey-specifically at the end, but I think I ranted enough about her. I did love her optimism, though. Her ability to compartmentalize was astounding. I wish I could do it that well.
The only problem I had with the whole book was that the quest was too easy. Yes, there was a lot of traveling. But, whenever they needed something, it somehow appeared. I never felt that life and death urgency. It was more like well-even-though-we’re-camping-since-you’re-a-tiger-you-can-run-a-few-miles-back-and-get-us-some-food type feeling. The only time when I was actually nervous or scared for the characters was towards the end when they were attacked by the kappas. However, even though this was something I had to overlook, I really loved this book. Kelsey’s narration was funny and interesting to read. My favorite aspect of this book was the romance. The sweetness of it, just made my heart ache. I borrowed this book from the library. But I’m having pre-separation anxiety about it. I’m probably going to buy the book so I can re-read my favorite parts. While I’m out, I might as well buy the second book Tiger’s Quest-because i can’t just leave the series as is. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves re-tellings, traveling, quests, and a rich and beautiful romance.

<<SPOILER ALERT-RANT-highlight to read>>
Oh My Goodness!!! I could just kill Kelsey for what she did. Doesn’t she realize how lucky she is?! Ren loves her so much and she just leaves?!?! I would have done the exact opposite if I were put into the book. Ren’s just too good to pass up. I wish I had a guy like Ren. A guy who’s passionate, straight-forward, strong, confident, sweet, charming, and a prince all rolled into one package. Seriously, a girl couldn’t ask for more. But nooooo, Kelsey just throws it all away because she’s scared. I mean, I did understand why she did what she did; but at the same time I also didn’t like her decision. She most definitely made the wrong one.

 

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Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)

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(I took many of the songs from the official Tiger’s Curse Playlist mostly because I listened to that while I read the book).

Book Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

6882274Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
Series: The Mockingbirds #1
ISBN: 978-0316090537
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: November 2, 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction / Contemporary
Pages: 339
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way–the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds–a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.
In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl’s struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone–especially yourself–you fight for it.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  The Mockingbirds is about date rape. The story begins with Alex waking up naked in Carter’s room with no memory of what happened the previous night. With her friends’ help, she goes to The Mockingbirds, a secret student run police force. The Mockingbirds are The Law amongst the students. In addition to taking Alex’s case on, they help protect her from Carter.
Alex begins the story a victim of a terrible crime. Over the course of the book, she slowly regains power over her life. She even acknowledges the fact that she’s letting the rape take over her life. Her schedule, eating habits, and personal life were all dictated by Carter. The Mockingbirds helped her get over all of that.
Martin, a member of the Mockingbirds, really helped Alex. Even though he somewhat blamed himself for what happened to Alex. Actually, many of Alex’s friends blamed themselves for what happened to her, even though it was no one’s fault but Carter’s. Martin was so sweet. I really liked how the romance in this book wasn’t overpowering. The rape and Alex’s transformation were the main points in the plot. The romance was more of a compliment to the story; it wasn’t necessary but at the same time it was much appreciated. Of course, their relationship wasn’t easy. Alex was raped, so its only natural for her to be hesitant about having a relationship with a guy. However, since Martin and Alex were good friends before she was raped, it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been if he was just some guy that asked her out.
The Mockingbirds was so wonderfully written! The dialogue was never awkward or choppy; it flowed nicely. The plot was well developed and it too was well paced. My favorite part, though, was not the plot but the actual writing. Ms. Whitney’s own experience clearly influenced her writing. By writing The Mockingbirds through Alex’s point of view, the reader can feel what Alex feels on a much more personal level than if she had written it in 3rd person. Ms. Whitney also uses quotes and draws inspiration from To Kill a Mockingbird. After reading The Mockingbirds, I want to go back and re-read To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Mockingbirds is a thought provoking novel involving rape and a girl’s decision to take a stand. I was reluctant to read it at first, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of serious books. I read to get away from all that. But I couldn’t help the fact that almost every review I read praised the book to the point where I said, “I might as well…” So far I’ve read the book twice, and loved it both times.

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The Mockingbirds (The Mockingbirds, #1)

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Book Review: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

9368401Title: Cascade
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Series: The River of Time #2
ISBN: 978-1434764317
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Author
Genre: YA/ Historical Romance/Time-Travel
Pages: 416
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads: Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.  But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  If you haven’t read Waterfall, the first book in the River of Time series, then I urge you, nay, kick you to the bookstore to buy, yes, you heard me right; buy Waterfall because it is so worth it! Now, stop reading because this review will spoil the end of Waterfall for you.
When my package (Cascade) came in the mail, I screamed and ripped it open. I beheld a signed copy of Cascade with signed bookmarks (Thank you, Lisa Bergren!) Apparently all the noise I was making alarmed my family. When they walked in the room asking me what was wrong, they found me jumping up and down repeating “yes yes YES! AHHHH, I’m so happy!” They just looked at me shaking their heads, probably flashing back at the last time this happened (during my Twilight phase).
EPIC. That was the first word that came to mind when I finished Cascade. I didn’t think it was possible to love a book more than I loved Waterfall, but Ms. Bergren proved me wrong. This book was even better than Waterfall. The stakes were raised even higher in this installment. Gabi and Marcello are forced to really think about the direction of their relationship. For Gabi to stay in the past, she would have to force her family to stay with her. She would also have to start thinking about marriage-people got married at a much younger age back then (they also died earlier). When the three Betarrini women travel back in time, they find themselves in the middle of a war. No one is safe; especially the “She-wolves of Siena.” Gabi and Lia are confronted with numerous obstacles in this sequel. The enemies of Siena are constantly hunting them. As a source of hope for the people of Siena, Marcello and Luca, the girls must survive. I’m going to stop talking about the plot here, because there is just too much that happens and I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just know that there are three things the girls are up against: 1) The plague, 2) the war, and 3) the choice to either go back to the present or stay in the past.
Okay, now for my gushing! I. Love. Marcello. I might have said that in my Waterfall review, but I don’t care. It’s true! Ms. Bergren created a hero that is charming, swoon-worthy, and…..Italian! All my favorite scenes involved Marcello. Ahhh, I’m smiling just thinking about him. Ms. Bergren did add a new potential swoon-worthy guy, Lord Greco. His status in the book is a bit complicated, so I’ll just say this: YUM! Yep, he has the whole Ash (from the Iron Fey series) attitude. He’s goal-oriented, sly, and is more than meets the eye. He is charged with capturing the Betarrini women. After accepting the task, he finds out that this is much harder than it seems.
Cascade was exhilarating! The story never stalled. I was constantly turning the page wondering what happened next. Whenever Gabi overcame one obstacle, there were two more waiting for her on the next page. Just when I thought “Thank God they made it!” the suspense comes creeping back. Usually authors have an action scene then a relationship scene. Ms. Bergren effortlessly blends the two together. The reader feels the urgency the characters are feeling, throughout the book. This made me feel like I was a part of the story; like I was right there in the battlefield/forest. This sequel was much more emotional than Waterfall. Ms. Bergren was not afraid to kill off characters. Gabi, as well as Lia and their mother, had to deal with death at a much closer and bloody level. They begin to realize how tragic and dangerous this war is. They have a responsibility towards the people of Siena whether they like it or not. Whatever Gabi felt, I felt. I could feel her pain and sadness over each death. War is so tragic; it was heartbreaking to read it through Gabi’s POV.
I couldn’t put the book down! The only problem was that it ended. Ms. Bergren took me on an exciting adventure that I will never forget! WARNING: Don’t read the book in a public place unless your are fine with being stared at. I read Cascade on the train. Every time something really great happened I wanted to jump up and down. Every time something tragic or sad happened I wanted to scream or cry. Of course stifling my laughter by coughing doesn’t really work because my “coughs” sounded more like cackles. When I finished it (on the train) it took EVERYTHING I had to calmly shut the book. I wanted to dance and run around yelling “THAT WAS AMAZING! WHY DID IT HAVE TO END?!?!?!?!” But instead I fidgeted in my little window-seat replaying my favorite scenes and thinking about how far away the release date for Torrent is.

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Cascade (River of Time, #2)

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Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

6644117Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
ISBN: 9780373210084
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub. Date: January 26, 2010
Source: Kindle
Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:  Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 

My Reveries and Ramblings: I first read The Iron King a year ago, before I even knew book blogs existed; before I was really into reading.  This book shocked me with its amazing-ness (yes, I’m well aware that this is not a real word-but oh well).  I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did.  Since then, I’ve read this book at least 5 times.  I LOVE IT!   Not only did I love it, but my sister (who is extremely picky when it comes to books and almost never reads) loved it too.
The story begins with the protagonist, Meghan Chase, making it through high school.  So far, she’s had a pretty rough life.  Her father disappeared/left when she was younger; her mother remarried and had a baby, Ethan.  Her family is dirt poor, she is underappreciated, and is the loser at school.  The only bright spots in her life are her best friend Robbie and her younger brother Ethan.  On her sixteenth birthday, Ethan is kidnapped and replaced with  a changeling.  With Robbie’s help, Meghan ventures into a world filled with faeries and other creatures to rescue her brother.  What was supposed to be just an ordinary rescue mission turns into something much more.  Meghan learns the truth about her birth, her family, and who she really is.
<<SPOILTER ALERT-START>>
Meghan Chase is such a great character.  She’s not really talented at anything; however, she is a good person and a very strong character.  She risks everything to save her brother.  When she meets Ash, the winter prince, he is puzzled at how she allows her emotions to influence her decisions.  Through the course of the book, Meghan learns that she can make a difference; that she isn’t invisible; that she is wanted.  She also grows up (through all three books).
Ash, the Winter prince, is just sooooooo hot.  (Note-the sidebar on the left has my Team Ash button!!!)  Seriously, every time he walks into the room/scene I get butterflies.  I just love him.  You’d think after having read this book so many times, that would go away-it does not.  When I re-read The Iron King last week, I was just giddy the entire time.  By the way my absolute favorite line of his is: “Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles and put them in a jar.  Understand?”  Ha ha.  When I first read that line I laughed so hard.  But in all seriousness, Ash is a very quiet and calculating character.  He never lets his emotions show.  The thinks rationally; well, at least he did until Meghan entered his life.  Over the course of the book Meghan and Ash have a TON of obstacles they have to overcome.  It definitely doesn’t help that Ash and Robbie are out to kill each other.
Robbie, Meghan’s best friend, is actually Puck from the Summer Court.  He was ordered to protect Meghan Chase and keep her from discovering the truth.  Well, its safe to say, he failed.  But it was all for love.  He is so very weak when it comes to Megan.  Its kind of cute, but still, I like Ash better.  However, Puck is just so funny.  Almost anything he does or says gets me on the floor in tears.  Even though I am completely Team Ash, I feel bad for Puck.  He really does deserve to fall in love.
<<SPOILER ALERT-END>>>
Ms. Kagawa fills her novel with fantastic characters, including a sharp-talking cat.  I love every one of them.  Ms. Kagawa’s imagination is so vast and vibrant.  Her world is amazing.  I was pulled in, just like Meghan, and was taken on a journey, one that I will most likely never forget.  Think Alice and Wonderland meets A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.  I highly recommend this book (series) to anyone who loves YA/romance/ supernatural books.  If you do, you’re going to love this!

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The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

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Book Review: Abithica by Susan Goldsmith

11050827Title: Abithica
Author: Susan Goldsmith
Series: Abithica #1
ISBN: B004WOYNGC
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Pub. Date: April 2011
Source: received an ebook arc copy from the author

Genre: Supernatural/Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal/Paranormal Romance/YA
Pages: 287
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads:  What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter? Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?

My Reveries and Ramblings: Abithica is the story of a spirit/being/whatever you want to call her for right now(not giving anything away) who is thrust into people’s bodies taking over their lives.  She stays with her host until she has completed whatever needed to be done.  She sees her predicament as a punishment from God.  She sees herself as a parasite or demon.
The book opens in Arizona with Sydney collapsing into her food at a restaurant because the spirit being mentioned (in the previous paragraph) has just entered her body.  As Sydney, the spirit starts trying to improve her life starting with Sydney’s damaged relationship with her mother, Faith.  At first “new” Sydney is having a hard time because the real Sydney is being resistant.  During a trip to Faith’s work (at the mall), Sydney meets Lane and his much younger sister, Shae.  It’s love at first sight for “new” Sydney and Lane.  However, “new” Sydney is very resistant because she doesn’t want to hurt him when she leaves Sydney’s body.  Also, she is scared of falling too hard because she knows it will all be ripped from her.  Besides the romance, there is also an element of danger from the gang that Sydney belongs to, the Legnas.  They are a dangerous gang that brands their members and like to kill, a lot.
Abithica takes the reader on a journey with the protagonist as she discovers who and what she is.  She discovers her real name at the end.  Poor girl.  Every time she forced into a new body she forgets most of what happened before.  However, the one thing she does know is that she wants to fall in love and stay that way.  That is her greatest wish/dream.  This is impossible, though.  To prevent herself from getting hurt she decided that she would never get attached.  Of course Lane changed that.
Lane is just * gush * amazing!  He knows there’s something different about Sydney as soon as he meets her (I’m talking about “new” Sydney).  No matter how many times she pushes him away he comes back even stronger and more cling-y (in a good way).    He loves her so much.  The most beautiful aspect of their love is the fact that he loves who the “new” Sydney is-meaning he loves the spirit inhabiting Sydney.  (Yes, I know, it sounds confusing on paper, but it really isn’t).
The novel contains many other great characters.  Among them are Shae, Lane’s adorable little sister; Faith, Sydney’s shoe obsessed mother; the ever helpful Father Gabe; and Marge, a saint-like doctor.
When I started Abithica, I was enjoying it.  But about half-way through, OMG! I was hooked.  There were moments where I was screaming at my computer screen (ebook), yelling at the characters.  Then there were moments where I was on the verge of tears.  The protagonist’s voice easy to read.  I felt a connection with her-there were moments where I could completely relate to her.  Mrs. Goldsmith did an awesome job with the writing.  Even when she wrote through Shae’s POV, it was readable at the same time as sounding like a little girl.
Now, even though I really really liked this book, there were a few things that just didn’t click with me.  I didn’t like reading the Legnas parts of the book-but I think this is just a matter of personal taste.  I never like reading the antagonist’s POV in any book.  Also, Lane annoyed me in the beginning.  He was talking about marriage very VERY early on in their relationship- they had only gone out a few times together.  But, of course, I was able to come to terms with it, and even accept it later on in the book.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to all who love a good romance.  Yes, it is Christian Lit., but it’s not overwhelming (which is good).  Also, I seriously read the last 50 pages four times-it was just too fantastic to not reread! I can’t wait until the sequel.

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Abithica