Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Grave Mercy" by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 549

From Goodreads: "Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?"

My first impression of this book when I held it in my hands was, "Whoa, this is a BIG book"- and it is, clocking in at over 500 pages (549 to be exact). While in the past I was quite hesitant to read a book of this magnitude (I mean, why read a single book which was 500 pages, when you could read two or three 200 page books), I wasn't in this case thanks to Veronica Roth's "Divergent", which was also of a similar page number. I thought that like Veronica's book I would fly through this book, be captivated the entire time, and the whole nine yards, however, I must admit that this book didn't fly by as much as I was hoping for, primarily because of the political intrigue that was marketed so much? I didn't find it all that intriguing. I wish that either the writing had been more succinct- eliminating much of this aspect of the storyline (I think that in doing this the book would have been shortened by at least 200 pages), or that the romance aspect of the storyline had played a larger role (what can I say? I am a hopeless romantic. I think that a romance can make even the worst of books tolerable). 

That being said, I enjoyed each and every character of this book, even the villains, which I believe is a testament to Robin's talents- as I can recall very few villains that I have actually liked over the years (Snape from the "Harry Potter" series, Valentine from "The Mortal Instruments" and Warner from "Shatter Me"). Why I enjoyed each character because I found them to be so finely crafted- from Ismae, who was able to prove her worth over and over again to those who doubted her over the years (and who looked pretty bad-ass while doing so, RE: the small crossbow), to Duval, a person who despite his somewhat prickly exterior has a heart of gold, to Anna, who never let her age deter her from what had to be done, to Beast and DeLornay, who brought much needed comedic relief (and in the case of DeLornay, swoon) to the book.

All in all, if I had to sum up this book in a few words I would describe it as being "The Game of Thrones" meets Tamora Pierce's "Trickster's Choice" series- I think that fans of either series will gobble this book up in a heartbeat and promptly ask for seconds. I think that Robin has a real knack for writing YA and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us with"Dark Triumph" (and I don't know about y'all, but I am really hoping that the knight that Sybella has to rescue is Beast).  

Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Beta"
Author: Rachel Cohn
Release Date: October 16, 2012

From Goodreads: "In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive."

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Croak" by Gina Damico

Release Date: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Thomas Allen and Son)
Pages: 311

From Goodreads: "Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?"

I must admit that prior to reading this book I thought hat it would be a more serious take on the paranormal, not unlike Lilith St. Crow's "Strange Angels" series- however, it was anything but. If I had to describe this book I would say that it reads like how Stephanie Perkins (author of "Anna and the French Kiss" and "Lola and the Boy Next Door") would write a paranormal (or how I imagine she would)- an intentionally humorous book chock full of fun and feisty paranormal beings. 

While I did enjoy the humor of the book (I can't recall ever having rolled my eyes at it, finding it to be too cheesy/ overdone, something I admittedly do quite often), I did find myself rolling my eyes at Lex on multiple occasions primarily because I found her to be a bit too feisty/ quick on the draw with her "Look-at-me-the-wrong-way-and-I-will-beat-you-to-a-pulp-while-a-smile-adorns-my-face-the-entire-time" attitude. During many of these times she didn't feel real to me- she almost felt like a parody of a 'tough chick' character or that she had an impenetrable wall built up around her. While the circumstances surrounding the end of this book were quite sad I must admit that I liked seeing said wall come down, letting us see the real Lex.

Furthermore, I also had a bit of a problem with the villain. I not only wish that they had been less obvious, but that they had been more developed/ complex (in fact, now that I think about it, I believe them to be one of the least developed characters in the book).

That being said, I LOVED the additional secondary characters of this book- from Uncle Mort to Driggs (seriously, all of the awkwardness between Driggs and Lex made my heart SO HAPPY), to the rest of the junior reaper gang. Each of them had well developed personalities, helped to perpetuate the storyline (unlike with other books where the secondary characters, especially the best friend characters, are just there for the sake of being there), and were people I'd like to know in real life.

All in all, I think that if Lilith St. Crow's "Strange Angels" series, Rachel Vincent's "Soul Screamers" series and a little dash of Stephanie Perkins books were to have a baby, this book would be the result. Despite my complaints I eagerly away to see what the next book in the series, "Scorched", has in store for us!

Rating: 8/10

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review. 

Memorable lines from the book: 

"Tyrannosaurus Lex, as they called her, was an equal opportunity predator" (1%). 

"She wished, as almost all kids wish at one point or another, that she could turn into a pterodactyl and fly away and never come back" (3%). 

"You know, on most planets, guardians feed their kids three meals a day." 
"The seems excessive" (22%). 

"You guys are best friends?"
"We prefer the term heterosexual life mates" (31%). 

"Lex, in the space of two months, you've punched me in the face, kicked in the nuts, and permanently demolished my kidneys. You really think I believe you need my protection?" (85%)  

"Why did you just kiss my ear?" 
"Because you turned your head." 
"I thought that the tree... moved." 
"Do you mind if I try again?" (86%). 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: The Thomas Allen and Son Edition

To support my fellow Canadian bloggers I have decided to participate in Stacking the Shelves created by Tygna over at Tygna's Reviews. As Tygna, the creator of this new feature (which was inspired by The Story Siren's IMM), writes, "Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!" 

For Review
  • by
  • by

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On My Wishlist


On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

"Pearl" by Jo Knowles

From Goodreads: "Bean (née Pearl) and Henry, misfits and best friends, have the strangest mothers in town. Henry’s mom Sally never leaves the house. Bean’s mom Lexie, if she is home, is likely nursing a hangover or venting to her friend Claire about Bean’s beloved grandfather Gus, the third member of their sunny household. 

Gus’s death unleashes a host of family secrets that brings them all together. And they threaten to change everything—including Bean’s relationship with Henry, her first friend, and who also might turn out to be her first love."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: Author Bryan Dull

My Cursed Mind

So a vampire, a zombie, a sociopath, a psychopathic wife, and an angel entered my mind; one after another.  This happened in a matter of weeks and I couldn’t sleep because of it.  I knew my path that I was probably going to take with my writing and I can’t write as fast as I can think.  It was also frustrating because it potentially became the reason for my insomnia.  Then something happened.

I couldn’t think of anything else.  Not in an obsessive kind of way where I was narcissistic, but the fact that my mind might run out of ideas for stories is what I feared.  I know that this will probably change after a while, but I had a fear enter my mind; if I don’t come up with more stories, am I not a writer or is that something that I will always be based on my writings that are already published?

From Goodreads: "In Gavin Moxley's world, there is not a thin line between right and wrong. In a personal crusade to help severe a line of disease carried by a clan of vampires that are purposely infecting the human population; Gavin has no choice but to be ruthless. Waiting for the infection to start within the person, Gavin executes them one by one. Gavin is not strong or powerful, so finding the persons before they turn into full vampires is ideal.

This is Gavin's life, and nothing has changed it until a young half breed vampire, Solstice, attaches herself to Gavin. Asking for help and protection, Gavin unwillingly takes Solstice and agrees to protection for information leading to whereabouts of others that are infected.

Solstice's existence leads to a dangerous game of cat and mouse. There is no where safe for either of them as they are consistently being hunted. Solstice is a rare breed and is wanted for her "ability".

For Gavin, the past is not always forgotten. During their outing, Gavin starts coming to terms about his past and his family. His faith and humanity is tested during the turmoil that ensues.

"Solstice" is a story about faith and love in a way that is completely unconventional. Torn between his hate and his love for Solstice he is thrown into a moral dilemma that only he can figure out." 


The pain was as unbearable as she thought and the let out a soft cry, at least she thought she did.  She could not scream or even talk anymore and any chance of her getting help has died along with her.  The mother’s last breath was coming and with the last breath she heard a whimper next to her telling her that she was sorry and didn’t mean to hurt her mommy.

The mother’s eyes filled with tears and with her last breath she told her,” I know, and mommy loves you.”  Her mouth was moving but no sound came out.  Her own daughter could not hear her mother’s voice.  As she was dying she watched her daughter walk out of the wreckage with the policeman’s coat and hat, walking with bandages covering her feet to keep them protected.  ”My smart little girl,” she thought.  Her daughter turned around with the sunlight behind her head and cracked a small smile with the right side of her face. 

About the Author: 

Bryan W. Dull has told and written stories most of his life; "Solstice" is his first published work. Dull has a unique perspective on life that puts his writings in a class by themselves. Other works he has created have been praised but never published. He currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his family. Dull has lived in Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina; which is where Solstice takes place.   

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 480

From Goodreads: "In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for."

I have read a number of reviews where people have stated that this book has been their most favourite of 2012- unfortunately I am not amongst those people. That is not to say that this is a bad book- far from it! In fact, I believe this book to be Julie's strongest book to date. However, I just don't feel that it fully reached its potential on the vampire front. I wish that Julie had brought something new to the table, showed us a completely new race of vampires, vampires literally unlike any we have ever seen fore and not the stereotypical bad-ass, all black/ leather wearing female who wields a katana (seriously, off of the top of my head I can name at least 5 female vampires who wield one of these- I wish that Allie *had* been able to convince Kanin to let her use a flail) she presented in this story. 

Furthermore, I also had a problem with the the romance aspect of it- namely being, I didn't buy it. Nothing about Zeke and Allie screamed "Sparks!" and "Chemistry!" to me, which I find quite strange because if there is any even a tiny of inclination of romance in a book I AM ALL OVER IT (me= hopeless romantic). I personally found that they made a better team being friends/ comrades than girlfriend/ boyfriend. 

That being said, I think that this book (specifically Allie as a character) has one of the strongest voices I have ever read (in all honesty I don't usually pay attention to things like this, but I couldn't help but not notice this as I read the book). Allie was not only a complex and beautifully constructed character, but a real one at that.

Furthermore, I did enjoy the pacing of the story and the setting- both were so well crafted and finely tuned that it I believe it impossible to not easily situate yourself into the dilapidated and run-down vampire city teeming with rats, mole-men, and vampires, and into the those areas outside of the city that were slowly becoming reclaimed by nature and which were slowly becoming more and more overrun with rapids.

All in all, despite my complaints, I thought that this was a great debut to a new series from author Julie Kagawa- it becomes evident that Julie grows more and more as an author with each book she writes and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the second book in this series!

Rating: 8/10

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review. 

Memorable lines from the book: 

'"If you're going to bite me, just get it over with." Though don't expect me to lie down and take it. You'll have a pocketknife shoved through your eye before I'm done, I swear' (8%). 

"I wished I could've said that I would rather die than become a bloodsucker. I wished I had the courage, the strength, to stick with my convictions. But in reality, when faced with death and the great unknown that came after, my survival instinct snatched wildly at whatever lifeline was offered. I didn't want to die. Even if it meant becoming something I loathed, my nature was, first and always, to survive" (14%). 

"Hey, what was that?" Easing forward, I tried peering into the box on tiptoe, but he shouldered me away. "Oh, come on. I want to see the big-spiky-ball thing." 
"You do *not* need a flail," Kanin scowled' (24%). 

"Charming," I muttered under my breath and felt my fangs poking my gums. "Well, we know who's going to get bitten first now, don't we?" (44%). 

"You make me question everything I've learned, everything I know" (81%).  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: "Whisper" by Chelsea Cameron

Today I am excited to be a part of Chelsea Cameron's cover reveal of her latest book, "Whisper". So without further adieu...

From Goodreads: "People think I'm crazy. Maybe I am, since I've been able to talk to spirits for as long as I can remember. They are the forgotten, the souls who have unfinished business and can't cross over. I help them, or at least I try to. There's this one in particular, Jack, I call him, who's been following me around a lot. Usually they tell me what they need to do and move on. Not him. 

It isn't until he brings another spirit, Tracy, the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run accident, that I know for sure he's something more than just your average spirit. Then I start seeing him. And feeling his touch. And falling for him. 

In our quest to get justice for Tracy and help her move on, Jack and I become something more than just a dead boy and a living girl. I'm just waiting to see what happens next..."

"Whisper" will be released on June 16th in Ebook and later in June in paperback. 

Here's a sneak peek of the first chapter!

You don't look like the kind of girl who would speak to the dead.

“I can't decide if that's meant to be offensive or not.” He was right, though. From my t-shirt which had a picture of the Cookie Monster on it and a caption that read, “Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies,” my holey yoga pants that had never been used for yoga, and my mismatched Christmas socks, to my not-straight-but-not-curly hair blondish hair, I didn't look like the kind of girl who would talk to dead people. I didn't hang out in cemeteries and listen to too much Evanescence and wear a lot of crystals. Not that there was anything wrong with any of those things.

It was not meant to be offensive.

“What was it meant to be?” I pulled my knees up and put my chin on them.

Didn't your mother call you for dinner?

Evasive. There was definitely something different about him. Most spirits were so confused about where they were or if they were dead they didn't know how to be evasive. This guy was something else.

“You sure you don't want anything?”

No. Just visiting. Spirits didn't visit. The only reason they hung around was to accomplish something they'd left undone. So either he didn't want to tell me, or he was just messing with me.

“Well, if you want to stick around, that's your choice, but I'm going to pretend you aren't here.”

Do whatever you want. He was starting to get on my nerves. I walked to the doorway. Once I was through there, I was going to pretend I was normal.

“Okay, I'm going to stop talking to you now.”


“Thank you.” I took a step.

You're welcome.

“Ugh, stop it!”

About the Author:  
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine and author of Nocturnal and Nightmare, the first two books in The Noctalis Chronicles and Whisper, about a boy who is dead, a girl who is not. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, vacuuming and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. Follow her Blog, on Twitter or Facebook and find her books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Do you believe in spirits? Comment below by May 28th for your change to win an ecopy of Whisper sent to you the day before it's released! Be sure to visit Chelsea's Blog for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Copyright © 2010 - Avery's Book Nook - is proudly powered by Blogger.

Blog background and header is property of Avery's Book Nook- any violators will be eaten by a hobgoblin.