Monday, July 30, 2012

Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Description: Not far from Dullsville, someone's lurking in the dark. . . .
After meeting the handsome and shadowy Alexander Sterling, goth-girl Raven's dark world has a bright, new glow. But as in her favorite movie, "Kissing Coffins," Raven knows that love always has its complications, especially when Alexander has a big secret to guard.
When Alexander suddenly disappears, Raven leaves Dullsville to begin a dangerous search to find him. Can she stay safe, no matter who--or what--she encounters on the way?

Review: For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I like the storyline and everything, I just don't really care too much about the writing style(otherwise I would've rated it five stars).
Also, the main character, Raven, is the most stereotypical goth ever. The author puts in as many "goth-y" things as possible: Edward Scissorhands lamp, Nightmare Before Christmas alarm clock, etc. I just try to look past it, but I don't know if Ellen Schreiber made her like this for a type of joke, or she just didn't know how to write about a goth. 
Overall, it was a good book, and I liked it for the most part. I'll be reading the next book in this series next(there are seven books so far I believe). I would recommend this book to anyone who likes vampire books(but REAL vampires, not the kind that sparkle). 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Justice(Deck of Lies #1) by Jade Varden

Description: A House of Cards...

When you build an entire life on a foundation of lies, it only takes one truth for the whole thing to come crashing down. I never invited the truth in. I never went searching for it. I never had any reason to suspect that the two people I loved most were dishonest with me every second of every day.

I made one bad decision, and in a single day my entire world changed. If I'm ever going to discover the truth about myself and my parents, I have to trace all the lies back to their source. I have to try to find the truth that they're hiding.

The more I discover about myself, and my past, the more I realize that lies really are better than the truth. But now that I know the lies are all around me, I can't stop until I've discovered them all. I'll pull each lie away, one by one, and examine it to see what's underneath…until this house of cards crumbles into dust at my feet.

I just hope I can survive the crash.

Review: I have been asked to write a review on this book by the author, Jade Varden, but my review will still be truly honest about my thoughts on the book.
      To start off, I fell in love with this book. It pulled me in very quickly, and I did not want to put it down. I had finished it in less than a day. I like how the title is introduced in the first chapter, but it's still carried throughout the book(although not as obviously). There definitely is quite a bit of foreshadowing in this book, yet it is still vague, which I greatly enjoy; it kept me wondering about what it all meant.
     There are many unexpected twists that kept it very interesting, but still realistic.
      It is easy to identify with the main character, Rain Ramey; she has depth and is not two-dimensional as some authors portray their characters as. The "mean girl" who opposes Rain is evident early on, and it is not hard to despise her right away. Each character is developed so nicely, I could picture them in my head, even the way I thought their voices might sound as they speak.
     Another thing I loved about this book was that there were many philosophical ideas sewn into the plot. For example, the theories about "Nature vs. Nurture" are questioned(although not by that title). I do not want to say much more about it because I do not want to spoil the twists in the plot.
     The ending of this book is very gripping, and left me wanting more. I most certainly want to read the second and third books in the Deck of Lies series, as soon as I can. The only problem I had with this book were a few editing errors, but the book itself was so great that I looked past it(which is hard for me to do, as I am going to school to become a copy editor, so this truly shows how much I enjoyed it!). Varden's writing style is unique from other YA authors I have read, which is a good thing. Yes, there are many great YA authors out there, but Varden's style stands out to me in a good way.
     I would like to thank Jade Varden greatly for asking me to read and review her book, and for sending me an e-copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would love for this author's work to be much more well-known! You can purchase the book here: I recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-written, fast-paced YA read.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Description: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Review: If you are looking for a good summer read that involves mermaids and fantasy, definitely read this book. As with some good books, the beginning is a bit slow, mostly because the author establishes a lot of the description. Once that part is through though, you will not be able to put this book down. I bought this book at Barnes & Noble at the beginning of the summer because I wanted a new mermaid book to read, and the cover art captured my eye. The saying is "Don't judge a book by its cover," but so many people do. I'll read a book even if the cover does not appeal to me(and sometimes even if the cover is amazing, the book may not be), but this one fit my expectations. I liked that I could immediately tell it was about mermaids, and the description on the back made me decide to purchase this book.
     The use of dialogue in this book is good, and when they are underwater, they speak telepathically to each other. One problem I did have with the writing is that there is a lot of colloquialism, and there are a few slang words used that I did not understand(as they are surfers, and I definitely am not). A lor of the characters have odd or unique names, which makes it interesting, but sometimes hard to remember which is which. I do like how the evil creatures' names are meaningful(in mythology), and how the main characters' names relate to the characters themselves.
     Sometimes I did get frustrated with Tempest, the main character. She is just turning seventeen, and still trying to figure out the mermaid conflict, but she does not confide in her best friend or boyfriend, which makes for a lot of lies to be told. This is frustrating to the reader because it makes Tempest seem immature; if they really loved her and cared for her, they would definitely believe her and understand. One thing I don't really care for about most YA novels is that usually the girl has to choose between two guys, one she's loved for a long time and one she's just met. This annoys me because 1) when does it ever happen in real life?(this will frustrate younger girls who are just starting to date, or even like boys) and 2) since it doesn't often happen in real life, not many people will be able to understand her situation as well. I got frustrated with Tempest quite a bit because her feelings would bounce back and forth between the two guys, and I feel that if she was meant to be with the first one, she would not have fallen for the second.
     Overall, I really loved this book. It did not take long to read because I simply did not want to put it down and stop reading. The ending is somewhat satisfactory, but I had hoped there would have been more conflict with the evil sea characters. There is a sequel, titled Tempest Unleashed, and I do plan to read it when I can get it either at the library or bookstore.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome

Description: Lulu is different to others. Once, she believed, she had a friend to love her. Then that friend betrayed her and Lulu learned that hate is safer than love. When she begins her new life at the Court of St Jerome in the Old Sea City, she finds people who must fight their personal demons of hatred, ambition and greed. Embraced in St Jerome's fold, Lulu learns to trust again, perhaps even to love.

Nothing, however, is as it seems and Lulu discovers that love doesn't always wear the face of the one you yearn to call beloved.

Lyrical and atmospheric, buoyed by touches of magical realism, this compelling story explores the sacrifices people make in the pursuit of their dreams. Lulu's quest, and that of Jamila and Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray.


Review: I really liked this book. This book was sent to me for free from the author's giveaway on A lot of the book is about a religion that the author created, but it's very much like Christianity from what I gathered. Even if you are not very religious, I would definitely recommend this book. There are a lot of thought-provoking ideas in this book, including ones about human relationships, outcasts, and, of course, love.
     Judy Croome is excellent at writing descriptions, as they are beautiful to read and paints an image in the reader's mind. They are very detailed, but not so detailed as to bore the reader so he or she ends up scanning the rest of it. Every little detail is relevant to either the plot or the ideas behind it.
     This is a good summer read because it's one of those books that has you thinking about it even while you are not reading it. I did not want to put this book down, so it was nice to read all day when I had nothing that needed to be done until I finished reading. One thing I definitely loved about this book, in addition to what I've already mentioned, was the Shakespeare quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I took a Shakespeare class in my last semester of high school, so I liked being able to recognize the quotes and what they refer to later in each chapter of this book.
     I would like to thank Judy Croome for doing the book giveaway, as I enjoyed this book very much, and would not have found it if not for that. I do not know if this book is available in stores, but if you would like to purchase it, it can be bought here: