Halloween: books that made me keep the lights on

Today, in honor of Halloween I am showcasing some of my favorite scary reads. They may not be the typical Halloween read but they made me want to keep the lights on. Now that you know what scares me what books make you afraid of the dark?

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
August 30th 2011

When the cover was revealed for this novel I knew that I had to read it, because it just screamed "SCARY". I was not disappointed, in fact I was scared enough to make sure that I slept with the lights on. If you are a fan of the Supernatural TV show and it's premise you will surely enjoy being "spooked" by this read.

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
August 30th 2011

This book totally grossed me out and kept me freaked out for a long while. It's descriptive zombie munching is best read on an empty stomach, but you despite the gory details you will not want to stop.
Zombies and the Apocalypse, what more scary can you ask for.

Rotters by Daniel Kraus
April 5th 2011

This book was truly disturbing and months after reading it I cannot forget it. Not only did I never want to be buried but the cast had the most memorable and twisted characters around. I dare you to not twist around in your chair as you read this book.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
October 1st 2008

This novel had one of the best opening lines ever "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." An instant chill will run down your spine. Truly memorable and wickedly sharp, this book will keep you entertained.

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
November 9th 2010

This book is by far THE most disturbing that I have ever read. I had the most difficult time trying to keep reading and not get totally creeped out and stop. In the beginning I could differenciate between the the two worlds but then the lines began to blur and things only got more disturbing. Yet, despite the issues I had I could not stop reading and that is a testiment to Andrew Smith's unique talent at creating a world that you will not forget.

Giveaway and Excerpt: SLAYERS by C.J. Hill

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

If that is not enough to make you want to read this fantastic novel then check out this enticing Prologue EXCERPT

Giveaway Prize: A hardcover signed copy of SLAYERS by C.J. Hill with a book mark and "SLAYERS" sticker.
Giveaway Rules: To be entered in the giveaway, respond with your email. One entry per person and you must be from the US to enter (sorry to those outside that country). The giveaway will be open until the end of the day on Saturday, November 26. Each winner has 24 hours to respond once contacted via email, and if I don’t hear from them by then a new winner will be chosen (who will also have 24 hours to respond until someone gets back to me with a place to send the book).

Please note email addresses will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner. Once the giveaway is over all the emails will be deleted.

Good luck!

In My Mailbox: October

In My Mailbox lets you peek into the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. I am listing all the lovely books that I have aquired this week. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here on the Story Siren's blog, where it all began..(This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

A majority of this week's amazing haul was made possible thru attending the NCIBA.

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Shatter Me Tahereh Mafi HC (signed)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (signed)
Illuminated by Erica Orloff
I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Revived by Cat Patrick

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Switched by Amanda Hocking

Fracture by Megan Miranda
Where it Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor (signed)
Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Girl Meets Boy Edited by Kelly Milner Halls
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Anthony John

The Springsweet by Sundra Mitchell
Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand
Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Tempest by Julie Cross
Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

While visiting NCIBA I had the pleasure of attending a blogger panel where a few key subjects were broached. Among the topics discussed:
Interrelations with independent book sellers and their local book blogger's.
Blogger etiquette when approaching publishers/authors for books and receiving book review queries.
Blog Tours and Independent publishers.
Along with the informative advice offered all the blogger's in attendance told everyone how they started blogging and what they do to attract followers and how they like to promote their favorite reads. It was also great that a few book sellers, publishers and authors (Katherine Longhore, Talia Vance) also came to give some of their input. I really enjoyed attending and meeting up with fellow bloggers. I like the fact that we are very supportive of one another and how we all have are so passionate about the books we love. That proved to be very true when we were able to attend the exibit room floor. It was like Christmas and we talked to all the reps and discussed upcoming books with them. I wanted to thank Bookalicious Pam and the NCIBA for making it all possible. I was also very fortunate to meet debut authors Veronica Rossi and Cory Jackson. I would say that it was a great day.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: LEGEND by Marie Lu

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy. This week I have selected LEGEND by Marie Lu and let me tell you, it is AMAZING. If my soon to be raving does not get your attention then hopefully this bit of an excerpt will entice and ensnare you. Just click on the book cover below and enjoy.

On Sale November 29, 2011

Putnam Children's (Penguin Group)

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Additional sites you will want to explore
CBS Films' Legend Movie Facebook Page

Review: SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger

Review: SHUT OUT
Author Website: Kody Keplinger
Reading level:
Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (September 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316175566
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching
her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her
own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash
Sterling, coming.
My Thoughts:
SHUT OUT is another entertaining read by Kody Keplinger. She has a unique talent for creating realistic dialogue that could be heard down the halls and across the fields of any high school today while creating some situations that will surely cause you to blush. Kody has tapped into a more sexual vein than most YA reads and while it is a bit frank it is never crude or over the top.

While most high school sports teams host rivalries with other schools, Hamilton High is the exception. It seems that their own Soccer and Football team are engaged in a civil war that has been going on for years. Everyone knows about but Lissa is beyond fed up and one day when she is pushed beyond her limits she comes up with an idea that will involve the power of the V. She enlists her BFF and several key players girlfriend's to host a sex strike against the players from both teams, the idea being that the boys will break down and stop fighting all together. One of the best parts from this exchange is the vow they all take on an issue of Cosmo

I hear by swear to abstain from all forms of sexual activity. This includes but is not limited to anything involving body parts below the belt. That’s either party’s belt. Oh, and second case is outlawed, too. Nothing, um, under the shirt…I’ll stand my ground, even in the toughest of times, and will resist temptation until the rivalry is put to an end.

I enjoyed this novel more so than her debut effort, The DUFF although I did find Bianca a more agreeable character than SHUT OUT's Lissa. What tipped the scale in this current novel's favor was the cast of characters that were engaging and memorable especially Lissa's BFF and her new love interest Cash. It was a quick and fun read while dancing on the racy side.

Bay Area Author Event: Laini Taylor

Not Your Mother’s Book Club presents former Bay Area bookseller LAINI TAYLOR (and her fabulous pink hair) to celebrate the release of her new, highly buzzed, paranormal novel, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I will be there with the most fantistic blue wig. Make sure to say hi and to spread the twitter love.

Date and Time: 10/27/11 7 p.m.
Location: Books Inc. SF Opera Plaza
Street:601 Van Ness
City: San Francisco

Waiting on Wednesday: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I have selected a book that has a stunning book jacket and a story that is equally as stunning. Now I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this stunner. What do you think?

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 24, 2012)

Death is impossible and living is impossibly hard for seventeen-year-old Araby Worth in Bethany Griffin‘s The Masque of the Red Death, a sexy, post-Apocalyptic reimagining of Poe’s gothic horror story of the same name.

The year is 1870 and a deadly virus has decimated the population of North America. Masked corpse-collectors travel the streets, removing the bodies before the contagion can spread. Though Araby tries to escape it all with drugs and parties, even at her most intoxicated she can’t forget her brother’s death-or her guilt for causing it. But things begin to change when William, the fascinating proprietor of the club where she searches for oblivion, and Elliott, nephew of the insane dictator, enter her life. One wants her heart, the other her name.

Convinced that he has won over his uncle’s army, Elliott believes that having Araby on his arm will charm the populace into supporting a new government. After all, her father is the inventor of the mask which prevents the spread of the plague-for those who can afford it. In return, Araby asks that he make protective masks available to all citizens, which could save the lives of Will’s young siblings, whom she has come to care about. But nothing is what it seems.

A new contagion called the Red Death is sweeping the city. The revelation that Araby’s father may have created the new virus in his laboratory puts Araby’s life in danger. The mob wants her. The rebels want her. And both boys want her. In this two-book series, what and who Araby chooses may just decide the fate of humanity.

DESTINED Video Book Trailer and Giveway

This contest is now CLOSED. Thank you for entering.
"...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"

Website: HouseofNightSeries.com

CONTEST: This contest that you are entering is for a copy of DESTINED by PC and Kristin Cast
CONTEST RULES: Just tell me which is your favorite HON character.
1) Contest is open to anyone in USA/ Canada only. (sorry)
2) Contest is open until November 6, 2011. Midnight PST
3) You must post your email address so that I can contact the lucky winner.
4) Share the love and spread the word, via blogger, twitter or facebook.

**Prize copy given by Zeighost Media**

Review: Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi

Shatter Me
Author website:
Tahera Mafi
Reading level:
Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062085484
Source: BEA
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

"You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her.

Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

My Thoughts:

"My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds."

Every time I read that sentence I get a ripple of chills coursing through my body and I am overwhelmed by the myriad of emotions that it elicits. Tahera Mafi has penned a debut novel that is equal parts beauty and savagery. A dystopian/paranormal read whose words will burrow within your mind, envelop your soul and never leave.

Juliette, this story's protagonist is remarkably admirable for she has been subjected to much heartache and cruelty in her young life but instead of letting that defeat and crush her spirit she demonstrates resiliency and fire in the face of absolute evil. This may seem strange since Juliette can’t touch anyone without killing them but trust me, you will not be disappointed in that aspect and how Tahereh demonstrates it. Adam is Juliette's love interest and at first you cannot decide if you can trust him, but as the story unfolds his mystery is revealed and you cannot get enough. Their moments together scorch the page and your heart. Besides having one of the most romantic pairings, Shatter Me also hosts one of the most wicked tyrants I have ever had the pleasure to despise in a long, long time. Warner's depravity and cunning nature is truly disturbing but you cannot deny that he is force that is riveting to behold. His evil smile and vile nature belie his gorgeous physique is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

What is distinctive about this novel is Mafi's use of strike through vocabulary to demonstrate Juliette's inner turbulent dialogue. At first it is a foreign concept that takes a modest amount of time to adjust to and then you find yourself craving these bits of dialogue for it makes you understand her and witness what makes her thrive. What also makes Shatter Me a MUST read is Tahereh’s amazing writing style; it flows well and has a lyrical and poetic quality that is intoxicating. Also the romance between Adam and Juliette has an erotic yet innocent quality that is quite satisfying. The only complaint that I have in regards to this novel is the X-Men type vibe towards the end. I did not favor it at all but that fact will not keep me from reading the next book, not in the least. I can only wait in breathless anticipation.

Cover Reveal: LOVE, HATE or JUST LUST: Until I Die (the UK version) and Timepiece

ZOMG!!! Another gorgeous cover to enjoy and love. TIMEPIECE by Myra McEntire has hit the world wide web with all its amazingness. I truly cannot wait for this book.
Amy Plum has revealed the UK cover version of IF I DIE. So what do you think? I find that it only increases my want for the book and now cannot wait for the US cover to find it's way to me.

So what do you think about these new cover reveals? Is it LOVE? HATE? or JUST LUST?

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author Website: Laini Taylor
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316134023
Source: BEA
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥ yes I love it that much

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts:

After reading the first paragraph, it was instantaneously obvious that Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautifully penned novel. Laini Taylor’s writing style is decadent and flawless and this story is told in a manner that isn’t casual but isn’t incredibly rigid, either. There is a perfect balance in Taylor’s writing style because it is evocative at moments, and easily conversational at others, and her exceptional talent is well demonstrated in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. As this story maneuvers from the past to the present it always occurs at the right juncture in the story, and never disorients the reader. Gigantic plot points unfold and reveal themselves through these cleverly placed flashbacks, and when the timeline finally returns to the present, you are left breathless with wonder. The world that has been created in this story is so wondrously detailed with it's history and rituals that are beautiful and primitive in equal measure and unlike anything you have witnessed before.

The mythology and backdrop of Prague, among other places of Daughter of Smoke and Bone will instantly ensnare you, but it is it's characters that are truly remarkable and unforgettable. Karou, this story's protagonist, is the most mysterious and memorable girl you will ever encounter on a page. She has blue hair, tattoos, and a passion for wishes. Her story as it unfolds, is equally heartbreaking and beautiful, and by the end of the book you get to know Karou as an almost entirely different person and you adore her all the more for it. Akiva, Karou’s mysterious love interest, is very dark and tortured, but he isn’t stereotypical in any way, by any means. His chemistry with Karou is scorching hot and so romantic that it jumps forth from the page and sears your heart. Although those two characters will consume you, other minor players are quite memorable in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. From Brimstone, the astute keeper of wishes to Karou’s best friend (whom I adore) Zuzana, and the characters that don’t take center stage manage to be paramount to the story.

If you’re looking a book that is deliciously evocative and dark while being unique, and completely amazingly breathtaking, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the clear choice. NO QUESTION. I have told everyone that I know that this novel is my favorite read of this year. I absolutely adore it, love it, can't get it out of my head and need the next book in this series, like NOW. I am totally serious.

This is the wishbone (yes a real wishbone) necklace that I just made to wear on Thursday when I get to meet Laini Taylor at the NYMBC event.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy. This week I have selected THE WAY WE FALL by Megan Crew. This novel has received quite a bit of buzz and after you read the excerpt you will understand why. Just click on the book cover below and enjoy and if you do then please order it at your local indie book store.

The Way We Fall
by Megan Crewe
Jan 24, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4231-4616-2

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lets her best friend leave for school without saying goodbye, she never dreams that she might not see him again. But then a strange virus begins to sweep through her small island community, infecting young and old alike. As the dead pile up, the government quarantines the island: no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for the island’s dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Poignant and dizzying, The Way We Fall is the heart-wrenching story of one girl's bravery and unbeatable spirit as she challenges not just her fears, but her sense of what makes life worth living.

Review: BEAUTIFUL CHAOS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Reading level: Young Adult
Author Website: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316123528
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected – and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What – or who – will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena – and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself – forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
My Thoughts:

The wheel of fate, it crushes us all...

If you are a fan of the Caster Chronicles then you must read Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl immediately, because it is insanely amazing beyond comprehension. I adore this series and Beautiful Chaos is better than the first two books combined, making me want to consume it all over again.

As we return to Gatlin county and it's well known characters we are instantly aware that something has changed and it is not for the better, this once quaint town is slowly turning into ground zero for the Apocalypse. Since Lena's claiming a shift in the universe has occurred and no one is more aware of this fact than Ethan Wate. All of his life he has wanted see Gatlin from the rear view mirror of his car but now as his home town is being over run by evil he wants nothing more than to protect it and all it's inhabitants. Yet, despite this knowledge he and his core group of family and friends are unable to repair the damage and are helpless to the onslaught of heat, locust and demons that are slowly enveloping their lives. What will the wheel of fate have in store for all of them? and will Ethan figure it out before it is too late for them all?

What stands out most about this series are the characters that breath life into this story; Ethan, Link and Uncle Macon being my favorite but in reality I adore them all, even the evil ones because they are what makes this tale fascinating and memorable. I have always enjoyed every book in this series but BEAUTIFUL CHAOS has surpassed it's predecessors with it's non-stop action and heart stopping romance and amazing plot twists. My only complaint I have is that I could not seem to stop the tears from flowing upon finishing this novel. I was a hicupping, bleary-eyed mess that was the most scary sight to see.

From the moment I began Beautiful Chaos to it's tear inducing ending this book had my attention and I was it's willing captive. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl were able to create magic with this epic story through their perfectly executed, well paced and vividly descriptive talents. Their efforts are epic story telling at it's stellar best and one could not ask for anything better in their reading pile. My life is richer for having had the pleasure of reading this novel and I highly recommend this series to anyone that has not been fortunate enough to read them.

Cover Love: Ladies in RED

As I was researching the YA books for the upcoming year I noted a colorful trend. You can see with the gorgeous covers displayed that 2012 is the one for the lady in red. I am beyond excited because I am a big fan of this color and I cannot wait to have these beauties in my hands. What trends have you noticed for the upcoming year?

Review: VANISH by Sophie Jordan

Author Website: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: 09/06/11
Title: Vanish
Firelight Book Two
ISBN-13: 978-0061935107
Publisher: HarperTeen
My Rating: ♥♥♥

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.

My Thoughts:

When I initally read Firelight I was not very taken with the novel but I was intrigued enough to want to continue with the series and read VANISH. I am pleased to say that I found this novel to have enough action packed scenes and plot twists to surpass it's predecessor .

VANISH begins directly after Firelight ends with Jacinda going back home to the Pride with Cassian and her family in tow. Although she does not regret the actions that exposed her to hunters, it makes her sick having to return home knowing how much her mother sacrificed to keep them away. Yet, Jacinda does not have the luxury of time to dwell on it before her life takes an unexpected turn and it appears as if she will never have the chance to leave her Pride and find Will, the one she loves and cannot forget. Will love prevale? Only time will tell.

What I like most about this book is the non stop roller coaster ride on my emotions. I would jump from heart stopping surprise to seething anger and onto breathless romance in a matter of moments and it kept me going until the very last page. The new plot twists were unexpected and flowed well into the story and now I cannot wait to see what happens next. The only complaint I have with this story is the over-played romantic tug of war between Will, Cassian and Jacinda. Don't get me wrong I am a sucker for romance, always have been and always will be...BUT I have my limits.

Waiting on Wednesday: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I have selected Undeadly by Michele Vail. The wicked cool cover alone is worth picking it up for it ilicits a bit of naughty and enough mystery to have me pining for it.

by Michele Vail
ISBN-13: 978-0373210466
Harlequin Teen

She's to die for...

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.


Review: The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

Review: The Fox Inheritance
Author Website: Mary E. Pearson
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805088296
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.

Everyone except Jenna Fox.
My Thoughts:

The Adoration of Jenna Fox was one of my first Sci-Fi (light) reads that I truly enjoyed it because at the heart of it's story you were drawn to it's main character, you understood her motives and were drawn to her. Her story caused you to really think and question how much science should intervene with humanity and why? Now there is a new chapter to this world with The Fox Inheritance, that Mary E. Pearson has created and it centers on Locke and Kara the other two teens that did not survive that car crash with Jenna 260 years before...except for less than ten percent and with that their story begins.

The Fox Inheritance focuses on Locke and Kara in the future after their early demise. It is told from Locke's POV and at times it is like witnessing a child discover a new world. Although Locke has the best that science can give at making him have flesh and blood again, he cannot help the lapses in his memory that constantly plague him. The agony of being imprisoned in a vast nothingness for over 260 years was almost to much to bear, but at least he had comfort with Kara. Yet, Kara was not the same girl he remembered. This new model is cunning and wicked and forever a step ahead of him and when she finds an opportunity to run their new prison, they run and never look back. Locke wants to see his old neighborhood and seek out what remaining family are around while Kara only wants one thing, to find Jenna Fox.

When I learned that a companion novel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox was being penned I was more than elated. I really enjoy the original novel and was interested to see where this new story would go next. The very idea that Locke and Kara could be corporeal was incomprehensible especially since it was believed that they were "destroyed" by Jenna's own two hands. Yet, the solution presented was well crafted and intriguing. I enjoyed reading this novel through Locke's POV and witnessing his inner struggle as lives while still being tormented by a past long gone.

Even though The Fox Inheritance does not carry the emotional weight that The Adoration of Jenna Fox did it still has new and memorable characters that gave this story it's pulse. The question of science and humanity are kicked around again but it does not have the same magic as sits predecessor. Yet, it is a fine effort and worth a read.

Review: Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Review: The Mephisto Covenant
Trinity Faegen
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160684170X
My Rating:

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

My Thoughts:

This year I wanted to read a great many books and THE MEPHISTO COVENANT was at the top of that list. It's cover is beautiful and enticing and the storyline reminded me of another series that I truly adore (that series will be addressed later). So, I was most elated to have this book in my hands but sadly that elation was short lived.

THE MEPHISTO COVENANT starts off well enough with it's fast pace and intriguing storyline, but then this fable becomes a bit too complex and confusing to easily follow. Eventually I found that I was forcing myself to keep reading, hoping that at some point I would get some clarity but that moment never came and my frustration soon turned into anger. I really had hoped that things would have been different because this story seemed to have so much promise especially with it's Black Dagger Brotherhood overtones. Yet, while the concept of a son of hell only being redeemed by uniting with the daughter of Eve seemed romantic enough, my heart failed to flutter especially when it is mentioned OFTEN that they were slowly linking to one another by the action of SPIT being exchanged. Yes, you read it correctly, SPIT. Of all the ways that the action of a kiss could be described, spit is by far the least romantic and at times down right gross. Yet spit exchanges aside, I could not believe the romantic pairing between Jax and Sasha, it just didn't click.

Which upon completion of this novel I realized that many things did not click. The storyline with it's myriad of characters both good and bad were so complex I could barely keep track of what classifications meant what. Maybe a glossary would have been helpful, but in truth if I have to read a story that I would have to constantly seek help to understand what is going on then I probably would not enjoy it. The Mephisto Covenant does have a plethora of material and plenty of characters to guarantee a series to come forth but after this confusing storyline and book throwing worthy ending I can assure you that I will NOT be coming back for more.

Review: ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

Review: ASHES
Author Website: Ilsa J. Bick
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606841750
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Synopsis: as per Goodreads

Ashes begins when an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, killing the vast majority of the world population and zapping every electronic device. Everyone still alive has changed considerably—some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh).

Among the few teens and children who are spared are Alex, a resourceful teen who was running from her own demons; Tom, who left the war in Afghanistan only to find something much worse at home, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old girl whom the two must rescue. This improvised family will need to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive in this new chaotic world.

My Thoughts:

Since I am a new fan of Dystopian and Zombie novels, I am constantly searching for those novels that will fit my new passion. ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick is that novel and I knew that It would be a read worthy of my time. I am glad to say that I was not disappointed and that I am still left haunted by the vivid imagery and thought provoking storyline.

ASHES focuses on Alex, a teen that has had some major life altering events in her young life: from the unexpected death of her parents to her cancer diagnosis, she has always done what she can to survive. As the story begins I realize that Alex is a smart girl that decides to take charge of her situation so she packs up and heads out to the woods to make decisions on her future or lack therof. It is not long before "The Zap" occurs and everything changes. Alex becomes guardian to a strong-willed orphan and together they encounter the terrifying effects that "The Zap" has left in it's wake, from rabid dogs to flesh eating teens. Yet, all is not lost for soon another joins their duo and together they make a cozy family, but this setup cannot last forever and they know it. So they decide to brave the world beyond their safe hide out and that is when the real terror begins.

I adore reading a gritty story and Ilsa J. Bick has done a wicked job with ASHES. I like that this story is set in the "NOW" not some hundreds years from now so that I can understand with horrific terror the events that unfold before my eyes. This story is not candy coated for it is brutally graphic and not for the squeemish at heart. I know that I cringed on several occasions but I was loyal to it's characters because they where engaging and the story had my attention. I am in constant awe at how the story keeps evolving and how even when one should find the most comfort I am frightened even more. Then just when I think I have things figured out Ilsa injects a new twist that is terrifying to the core and then it ends. Arrrrrrrrg! Yes, ASHES has a major cliffhanger but it also leaves a few unanswered questions that will provide wicked good material for the next novel of which I surely want to read.

Giveaway: Signed Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick and Poster

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you everyone for entering :)
Last Monday I had the pleasure of being in the presence of some amazing authors at Books Inc.. One of them was Becca Fitzpatrick, author of the Hush, Hush series. I adore Becca because she is very genuine and warm and every time I see her I always have a good time.

I want to share my good fortune at having the opportunity of meeting my favorite authors. This time I not only have a SIGNED Silence novel by Becca Fitzpatrick to giveaway, but I also have a great Silence poster that is gorgeous.

Giveaway: Silence (SIGNED) by Becca Fitzpatric and Poster (not signed)
Giveaway Rules:
1) United States entrants only (sorry) and when responding please leave your email address so that I may contact you upon winning.
2) Must be over the age of 13 with permission from parents to enter.
3) Contest ends 10/31/11 midnight PST

Sneak A Peek Saturday: DIABOLICAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy. This week I have Diabolical from Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize.

Just click on the book cover below and enjoy!!

When “slipped” angel Zachary and his werewolf pal Kieren are summoned under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lock-down with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked “students.” Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall décor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due?

Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series — including Zachary’s girl, Miranda, and Kieren’s love, Quincie — along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell

COVER LOVE: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

ZOMG!! GIRL OF NIGHTMARES cover by Kendare Blake made the Internet waves. When I saw this cover today my breathing ceased and I was filled with such glee. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is one of my top favorites for this year and now I really cannot wait for it's next installment.

Bay Area Book Event: James Dashner

Youth Event: James Dashner
Friday, October 14, 7:00 p.m.

Kepler's Books1010
El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025

We’ve travelled with Thomas through his adventures in The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials and now FINALLY, we will find out the truth.

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure? We can’t wait to find out.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

Today I have selected a novel that immediately grabbed my attention and in honor of this month of October I believe it fits the spooky factor. One look at the book cover and I was transfixed, amazed at how wicked creepy it was (see, I am such a cover coveter).Then I read the snyopsis and was a total goner.


by Kate Williams

ISBN-13: 978-0241951392

Spitalfields, 1840.
Catherine Sorgeiul lives with her Uncle in a rambling house in London's East End. She has few companions and little to occupy the days beyond her own colourful imagination. But then a murderer strikes, ripping open the chests of young girls and stuffing hair into their mouths to resemble a beak, leading the press to christen him The Man of Crows. And as Catherine hungrily devours the news, she finds she can channel the voices of the dead ... and comes to believe she will eventually channel The Man of Crows himself.

But the murders continue to panic the city and Catherine gradually realizes she is snared in a deadly trap, where nothing is as it first appears ... and lurking behind the lies Catherine has been told are secrets more deadly and devastating than anything her imagination can conjure.

With an elegant style and thrilling plot, The Pleasures of Men reveals the dark, beating heart of corrupt London during Queen Victoria's reign.


Word for Word and Teenquake present: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky is Everywhere is one of my all time favorite books and it is going to be showcased and passages read for Litquake this Friday.

October 14, 6:30pm
Word for Word and Teenquake present:THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
Word for Word brings to life selections from The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, is catapulted to center stage of her own life when her older sister dies unexpectedly and Lennie, whose history with boys is nonexistent, finds herself trying to balance two of them. Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is honest, hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable. The Los Angeles Times says, “Jandy Nelson has cast the intensity of first love together with the intensity of grief to produce a novel that is unusually rich with both insight and breathless romance.” Author Jandy Nelson will be present for a post-show conversation with the audience.
$15 suggested donation at the door
Part of
Litquake, San Franciso's Literary Festival


Not Your Mother's Book Club aka NYMBC is hosting and event that is Super-Awesome-Author-Extravaganza-of-Epic-Proportions. This book event has some of the most amazing authors in attendance that you will greatly regret not attending. In attendance is Becca Fitzpatrick, Moira Young, Michelle Hodkin and Simone Elkeles...can you say WHOA! I cannot wait to go and hope to see you there. Make sure you show your twitter love with @nymbc

In My Mailbox: (Sept-Oct)

In My Mailbox lets you peek into the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. I am listing all the lovely books that I have aquired this week. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here on the Story Siren's blog, where it all began..(This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

The last few month's have been a bit hectic so I have not posted any IMM posts. Here is what I have been fortunate to purchase and recieve.

Of all the lovely books that are now part of my library I am most excited about Clockwork Prince and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone of which I am almost finished devouring. Thank you to Random House, S & S, Tor, Feiwel and Friends and the many Indie book stores that I purchase my literary treats from.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stepheni Perkins(HC)current contest
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Slayers by (upcoming excerpt and giveaway)
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (signed at the West Hollywood Book Fair)
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (HC)
After The Snow by Crokett
Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo
Life is but a Dream by James
When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
Cinder by Meyer
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (signed)
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
A Plague Year by Edward Bloor
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin
Paintings From the Cave by Gary Paulsen
Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
Unforsaken by Sophie Littlefield
The Lost Songs by Caroline Cooney
All The Earth, Thrown to The Sky by Joe R. Lansdale
You Have Seven Message by Stewart Lewis
The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall
Empire of Ruins by Arthur Slade

Bay Area Book Event: Becca Fitzpatrick and Michelle Hodkin

Teen Event: Becca Fitzpatrick and Michelle Hodkin
When: Sunday October 9th at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Kepler's 1010 El Camino RealMenlo Park, CA 94025

If you cannot make it to this event you can always call KEPLER'S 650-324-4321 and have books personalized and sent to you.

Becca Fitzpatrick is returning to Kepler's with Silence, the final installment of the Hush, Hush trilogy.

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty, and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for — and their love — forever.

Also joining Becca is Michelle Hodkin with her debut novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

Mara Dyer doesn't believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

I will be attending this event and hope to see many bay area folks there. Please, don't be shy, come up and say hello and let's talk books.