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Tess of the D'UrbervillesThe AwakeningSome Girls BiteGirls Like Funny BoysKissed by an Angel Collector's Edition: Kissed by an Angel; the Power of Love; SoulmatesCity of Glass

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles


Release Date: January 01, 2008
Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 357

Description:

A modern tale of star-crossed lovers with a fresh urban twist.

At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago , everyone knows that south-siders mixing with north-siders can be explosive. So when Brittany Ellis and Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, this human experiment leads to unexpected revelations – that Brittany ’s flawless reputation is a cover for her troubled home life, that Alex’s bad-boy persona hides his desire to break free from gang ties, and that when they’re together, life somehow makes more sense. Breaking through the stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart, Perfect Chemistry takes readers to both sides of the tracks in a passionate love story about looking beneath the surface.

My Review:

Once I started reading this book I could not put it down, I read it in a couple of hours, I loved it. The book alternates between Brittany and Alex’s perspectives so we get to understand what both characters are thinking and going through. At first it appears that Brittany and Alex have nothing in common, Brittany is from a wealthy family and is popular whilst Alex is a gang member from the wrong side of town. However it becomes apparent that they have more in common than either of them realizes. Both Brittany and Alex are projecting a fa├žade of what people think they should be or are. Because of this Brittany doesn’t really have anyone to confide in about her problems, except for her best friend but even then she doesn’t tell her everything. Alex also doesn’t have anyone to confide in either, he has chosen his path and is stuck, he cannot leave his gang and is worried his brothers will become apart of this world. When Alex and Brittany are thrown together as lab partners they don’t get along as each have preconceptions about the other however slowly they realise they are more similar than either one ever though possible.

Alex, Alex *swoon* what can I say about Alex, there was much more to Alex than just being a gang member, he was a complex character who projected a tough image but deep down he was a caring person which is evident by the way he treats his mother and brothers and later Brittany. At first I wasn’t to enamored with Alex for agreeing to the bet with his friend, what female would, but later when we got to know more about Alex I forgave him, I mean who wouldn’t. Simone Elkeles did an excellent job with Brittany who could have easily turned into a one dimensional character but Elkeles constructed a character with depth who was dealing with real family issues that many people go thorough. Oh and the chemistry between these two is intense.

I probably should mention that there are some violent parts in the book which is unavoidable as Alex is in a gang, Elkeles does not sugar coat what being in a gang means, but don’t be put off because at the heart of this book is a beautiful love story. Towards the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to both Alex and Brittany. Some parts were hard to read but were a necessary part of the book, but in the end it all came together. The ending was handled well especially the epilogue I loved it, what can I say I’m a sucker for a good romance. I highly recommend this book so get your hand a copy stat! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of rules of attraction which follows Alex’s younger brother Carlos.

Win An ARC of Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill Contest!


With only two months to go until Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill comes out, Chole is giving an ARC away *squeals*. If you want a chance to win simply go to http://chloeneill.blogspot.com/ and post a comment. Good luck! Below is the books blurb.

Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

For those of you who can’t wait until the 6th of July head over to http://chloeneill.com/merit3.htm to get a sneak peak at a chapter from the book.

Gone by Lisa McMann


Release Date: February 09, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 214

Description:

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...


He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.

Janie is dying.
She has no fight left in her.
It's over.


My Review:


I do not recommend people read this review unless they have previously read wake and fade as plot points from the first two novels are given away in this review, if you already have read the first two novels happy reading.


Gone picks up shortly after Fade finished, Janie has testified against her teachers for the events that happened during the party and is now known around town as a 'narc' for her work with the police. She is more conflicted than ever over her 'curse', should she stay with Cabel and go blind and loose the use of her hands or should she leave Calbel and isolate herself from the world so she will never get sucked into someone else's' dream again. At the start of the novel Janie seems to have made her decision though she is conflicted about it especially the part about leaving Cabel who she loves. She doesn't want to hurt him because she knows he loves her but he'll get over her eventually, whereas if she stays with him Cabel will never leave Janie even though it will upset him to see Janie loose her sight and the use of her hands. Either option she chooses Cabel will get hurt, which is the best choice? But all is not what it seems, Janie discovers her father who she never even knew existed, is in the hospital in a coma and won't be waking up and this situation may be caused by him being a dream catcher just like Janie. What follows is even more revelations for Janie about her 'curse' particularly on what her future holds for her. As she learns more either way she looks at it both possibilities (stay, go blind and loose the use of her hands or isolation) are equally bad, which one will she choose, she thought she knew but now?


I was surprised how much I enjoyed this series, when I first picked up Wake it took me a while to get used Lisa McMann's writing style (simple and fast paced), I have never read a book written like this before. However that said I soon got into it and here I am now at the end of the series. There wasn't as much suspense and mystery in this book compared to Wake and Fade this book focuses mainly on Janie's issues which has disappointed many people according to the reviews I have read. I didn't think it was that bad, but I enjoyed delving into great detail about what Janie was going through and her reflections, some people may not like that.


With a book like this the ending was never going to be wrapped up nicely but I felt Lisa McMann did an excellent job even though there were still unanswered questions. Whilst this wasn't my favourite book of the series, overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spirit Bound Teaser Quote Clips

Penguin Australia are releasing seven spririt bound teaser quote clips every three days until spirit bound is released on the 18th May, below are the first three. I can't wait ....






 

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles


Release Date: April 01, 2007

Publisher: Flux

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 303


Description:


Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad-her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares - has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb's free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It's a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.


My Review:


Nearly one year ago Maggie was hit by a car and sustained a major injury to her leg that halted her promising tennis career and leaving her in hospital being home schooled. Caleb, Maggie's neighbour and her best friends brother, was convicted of hitting Maggie while driving drunk and driving off. Maggie had a plan to avoid seeing Caleb before he got released from juvenile detention, go to Spain on exchange, her plan was working fine until Caleb was released early and now with the new school term starting Maggie will have to see Caleb every day at school reminding her of what he did to her. What follows is a beautifully written story about two people who have both been changed by the accident and now must deal with the consequences.

I absolutely loved this book! The book switched between the point of view of the two main characters Maggie and Caleb, which I thought really added to the book as we were able to see Maggie's POV of a situation and then we got Caleb POV of the same situation. It was really interesting to see how differently they saw the same situation, particularly where Maggie felt that Caleb was fitting straight back into his old life both at school and with his friends, but from Caleb POV we saw that he felt he didn't fit in there anymore and no one understood him and what he was going through.

I really felt for Maggie, before the accident she had good friends and loved playing tennis, after she seems to have lost all of her friends, cannot play tennis anymore and is now an outcast at school because of the accident and her limp. My opinion of Caleb changed throughout the book, at the start I wasn't very enamored with him but as the book progressed and he had to deal with his family, friends and the consequences of his actions I did a complete 180 turn and I was cheering for Maggie and Caleb to make it together. Caleb understood that the accident changed him, and I think for the better.

I don't want to give too much away but it is evident early in the book that all is not what it seems, there was more to the accident, but that's all I'll say.

The ending of the book was different, it wasn't all tied up with a nice little bow on top there wasn't real closure for Maggie and Caleb as a couple, so depending on if you like closure or not you may not like the ending. That said Maggie was finally able to accept what happened to her especially with what she discovered she felt she could get on with the rest of her life now without having all this anger. Personally, I liked the ending, especially now that there is a sequel coming out this year, I can't wait to find out what happens to Maggie and Caleb next.

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill


Release Date: April 07, 2009

Publisher: NAL Trade

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 341


Description:

They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago's vampires announced their existence to the world-and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker... and this one decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I've traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four hundred year old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude-and servitude. Right...

But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I'm surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan's attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone's still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood...

My Review:


As one of Chicago's newest vampires Merit has a lot to learn about vampire society especially the part about obeying your Liege.

After being turned into a vampire (because she was attacked and would have died) by Ethan Sullivan the head vampire of Cadogan House Merit must now swear an oath of loyalty to protect and serve both Ethan and the house. The only problem is Merit has issues with the whole swearing an oath to the house and her new Liege Ethan. Merit has serious issues with Ethan, I mean he turned her into a vampire, which she never asked for, but she has some other feelings for him too which she finds hard admitting to herself. Apart from Merit's feelings towards Ethan, he also has some feelings for her too but he seems to be surprised by this but does ask Merit to be his mistress to which she replies no, what century are we in! Boy the sexual tension between these two characters is hot! Apart from vampires there are also a host of other supernatural beings that are introduced such as shifters and sorcerers and other vampires from the different houses.

Whilst most of the book deals with Merit trying to come to terms with her new lifestyle there is also an investigation going on to determine who tried to kill Merit which we find out at the end of the book.

Merit was by far my favourite character, she was headstrong, loyal, smart and took no crap from anyone. Ethan on the other hand, what can I say apart from the fact I can't decide if I love Ethan or hate Ethan sometimes I loved him other times I wanted to scream at him for being stupid! Arghh so frustrating!

By the end of the book you know that there is something different about Merit from other vampires and I'm sure this will be explored more in the next book because there is a lot more to know. I can't wait for the next book I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP!


** As I review mainly young adult novels I thought I better mention that this book is geared more towards an older audience **

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr


Release Date: May 31, 2007

Publisher: HarperTeen

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 328


Description:


Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.


Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.


Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.


Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.


Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.


But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires.


Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.


Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.


My Review:

From the time of her birth Aislinn has always seen the faeries. For Aislinn it's like a curse which was passed down from her grandmother to her mother to Aislinn. In order to live a relatively normal life Aislinn tries to ignore what she sees but it's difficult when she sees them just about everywhere and let me tell you some of those faeries are evil! In order to try and live with this Aislinn's grandmother has ingrained in her since birth three rules she must follow because she must never reveal that she has the sight to the faeries who knows what they will do. One of the only person who acts as a calming presence in her life is her best friend (and maybe something more) Seth. Suddenly Aislinn's whole life is turned upside down when she notices she is being followed by two faeries, Donia and Keenan who happens to be the Summer King in search for his Summer Queen who Keenan believes is Aislinn. Suddenly Aislinn finds herself talking to the faeries that she has been terrified of her whole life trying desperately to ward off Keenan.

I loved the whole premise of this novel, I haven't read anything like it before. I found Aislinn to be strong character, even though she managed to keep her sight hidden her whole life and was scared of the faeries she still had the courage to confront Keenan (especially when the subject was about Seth) and revealed her sight to both Donia and Keenan. I couldn't warm to Keenan, I don't know what it was and I really didn't want Aislinn to end up with him I really wanted to see her with Seth. Ah Seth, who doesn't like a bad boy with piercings and tattoos, but don't be fooled he may look tough but deep down he is a really great guy who adores Aislinn and would do anything for her. I loved how their relationship developed throughout the novel. The only issue I had (and its small) was how easy Seth believed Aislinn when she told him about her sight, it was like Aislinn: 'I see faeries and they're bad', Seth: 'oh okay that's weird I'll help you and go to the library and read some books about faeries'. I know you'll say but it's a fantasy book what do you expect but I guess I thought it would have taken a bit longer to convince him that's all. Keenan's mother the Winter Queen was a real piece of work I'm glad to say she got what was coming to her! I also thought it was really ingenious how Marr started each chapter with quotes from books written about faries from the 1800s you could see how she woved the faery lore into her book.

I can't wait to get immersed into the faery world again when I read the next chapter in the series 'Ink Exchange'.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Release Date: February 01, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 363

Description:

Megan 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 Review:

** WARNING: Once you start to read this book you won't be able to put it down, yes it's that good! **

This book hooked me in from the start with the amazing characters, I absolutely adored Puck, and the enchanting faery mythology, which I just love. From the get go the iron kings sucks you in and doesn't stop, there is never a lull like in some books, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The imagination Julie Kagawa is amazing! What can I say, the whole world she created was so unique, especially the iron kingdom where she wove farey mythology and man kinds increasing reliance on science and technology together to indicate why the iron kingdom exists and the terrible impact it was and will continue to have on the nevernever.

Meghan was a strong heroine who really developed as a character throughout the book, at the start she was apprehensive and scared travelling through the Nevernever to find her brother but by the end of the book with all the situations she has gone through she is a lot stronger and more confident. I loved how she would do anything for the people she loved, that really endeared her to me. Whilst I really liked Megan as a character Puck was my favourite, he was the joker always there to put a smile on Megan's face. I mean who doesn't like a funny boy? Then there is Ash, Megan's love interest who weirded me out a bit at the start of the novel but as we got to know more about Ash and saw his relationship with Megan develop I began to soften to him (especially when they were in the iron kingdom), then towards the end I was like 'kiss her you fool! Cant you see she likes you!' I felt he was a very complex character and I can't help but think there is still much more to find out about Ash in the next book. Ohh I almost forgot to mention Grimalkin the talking cat! Yes there is a talking cat, loves it!

I can't wait for the next installment, the iron daughter, only a couple more months until August, but it seems so long away…

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison


Release Date: March 04, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 301

Description:

THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

My Review:

I'll admit it, yes I cried reading this book and I couldn't stop thinking about the book the whole next day, which caused me to get a bit teary again, damn this beautifully written book it's getting me upset again just writing about it!

Now that I have finished my rant I'll go on, Beth has always been bullied by the students at her school, she even has the oh so wonderful nickname 'the beast'. After years of bullying she really does think she is 'the beast'. Her only friend is Scott, who she has known since childhood who happens to love her no matter what she looks like, he loves her for her, not anything else which is very romantic and sweet. Beth sings in a choir, now I won’t go into too much detail but she ends up getting picked to sing a solo for the choir and with that comes a huge change in her appearance. Whilst she may look different Beth still feels she is the same 'beast'. Her choir ends up competing in Switzerland and she meets Derek a singer from another choir they are competing against. Beth falls in love with Derek and to Beth's surprise Derek falls in love with her to, however throughout most of the book I was trying to figure out why Derek was so elusive to Beth's constant questioning about his life back home. I have to say I kind of had a inkling why he was a bit off sometimes but that still didn't stop the OMG moment when you found out why he was the way he was with Beth. Apart from dealing with her romance with Derek, Beth also had to fend off attention from Scott who declared his love for her.

Beth was a complex and interesting character who was very insecure about herself, keeping to herself most of the time (before her transformation) whereas Derek was the complete opposite, living life to the full.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who loves a good romance but be prepared to cry. I have warned you all.

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About Me

Romy @ Lost.in.Stories
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is lost.in.stories? Well lost.in.stories is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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