Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of Between You and Me by Marisa Calin

by: Sarah
Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 242 pages 
My Format: hardcover
Rating: / 3.5 out of 5 

Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she’s ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre’s best friend—addressed throughout the story in the second person, as "you"—stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn’t understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can’t fathom the depth of her best friend’s feelings . . . until it’s almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions—is "you" male or female?—will have readers talking

Now, I personally found it easy and pleasant to slip into the writing style of this book which is set up in the format of a screenplay.  I do realize that perhaps some modern young readers out there might not like this, and I feel as if the older crowd might roll their eyes and find it pretentious or contrived, but I didn't. I actually went into this book expecting it all to be a bit hipstery and 500 days of summerish, but it's not at all. I really like the way Marisa Calin writes and am excited to read more from her. She's got what I like to call the "magic touch" when it comes to effortlessly capturing the voice of young people.  I found Phyre's inner monolgue to be consistently honest, brash, and at times cringe-worthy, which in my opinion means the author is doing a good job.  I thought Phyre's thoughts were very realistic, especially when trying to come to terms with the fact that she has a crush on another female, something that's never happened to her before. There was one scene in particular that stuck out to me, in which Phyre proclaims to herself that it's not a big deal at all, only to moments later realize she's suddenly "different" than the rest of her peers, and wish her feelings would just go away.  There were many little moments like that, where I just really felt what Phyre was feeling, because I'd felt it all myself in my own life, and I think Calin has hit the nail on the head for what's going through the mind of a high school girl going through this sort of situation. There were tons of things I really admired about the writing. It had some really great metaphors strewn through, the play-within-a-play device, the artistic choice to leave out the gender of Phyre's best friend, I could go on. Marisa Calin knows what's up.

Now, despite the fact that the writing and characters were beautifully crafted, the story itself was a little lacking for me. Just a little! It was all very predictable and maybe that's partially the fault of the summary giving so much away? But as I was reading I kept waiting for something really big to happen. I imagined perhaps Phyre getting drunk and publicly declaring her feelings or her best friend doing something like this or maybe even for Phyre and her teacher to kiss in some awkward, accidentally-on-purpose way - NOT that I wanted them to be together- I just wanted shit to hit the fan in some way because the book was building up on such a dramatic tone and then it was just sort of like, nothing really happened? Granted there was quite an embarrassing revelation of Phyre's affections, but I guess I was just expecting something a bit more intense. But, in a way, it's a nice direction to go in. Like hey, it happened, and it wasn't the end of the world! 

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I could relate to it immensely on a personal level and I'm sure many other young people will also be able to. Throughout the first half of the book I was debating on whether or not to give 5 stars simply because of how lovely the writing was, but once I finished it out I was a little disappointed with the lack of a really good climax. Even so, it was still a good story. I definitely recommend! 


You can also check this out on my goodreads

Monday, August 27, 2012

ARC Review of The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

★ - This thing is heaven in book form.
The Lost Prince
By: Julie Kagawa
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 379
Star Rating: / Go out and buy it now.
Release Date: October 23rd 2012

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.


"For something to be given, something must be taken."

For me, the original Iron Fey series is irreplaceable. Try if you will. You can shower me with classics or dozens and dozens of newly released YA titles, but you won't be able to divert my attention should I be in the process of re-reading one of the Iron Fey books. They are my darlings. So when details surrounding The Lost Prince was up for the public, I was nothing if not skeptical. Spin-offs usually don't end well with me. If anything, they typically end up ruining the original story and the characters I'd come to love in it. But then I actually read this jem of a book. And while I still lived for the moments where Ash, Meghan, Puck, and Grimalkin showed up, Ethan Chase's tale is a story in it's own right.

Ethan is no Ash or Puck, but nonetheless, I couldn't help but love him all the same. He's certainly not without his flaws, but they only serve to endear him as a more realistic person. He does complain quite a bit, and often about his sister, but he has a good heart underneath. And for all the negativity he has stored up inside, he has Kenzie to balance him out.

And speaking of Kenzie, she's probably the most bubbly, full of life person I'll ever meet fictionally or even in everyday life. Kenzie is just the kind of person you wouldn't be able to hate. Her kindness, and just the fact that she doesn't back down when she's challenged was more than enough to win me over.

Now let us discuss the new characters that stood out most to me, and the twists and turns.


In all honesty, Meghan and Ash's son, Keirran, was like a combination of a slightly less witty Puck who had the stubbornness that Ash had when he refused to give up Meghan and return to his rightful place as a Winter Prince. However, he was eventually able to make his place in my heart, if you exclude the ending. He just wasn't the Keirran we meet and love in the first half of the book anymore by then. And the sequel's title. WHYYY? I look forward to seeing Keirran in The Traitor Son. Righttt...yeahhh. *sniff*


"We are forgotten. No one remembers our names, that we have existed."

Boy were those things creepy. I really don't see the appeal of them, I really don't. Perhaps that's why no one wanted to remember them. Maybe. I SAID MAYBE. IT WAS JUST A SUGGESTION SO DON'T KILL ME YOU CREEPY FEY.


Mhm hmm. I tend to gush when I like things. You musn't judge me. The Lost Prince is enchanting and beautiful, romantic, yet still full of action. It has something for everyone. Pre-order your copy now. Mine is already on the way. Cheers.

Review also found at: Goodreads

Contact Kaede:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty damn awesome.
I'm no Isabelle, but you're going to have to make do with Kaede this week.
Enjoy looking at the books darling.
 ( 3-in-1s are cheap. Kaede is cheap.)
Thrall (Daughters Of Lilith, #1)Inherit
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inbetween Blog Tour: Playlist, Interview, and Giveaway!

Hey guys. Today we have the Inbetween Blog Tour visiting us!


The Interview

Tara Fuller
This is your future God.
Nickname as a Kid: Okay, this is embarrassing, but I'll tell you. My name is Tara Ann, so of course my nickname was "Tarazann".

Astrological Sign: Aquarius

Coffee or Tea?: Tea

Favorite Video Game: Michael Jackson The Experience  in the Wii

Favorite Color: Red

Last time you got pulled over: Hmmm...I think it was 7 or 8 years ago.

Brand of Shampoo You Use: Herbal Essence

Q: Inbetween is a book that’s very much based on stories, with
Heaven, Hell, and “reincarnation” of sorts playing a part in it.
How much of it did you research, versus the amount of literary
license you took in making it your own?

A: When it came to the "reaper" world I made most of it my own. I didn't rely on mythology for that at all. I wanted to make something unique. I did  however did do a lot of research on poltergeists, hauntings, world war 2 fighter pilots, and house fires.

Q: Speaking of, where did you get the idea for reapers?

A: I got the idea for Inbetween from an Edgar Allen Poe quote.
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
After I read this, I knew I wanted to write a book where death was a person. Most people fear death more than anything, so I wanted to explore what it would be like for death to be a person, and what would happen if he fell in love.

Q: There’s a certain scene in this book that had me shedding a
few tears. Can you tell us how to go about creating an emotional
scene without making it cheesy, or making me want to stab my

coconuts, crying, onions, smartassery
A slightly related picture! From Roger Hoyt's blog.

A: First of all I think the scene has to come naturally as part of your characters development and growth. I don't think you can set out trying to make the reader cry. There were times while writing the book that I was literally in tears as I wrote. Those were the moments that my characters felt very real for me. Also one way to avoid too much "cheese" is to read it out loud. Then cut anything that made you cringe to say out loud, lol.

Q: Inbetween is such an electric love story. How do you make swoon
worthy characters like Finn? Do you have to research these kinds of

A: I guess I don't, lol. I did lots of research to find out who Finn was as a person. Like the fighter pilot stuff, and his Dad being a farmer. But when it comes to the depth and emotion that went into him, he was just in my head, wanting to get out. The love he felt for Emma felt real for me in the moment.

Q: This book is pretty hilarious at times. Do you gain a sense of
humor like that through experience, or do you just inherit it? (Or
is there something you aren’t telling us?)

A: I'd say I inherited it, lol. My Dad cracks me up and he's always said that I'm way too much like him. He says I've turned being a smart ass into an art. I think a lot of that went into characters like Easton and Cash.

Q: Okay, okay, so you have to answer this question: If you’re in
Hell, and you’re mad at someone, where do you tell them to go?

A: Since Easton is my go-to reaper for Hell, why don't I let him answer for me. Easton?

     Easton: "The Gap."

Thanks so much for the interview Isabelle! 

Tara also sent me her playlist, and I took a listen to all of these and really enjoyed them- I must say she has impeccable taste. For your convenience, I linked to the YouTube videos for them. Just click on the title!

Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1): Playlist

Iris by: Goo Goo Dolls
[Izzy's note: This is the best song...ever. Seriously. You should also listen to the Sleeping With Sirens cover.]

Into Dust by: Mazzy Star

Gravity by: Sara Bareilles

Impossible by: Anberlin
[Izzy: I fricking LOVE THIS SONG SO HARD.]

Help I’m Alive by: Metric

Girl is on My Mind by: The Black Keys

Get Higher by: Paper Tongues

I Will Follow You into the Dark by: Death Cab for Cutie
[Izzy: Easily my favorite band ever. True story. Listen to their album and you'll agree.]

The Very Thought of You by: Billie Holiday

Northern Wind by: City and Colour
[Izzy: Beautiful. Just... beautiful.] 
In My Veins by: Andrew Belle

By the way, if you like this playlist, you can see it here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Feed Your Reader Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Feed Your Reader Giveaway Hop!


(And yes, I know Isabelle has been largely absent from the web. Thank you to Kaede and Sarah for taking over. I've been dealing with some losses.)


I usually buy e-books for big books that I don't feel like carrying around. So the theme of the e-books you can choose are Young Adult books close to or over 400 pages long.

Here are yo options:

My Life Next Door Before I Fall For Darkness Shows the Stars The Book of Blood and Shadow The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1) Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Yes, I realize this is a random list. If you have any suggesstions, feel free to reply with them when you win.

This is international, duh. It's e-books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Also- a reminder to NOT email Isabelle about anything, as she WILL NOT answer at this time. If you need something urgently, contact Kaede and Sarah.) 

Check out the other blogs on this hop!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review of Legend by Marie Lu

By: Marie Lu
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 305
Star Rating: / Go out and buy it now.

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.


 Huh. Well I'll be damned. I'll be damned.

It's not like I hate dystopians, nor do I shiver at the idea and walk the other way when I hear of one. But in all honesty: There's just too much.

Okay, yeah. I understand that The Hunger Games is the best thing that's happen in your life for some of you guys, but in return, please understand that it's not like that for everyone. The hype that is The Hunger Games, but don't get me wrong — I like the series too, is what evidently led to the overflow and ambush of dozens of new dystopian releases month after month. Even now, they still just keep on coming.

My point is that with so many books that cover the same one particular subgenre, ideas are bound to clash. In no way am I stating that any author's work is nothing more than just a copy of another's, but I'm stating the fact that more often than not, many dystopian books tend to just seem the same to me. World on the brink of destruction. Only one girl can save them all. Must fall in love with off-limits hot guy first, though. What else is new?

But no. Legend doesn't follow that curriculum. Sure, it's still borders on the line of girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back, but it does it well. No stupid damsel in distress, no ridiculously hot guy that just wouldn't exist in the real world, and no overused plot — or at least to the extent where it doesn't feel like it.

I certainly adored June and her spirit. She was the fierce and strong, but not invincible, heroine that I was craving. And plus, I'm all for reading about a kick-ass girl.

And Day. He gets extra points for just being Day. No jerk of a bad boy here, just Day. The Day who puts on a facade and is willing to take the pain for the sake of his family.

Sure, the character's motives are sometimes questionable, but they have a reason behind them that just won't let you hate them. And, as always, I love a good sibling bond. Even if one of them doesn't live past the first quarter of this book. It's all good.

It's all good.


Review also found at: Goodreads

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)


 Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty damn awesome.

This week we got quite a few books, so try not to fall asleep.




The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1) Obsidian (Lux, #1) 

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer -

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout -


(They were free. And no one expects to resist free books, do they? >:DDD) 

Persuasion Pride and Prejudice Sense and Sensibility Mansfield Park Peter Pan

Persuasion by Jane Austen -

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen -

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen -

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (audio) -

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie -


Confessions of a Murder Suspect

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson (and of course, his ghostwriter: Maxine Paetro) -


The Archived (The Archived, #1) Prototype 2

The Archived by Victoria Schwab -

Prototype 2 by Dan Jolley -


Basically, I'm a total recluse and didn't leave the house. Therefore, I only got books in the mail this week. Happy times!


Thank you to Lizzy Lessard from Lizzy's Dark Fiction!

PS- They were signed copies, too!

Thank you to Epic Reads! (They totally don't email you if you win- I had NO idea this was coming.)

A signed bookmark from Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger.

For Review:

The rainbow isn't randomly photoshopped. That's just the sheen, which is freaking amazing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)by Isabelle Doan

Random Info:
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 417 pages (hardcover)
Series: Yes, this is #1
My Format: Library (audiobook)
Time it Took me to Read: audio is 14 hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover
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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly 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?
I believe it’s an age thing.

I’ve often been told that teenagers are just as viable as adults- that our opinions matter, too. That we count as people as much as the next forty year old. And yes, I agree with that to a certain degree.

But as a young person, I can tell you that there’s a lot that I don’t understand. That I’ve never experienced- that I can’t imagine until I’ve seen it, felt it, heard its harrowing cries.

One of these things is love.

That’s where Daughter of Smoke and Bone has its biggest fault. The first line of the book is “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.” This is referring to the two main characters of the story, Karou and Akiva. The only problem is that I didn’t get their love. I didn’t feel a connection. It was, to put it simply, insta love.

Maybe that’s not the author’s fault at all. Everyone over the age of twenty who has read this book has given it such high praise- anybody under that age had less than good things to say. I read and watched a lot of reviews on this book before writing my own, and while reading many teenagers’, I began to realize that their main complaint was the so-called insta-love.

[Here’s where I add that I say that I mean majority, meaning… my Goodreads friends. If you’re 85 and you hated this book, good for you! Comment and we can talk, because I like you.]

One of the goals of writing is to make a reader understand and sympathize. Laini Taylor did this nicely with Karou, as I thought she was a great heroine. However, the romance- MY biggest gripe as well- left me wondering if I was missing something. I wanted to rate this five stars so badly. The world building was stunning, and it had a rich cast of characters, and it was so beautifully imagined. But the romance between Akiva and Karou was just depressing and made me not want to read.

The romance was comparable to the one in City of Bones. Utterly ridiculous, and full of yawn, yawn whatever. Karou and Clary both drew their perfect love interests in sketchbooks, half of the book was filled with descriptions of Jace’s and Akiva’s perfectness, blah blah twinkies are dry. The difference between the two books is that the last half of City of Bones didn’t completely revolve around the romance. Being such a large book as well, that’s a lot of pages! It boggled my mind how Daughter of Smoke and Bone would spend 200 pages on a romance, yet let the actual falling in love last about 10 pages, sans 50 pages of Akiva stalking Karou.

I kept reading anyway because everything outside of that was great. But whenever Akiva showed up, he brought everything crashing down. For one, he had this “pity me” vibe going on. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to sympathize with him because of that, but it just sort of made me angry, like the people with problems who go on reality shows just to get attention. (I’m not talking about actual people with actual problems. I’m talking about those chicks that appear on Dr. Phil, or My Strange Addiction.)

Secondly, he was described as beautiful repeatedly. I get that beautiful people make the world go round, but that should not be the only prerequisite for a relationship.

But wait. This wasn’t a relationship. It was full on, desperate, desperate love- the kind that is told so gorgeously, that I really wanted to love it myself. But I couldn’t really bring myself to, because I just didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand the romance.

Considering the romance takes up half of the book, this is a problem. I felt like it was used to move along some plot points that could have been resolved with more action, because, believe, me, Laini Taylor can write good action scenes.

But I think Laini Taylor can write, period. (Although I should add that this is the type of writing with an adjective before each word. Not for the people who think beauty is in simple things.) Maybe later in life, I can appreciate the beauty of this book. For now, I will say that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was humorous with riveting creativity, but I could easily put it down.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review of Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

by: Sarah
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 335 pages 
Series: 1 of 5
My Format: ebook
Rating:  / 1.5 out of 5

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.


I know I'm going to offend so many people with this review, and I'm sorry in advance, but I'm gonna have to lay it all out there anyway.

I laughed pretty much throughout the entirety of this book. And not in a haha this is a well-written funny book kind of way, but more in a I actually can't believe this is real kind of way. So in that sense, I enjoyed it. I thought it was hilarious. But that's probably kind of bad, because I don't think it's supposed to be. 

I'm all for the hot asshole romantic male lead. ALL FOR IT. But in this book it doesn't actually ever make any sense. Usually when the male lead in a romance is standoffish and rude toward the heroine, it's because of some unseen danger he is ultimately protecting her from. But let's just say, realistically, if this were to be the case, I feel like any (para)normal guy would simply make his case known and leave the heroine alone or more likely, for the sake of keeping the story interesting, keep her at an awkward arm's length until they are passionately thrown together by circumstance and raging hormones. 

That...kind of happened in this book. Only mix in a whole lot of filler characters and sub plots that lead nowhere and big shiny ice-cream tubs (literally) of hokey plot devices. Most noticeably, Katy's mother and her disappearing act. It was a little silly to me that she was included as a character, when her only job was to breeze into scenes and say something like "Oh, honey." and then go to sleep or work or something. And Daemon's attitude toward Katy was just ridiculous, let's be real. He constantly goes out of his way to be extremely mean to her. And not even your typical hot asshole in a YA romance mean, but like actually just really nasty. I get that he was "supposed to be that way" because, he's like, protecting her and in denial that he has the hots for her, in general. Yeah, I got it. But it was still portrayed in a cringe-worthy fashion. Every time I read the word "kitten" I threw up in my mouth a little bit. And Katy, well, she was alright. She was no Bella, that's for sure. But she wasn't really the best heroine ever, either. Outside of her interactions with Daemon she was fine, but otherwise I was side-eyeing her the entire time. The writing in this book was all over the place. It was very dialogue heavy, which I don't mind at all, but the dialogue was quite repetitive and I couldn't understand why most of it hadn't been scrapped in the editing process. The big inevitable make-out scene was nice. Who doesn't enjoy a good make-out scene? But unfortunately it was not enough to redeem the rest of the book for me.

 The good news? It seems as though I'm in the vast minority when it comes to this book. 

Its fanbase is growing by the day and I'm sure as the series continues it will only become bigger. Just please don't band together to throw things at me. That's my only request.  I do have plans to read the sequel at some point, I'm not even going to lie, this series has major guilty pleasure potential for me. IF the writing improves at least a little bit and Daemon stops being an exaggerated cliche and stars acting like a normal person alien.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

200 Follower Giveaway- An ARC of Poison Princess

So on my last giveaway, I said that if you guys got me to 200 followers by the end of the giveaway, I'd hold a contest for my ARC of Poison Princess.


You guys are ridiculous. It's only been a week, and you got me 200 FOLLOWERS!

Which isn't a lot, but still. I think it's pretty awesome.

Anyway, you probably scrolled down to just get to the giveaway, so...

I'm giving away this:

Hehe, pretty awesome, eh?

This is US only, as I don't want to go broke.

HOWEVER- If you're international and you win, I'll give you a pre-order of Poison Princess!

So, to recap- If you live in the US, you can either pick the ARC, or the pre-order.

If you're international, you get the pre-order, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.

Cool? Cool.

Enter away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to enter my other giveaway to win any summer release! (INT)