Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

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Amanda Hocking
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
by St. Martin’s Griffin

Goodreads / Purchase

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

Trolls! I know, right? Flashy colorful hair, so-ugly-they’re-cute dolls we all had at one point? In Amanda’s world, these are all misconceptions. They’re called Trylle, and they’re beautiful, magical and on the brink of extinction.

With an entirely unique lore, Switched is able to stand out from all the other paranormal books available. I was fascinated by the Trylle mythology: How they lived, the monarchy, their custom of switching babies at birth. It was absolutely creative. Into this world comes a collection of commendable characters that are both well developed and easily likeable – even a select few that are fun to hate. Wendy has a big personality. She’s had a difficult, traumatic childhood, but that only made her stronger for the wear. She doesn’t let anyone manipulate her. She’s sympathetic and kind. All of which make her really relatable. I enjoyed going through her dilemmas with her. The stressful demands of becoming a princess overnight, the boy she’s falling for- it was all delightful. Almost like a modern day fairy tale.

Yes! The wonderful boys! From sweet to sweaty, Wendy has got more than her pick of lovely bachelors to chose from. I absolutely loved how the romance was played out in Switched. It’s passionate and heartbreaking. It doesn’t fall with the clichés of today’s YA novels. It’s unexpected – true to life. Truthfully, I devoured it and I can’t fathom choosing a team. She can have them all, right?

While there is still good story development, I did find some parts of the book were a bit slow. A good portion is dedicated to character and world building, however the book does not completely suffer from “first book syndrome” it does have its own beginning, middle and end, but I think the rest of the trilogy will be much more action packed with powerful plot twists.

With this admirable debut, Amanda Hocking has begun a trilogy that has immense potential. Switched is just as beautiful inside as it is on the outside (definite cover lust) and I highly recommend it! 

4 Hot Espressos

Dusty Reads (15)

Posted by on 01/03/2012 • 23 Comments

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on my home shelf for some time. To participate, add your link at the bottom.  If you wish, you can grab the button and find more information here.

My pick this week:

Demonglass(Hex Hall, #2) Rachel HawkinsReleased March, 20011Goodreads / Purchase

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of…

On A Dark Wing Tour Stop

Posted by on 01/02/2012 • 25 Comments

That’s right! The On A Dark Wing blog tour is visiting Xpresso Reads today for their very last stop! I’ve got a review and 2 wonderful giveaways for you all to give you some entertainment on this Monday. I hope you enjoyed the whole tour and I’m glad to be able to end it with a bang!

On A Dark WingJordan DaneRelease date: December 27th, 2011by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads / Purchase

The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her “lucky” break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she…

Cover Reveal: Toxic, The Pledge, Entasy & The Alchemy of Forever

Posted by on 01/02/2012 • 20 Comments

Toxic (Denazen, #2) Jus Accardo Release date: May 1st, 2012 by Entangled Publishing Add it to your Goodreads

When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of…

In My Mailbox (16)

Posted by on 01/01/2012 • 62 Comments

“In My Mailbox” is a meme, created by Kristi at The Story Siren, that features books I have received/ purchased/ borrowed during the week.  It’s 2012!!!!! *throws confetti* Another year gone. I hope you all made your goals and did important things. Like stop world hunger and stuff. Me, I went well over my goal of reading 100 books – I made it to 153! Hurray! What? I recycled too!

Here’s what I got for review (click on cover for Goodreads):

 I want to thank HBG Canada, Feiwel & Friends and Simon & Schuster for the review copies.

I have bought: Me and a few other bloggers are having a super secret special monthly event for which I needed this awesome Zombie Vs. Unicorns short story…

Giveaway: On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

Posted by on 12/31/2011 • 5 Comments

On A Dark WingJordan DaneRelease date: December 27th, 2011by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads / Purchase

The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her “lucky” break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she’s the target of Death’s ravens and an innocent boy’s life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey’s secret crush—starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.And…

Fresh Batch (Jan 1st-7th)

Posted by on 12/31/2011 • 21 Comments

Exclusively titled for Xpresso Reads, Fresh Batch features the hottest releases of this upcoming week. Flavour of the week: =”1″>

The Alchemy of Forever

Avery Williams Goodreads / Purchase 

People say ‘love never dies’… but love might be the death of Seraphina. Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. She doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies. When we meet Sera, she has landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was…

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Posted by on 12/30/2011 • 23 Comments

Under the Never SkyVeronica RossiRelease date: January 3rd, 2012by HarperCollins

Goodreads / Purchase

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional…