Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Dark Eden by Partick Carman

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Dark Eden
Patrick Carman
Release date: November 1st, 2011
by HarperCollins Publishers

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins Publishers for review purposes*

Holy freaking cow! Now this is a thriller! I often go into books believing them to be thrillers, when they end up being barely creepy with a romance -or something similarly annoying- taking over the story. Dark Eden was not the case. It had me almost piss my pants! Seriously! I was reading this at 2 in the afternoon in a very bright and cheerful environment, wrapped up in the book, when my husband gets home… He throws the door open and I practically jumped out of my skin! I thought my heart would beat out of my chest! It was so much fun!!

Will, a 17 year old with a crippling phobia (of unmentioned nature to avoid spoilers), gets sent to an institution, with 6 other kids, that can apparently cure fears. As soon as they arrive, Will escapes from the group and ends up hiding in what appears to be a panic room… A panic room with monitors that lets him see what’s going on in the institution. Does this sound ominous enough for you? Prior to reading the book, visiting Dark Eden’s website worked wonders on my mind’s eye. It has videos, audio diaries, pictures, even a fun fear test, that really gets the imagination going. The teaser video is incredibly creepy and the freaky pictures sets the mood just right. This greatly added to my amazing experience with the book. I suggest you visit it beforehand.

Everyone is wary of the unknown to some degree. Patrick’s Dark Eden makes a great example of this. He took an especially creepy premise full of questions and unexplained occurrences and gave us a spine-chilling novel. The big plot twist isn’t completely impossible to deduce – I’m sure most will guess to a certain extent, but the whole ordeal behind it and sinister feeling throughout the book had me covered in goosebumps the whole way through. I never knew what’s going to happen next and on top of that, I was made constantly afraid of Will’s discovery.

The protagonist, Will, is smart, competent and brave. At times I was fearing this bravery, but I was also confident in his decisions. The other kids in the institution are not incredibly distinct, but their interactions aren’t prominent outside of what Will sees on the monitors. There are little tiny specks of romance in the story as well, which is not incredibly necessary but adds a bit of fun to all the angst. The ending has bit of everything: despair, contentment and foreboding. It’s not a cliffhanger ending, although it’s left open for the possibility of a sequel.

Ultimately, Dark Eden fully exceeded my expectations. It’s a very thrilling and interesting read that I think readers who like getting spooked will enjoy. Still not sure? If you take a look at the website you’ll get an idea of the vibe of the book: Click here enter Dark Eden’s website.

5 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (Oct 30th-Nov 5th)

Posted by on 10/29/2011 • 9 Comments

This week’s hot releases

Fresh Batch features some of the hottest releases this upcoming week. The books to feature are exclusively chosen by Giselle.

Flavour of the week: Touch Jus Accardo

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her…

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted by on 10/28/2011 • 31 Comments

ObsidianJennifer L. ArmentroutRelease date: December 6th, 2011by Entangled Publishing

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…

Review: Suspense by Jason Letts

Posted by on 10/27/2011 • 10 Comments

SuspenseJason LettsReleased September 3rd, 2011Format: Ebook

Spencer Nye can’t control the rage bubbling under her skin over the world around her. The trouble is, by the year 2102, the world has solved most of its great problems. Without hunger, war, greed, or even money, people obsess over the glamour of the Culture Industry and its mega-celebrity Idols, who vie for followers over the social networks of Connect.

But Spencer discovers there is plenty to fix within the Idols’ competition for more popularity. She becomes a diehard and promises to do anything to help her Idol, a dreamy movie star named Cleary Mintz, bring his vision of hope and purpose to the world. When she stumbles onto a threat against his life, she’ll have to fight harder than she ever thought…

WoW (7) – Halloween Edition, Week 4

Posted by on 10/26/2011 • 94 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  With October upon us, my WoWs this month will feature books that would be perfect for a Halloween read. My pick this week:

                                    Masque of the Red Death                                     Bethany Griffin

                                    Release date: April 24, 2012

Everything is in ruins. A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. But in the depths of the club—in the depths of…

Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 10/25/2011 • 25 Comments

Liesl & PoLauren OliverReleased October 4thby HarperCollins

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

A truly magical story! Liesl & Po will open your hearts and make you reminisce on your childhood days…

Dusty Reads (5)

Posted by on 10/25/2011 • 12 Comments

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on our 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: The Truth About Forever Sarah Dessen Released May 1st, 2004

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish…

Interview & Giveaway with Belle Whittington

Posted by on 10/24/2011 • 43 Comments

Belle Whittington, author of Cicada, is stopping by Xpresso Reads today to answer a few questions about her debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy. She has also generously offered an ecopy of her book for giveaway.

Before we get started on the interview, let’s take a look at Cicada: Cicada Belle Whittington Released July 14th, 2011Add to your Goodreads to-read shelf

Purchase: Amazon / Smashword / B&N

For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it’s something she learns to deal with, because there’s no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town…