Posts Categorized: Review

Friday, December 09, 2011

Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

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Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié
Released November 22nd, 2011
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

*A copy was provided by Random House Children’s Books for review purposes*  
If I would rate Unleashed on the story itself it would have gotten more praise, but I can’t do that now can I? I had my share of problems with the characters and their actions that inadvertently caused me to get a bit of a mixed feeling about the book as a whole.

It all starts with Katelyn. Katelyn’s mom has just died and, with her dad not in the picture, she is forced to move to Wolf Springs: A middle of nowhere town with no cell phone service or internet connection (can you believe?). She soon learns that there is something in the woods that has been killing people. Classmates to be exact. What does she do with this information? She goes on a motorcycle ride in the woods at night with a guy she just met, and then when she gets a flat miles into a deserted road, she doesn’t think twice about going out and changing the tire herself. We’ve all seen our shares of horror movies, Katelyn- she would definitely be the girl who runs up the stairs. As a reader who likes her characters intelligent and strong, I was never able to connect with her and often found myself shaking my head at the decisions she took.

The romance in the book is cute and helps fill up the slow pace, however I didn’t feel any sort of chemistry between the characters. We have the pre-requisite love triangle with Justin and Trick, though I didn’t want to root for either of them. For one, Justin has a girlfriend (o_O) and Trick I don’t trust. There seems to be something off with him. He definitely has secrets. In that sense, he does make a good mysterious character that I can’t help but want to find out more about.

When you read the book/series title, it’s no mystery what kind of paranormal story we’re getting into. Nonetheless, there are still a few interesting twists that I didn’t see coming. Unleashed is more of an introduction and setup for the series. We only get a glimpse of the main plot and most of our questions are left unanswered which some may find underwhelming. Regardless of the issues I have with the characters, I find myself curious enough to give next installment a try, especially after that cliffhanger ending!

2 Hot Espressos

Review: Hushed by Kelley York

Posted by on 12/06/2011 • 29 Comments

HushedKelley YorkRelease date: December 6th, 2011by Entangled Publishing

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He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan,…

Review: The Magi by Kevin M. Turner

Posted by on 12/05/2011 • 19 Comments

The MagiKevin M. TurnerReleased October 8th, 2011

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Thirteen-year-old Elijah Hawk has never heard of the Magi. He doesn’t know about the secret power they have. He has never been to Savenridge, the Magi city hidden deep inside the northern forests. Most of all, Elijah is unaware of the dangers hunting him, in search for something he has. After one terrifying night, however, all of that changes!

On a quest to solve the murder of his parents, Elijah stumbles upon the land of the Magi. Learning their secrets and training with their power is the least of his problems. In order to find out why his parents were killed, Elijah learns that he must confront the dangers that are hunting him. What’s more terrifying is learning that…

Review: Arson by Estevan Vega

Posted by on 12/02/2011 • 16 Comments

ArsonEstevan VegaReleased May 4th, 2010by Tate Publishing

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Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can’t shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl—who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin—moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he’s never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy…

Review: Before by Cambria Hebert

Posted by on 12/01/2011 • 23 Comments

Before(Heven and Hell, # 0.5) Cambria HebertReleased November 16th, 2011

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What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect… Before.This is the story of my past. Of what things were like for me when everything was normal. Of what every teenager’s life is like. Clothes. Parties. Boys and summer vacation. What’s so wrong with that? I liked it. I was happy. Until things changed. I changed.I didn’t know that lies and secrets were about to take over my existence. I didn’t know there was someone out there, someone meant just for me. I didn’t know that I was about to go on a journey, a journey that would lead me to the girl I am today.This is the beginning of the worst year of…

Review: Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

Posted by on 11/29/2011 • 30 Comments

Dreamfever(Fever, #4) Karen Marie MoningReleased August 18th, 2009by Delacorte Press

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They may have stolen my past, but I’ll never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the insatiable, immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, MacKayla Lane is caught in a deadly trap. Captured by the Fae Lord Master, she is left with no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive who can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of arcane black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds.

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle-filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient,…

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Posted by on 11/28/2011 • 40 Comments

Catching JordanMiranda Kenneally Release date: December 1st, 2011by Sourcebooks Fire

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What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

*A copy was provided by Sourcebooks for review purposes* What did I think of Catching Jordan? Umm.. well.. it was FREAKING AMAZING! There…

Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

Posted by on 11/25/2011 • 28 Comments

The Secret of Spruce Knoll

Heather McCorkleReleased August 3rd, 2011by Abbott Press

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It’s hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt-and learning that there really is magic in the world. Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with so-called “channelers”-a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.

Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they-and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only…