Half-Blood

Title: Half-Blood (Book 1 in Covenant)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press Publishing
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Ebook

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:
Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.
Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
I really love Jennifer Armentrout. I really do. Because even though I don’t love this series as much as the Lux novels, it ranks really high up there. It’s full of action, but also teenage hormones and angst. Snark and sarcasm and hot boys, stuffy grown-ups who can shove it because what do grown-ups know anyway? She filled the pages with dilemmas and resolutions, usually involving a little butt-kicking. Honestly, I can’t imagine a faster-paced book that still takes the time to describe every humiliating event in detail, keeping the character fresh and likeable, keeping the reader on her side.

Other than maybe Alex’s mother (before the whole daimon thing), I don’t like any of the adults in the book. Lucian is a simpering creep, in my opinion. Marcus is stuffy and too involved in politics, like most pure-bloods. I do like the teenagers, except for a select few. Lea, for one, is just a mean girl, and frustrating at best, but definitely not as bad as, say, some other more stuck-up people – *cough purebloods cough Cody cough*. Caleb is amazing, everything a girl wants in a best friend. And although I can see what people love in him as a potential beau for Alex, I like him with Olivia. They’d be a sweet couple.

Aiden, on the other hand … wow. I REALLY wish that right there wasn’t forbidden, because I LOVE him and Alex together. However, I do realize that without that, there isn’t much of a story. Well, there is, but a much less conflicted one, and okay, I’ll admit, I enjoy the frustrating torture of not knowing if Aiden or – please no – Seth who she will end up with. Speaking of Seth, he’s annoying. I mean, annoying in the way that he reminds me of my teenage little brother. Yeah. That annoying. And sure, sometimes he’s funny. And sometimes he’s cool, like the whole akasha thing he’s got going on. And, of course, there are rare moments of sane, serious Seth. But why does he have to bounce around like that? At least Aiden has a valid reason for his mood swings – you know, all those stupid rules? But Seth just does it because … he’s Seth.

Even though I haven’t really talked much about Alex, I think it’s pretty obvious that I like her. She’s be my best friend if it weren’t for the whole she’s a Greek myth and I’m a mortal thing. She’s got skills, man! And even though she gets her butt handed to her, she’s determined and strong. Despite the flaws in being strong-willed (come on, every hero has a fatal flaw – no one’s perfect), I liked that she was always truthful with herself. Even though life was confusing for her at times, she never lied to herself. Instead, she usually picked a fight, whether with a training dummy or, well, … Aiden. So yeah, I like her 🙂

Overall, this book was great. I loved the action, the heartache, the characters, the plot, the author … that sounded stalkerish, but true. Can’t wait for Pure!

~Yours Truly

*Note: This book did contain language, violence, and sexual references. Recommended for ages 14 & up.

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Shadows

Title: Shadows (Book .5 in Lux)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen – Entangled Publishing
Release date: February 20, 2012
Ebook

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethaney Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are, well … fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
Bethaney can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.
Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence … and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

I went on a book-buying spree with my Nook this weekend, since I had a gift card, and it had a theme: Jennifer Armentrout.

*EDIT: THIS STUPID INTERNET!!! IT JUST CUT OUT FOR NO REASON AT ALL AND I JUST LOST HALF MY POST!!!
Okay I’m done with that rant. I’m going to try to remember what I had written down, now.

So, I don’t buy books often. Like, maybe twice a year, with gift cards. And I always make sure that I buy the most amount of books for whatever amount I have on my gift cards. So I had a $25 dollar B&N card that I spent – wisely – on Nook copies of: Shadows, Obsidian, Half-Blood, and Pure on Saturday morning. And let me tell you, money well spent!!

So back to the Shadows review. I am so glad that I read this book, especially since I reread Obsidian right after. It really gave a lot more insight into the backstories of Dee and Daemon and the rest of the aliens. It shed light on the rules and beliefs of the Luxen as well gave a ton more information about Dawson. I loved how it was told in Dawson’s third person POV, too. It showed the similarities between Daemon and Dawson really well, in ways other than looks, that it doesn’t seem that Daemon realizes are there, especially since VERY similar events take place in Obsidian. I think that Daemon’s POV in certain scenes would definitely be conflicted because of his whole experience with Dawson and Bethaney.

But Shadows by itself was full of awesomesauce, too! Dawson and Bethaney were too cute! I loved how he felt about her, and the scenes from her POV were sweet. He was protective, caring, and eventually he realized that he loved her, and it wasn’t just lust or anything else. It was also very scary, at some points, because somehow, Bethaney gets herself into more trouble than Katy could, and without involving Arum! I almost died at certain parts because of the vivid grief and fear through the writing. And then the ending? Well, let’s just say that I totally can’t wait for Onyx and the secrets that hopefully unfold!!!!

Before I end the review, I can’t help but also point this out: the cover is smothered with awesomesauce and topped off with some cool beans of epic proportions. I absolutely adore the covers, even though I loved the first edition covers as well!

~Yours Truly

*Note: This book does contain some sexual references and language. Series recommended for ages 14 & up.

Falling Home

Title: Falling Home
Author: Karen White
Publisher: New American Library – Penguin Group, Inc.
Release Date: November 1, 2010

Cassie Madison has it all: a high-powered advertising career, a stylish Manhattan apartment, and a sophisticated, rich, and gorgeous fiance. It’s a far cry from her childhood in Walton, Georgia, home of the annual Kudzu Festival and hot, sticky summers. And then there are all the bad memories, the heartache. When Cassie’s estranged sister calls to say that her father is dying, Cassie knows it’s time to set aside her feelings and go home and face the sister she hasn’t seen in 15 years. When her father dies, he leaves the family home to Cassie, who can’t wait to get rid of it and get back to New York, her job, and her fiance, even if it means having a developer tear down the house. But something keeps her in Walton, and she doesn’t know if it’s her mending relationship with her sister; the irresistible, aggravating Sam Parker, who wants her to preserve her house; or the feeling of finally being home.

This book had been previously published in a slightly different version, and there had been some drama involved. But I’m extremely happy that it happened, because this book is amazing. It is more of an adult read, but mature young adults could read it as well.

This was recommended to me by a friend, and when she showed it to me, the cover had me immediately interested. The scenery was so pretty, and the legs with the bottom of the dress showing just seemed to tell of a lost soul. It’s really pretty, and as soon as I read the description I was hooked.

Cassie is a character with whom I immediately liked. I admired her and the writing voice that White wrote in because I completely understood how Cassie was feeling, especially since I have a stubborn streak, too. I loved how everything got very complicated and still seemed to sort itself out. And then there were the times when I wanted to scream at Cassie because the answer was right in front of her face. And of course, the moments when I desperately wanted her to figure something out on her own, but she couldn’t. But hey, nobody’s perfect, and it gave the story a sense of realism, especially with the fact that it made me cry several times as well.

Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam. LOVE HIM! Haha I seriously can’t believe that it takes Cassie so long and so much pain before things, er,heat up. There are some scenes that should be skipped, but not many. Although, the romance-novel-obsessed lady is also a tad inappropriate at times, too. But the small-town life was truly captured, I think, through this novel and it’s characters. The family dynamic in the story, too, is huge, forcing the focus to be on relationships and for characters to deal with their interpersonal issues.

I would definitely recommend this book to adults looking for a sweet, realistic fiction story. Despite the tears, this book has become, if not the favorite, then a favorite of mine.

~Yours Truly

The Lucky One

Title: The Lucky One (Movie cover)
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: February 28, 2012

After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck — winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph — his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina – Elizabeth, a divorced mother — and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart — destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

This being the first Nicholas Sparks book that I’ve ever read, I think that he’s definitely off to a good start with me. I’ve been meaning to read his work for a while, especially since I’ve seen a few of the movies that have been made from his books. I’m glad I started with this book. It was a sweet, scary, but definitely captivating love story.

Thibault’s war memories and the confusion of his purpose were a little scary. And yes, a little stalker-ish, but only because CLAYTON twisted it that way. I hate that guy. I mean really. Let me explain – the writing voices, though in third person, were very clear on who was who and how each character felt – and Clayton was CREEPY, with a capital C-R-E-E-P-Y. He was abusive, with anger issues, and in the end, I can’t believe that Beth felt the way she did about him. Still, I appreciate Thibault’s control over the situation, and especially his love for Beth and Ben.

Beth and Ben and Nana made a wonderful family unit. I loved Nana’s mannerisms, strange though they were, and Ben’s relationship with the two women in his life was great for a preteen. And then Beth. Despite her sucky ex-marriage and divorce, I admire her courage and strength and love for Ben. And then when Thibault is thrown into the mix, with their sweet courtship, I can’t help but LOVE this family. They were PERFECT. Sparks could not have blended a better match made in Heaven if he tried. (Maybe I’m just biased, since this is the only one of his books that I’ve read, but come on!!! HE WALKED FROM COLORADO TO TRY TO FIND HER! He’s smart, he’s intelligent (totally not the same things), he’s sweet, he’s strong, he has a German Shepard (Zeus is AWESOME!), and HE LOVES HER!!) So yes, I adore this couple.

Basically, this book just tantalized my appetite for more of his books. I can’t wait watch the rest of the movies and to pick up another of Sparks’ novels, and I hope that you do too!

~Yours Truly

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 19

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books every week. It had been too time-consuming for a while, but she’s started it back up again. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

How long does it take you to read a book?

This is actually a very difficult question. Usually, I can read a book within one or two days. However, if it is dragging, or I’m not liking it, it will definitely take at least a week. There are also other complications like schoolwork/chores/work/etc. so if that gets in the way, a week is a good estimate. Also, I take longer to read ebooks, usually, because I can’t carry my laptop everywhere, so I’ll read other books at the same time.

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Book 1 in Little Blue Envelopes)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperTempest – HarperCollins
Release Date: October 1, 2006

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn’t know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Alright, so now that you know that the Internet sucks where I am, I don’t think I need to explain why this post did not happen yesterday. Anyhow, this book was really good. I had read the sequel awhile ago, and reviewed it here. Reading the first book now makes some things make a lot more sense, and although I think I enjoyed the second book better, this was still a fun read. I enjoyed Ginny’s trip around the world. Her emotional roller coaster, with a change of scenery in each country she visits, was pretty realistic. I’d be pretty confused and fed up but yet excited if my aunt sent me on a trip to Europe, by myself, with no contact with the U.S. allowed. Ginny was pretty realistic, and though at times she was pretty stupid – I mean, Beppe, really? – I wish that could have the opportunity to tour Europe like she did (except, I’d totally bring my camera!).

I also had a lot of fun with the setting changes. I would just LOVE to actuallyseesome of the places described. Yes, I’ve seen pictures of the Louvre. Yes, I’ve seen pictures of Venice. Yes, I’ve seen pictures of London and Grecian islands. But I’ve neverbeenthere. I’ve never seen them with my own eyes, right in front of me, physically able to be touched, entered, and explored if only I have a passport. And money, but forget that for now.

The sad parts existed, too, but that just made the story more realistic. And the letters? They were sweet. Even though some of them were crazy – go ask a random boy out for cake – and I’d be so completely against doing it, Ginny completed almost every single one to the tee. They really made the plot interesting, and definitely helped define the characters. Without the letters, there would be absolutely no plot. Johnson wrote the side effects of reading the letters perfectly; everything that Ginny did resulted from what she read and took from those notes from her aunt.

I would definitely recommend the book. It wasn’t the best book ever, by a long shot. It’s not one that I would have pre-ordered, or screamed about with my friends over. But it’s a short, sweet read along with its sequel, and it’s a bit of fun to help you have a relaxing summer.

~Yours Truly

Yet Another Apology

Guys, I’m really sorry for my lack of posting!!! I have a summer job! Both a blessing and a curse. I love the job – I’m a maintenence crew member at a Baptist camp I used to attend. It’s beautiful, and the work is fun; the worst part about the actual job is the heat.

The other part, though, is that I’m exhausted every day – you try working from 8-12 and then from 2-5 in the heat and then working/volunteering after from 7-9. And then there are mandatory activities that I have to go to/participate in, so usually when I have a break (Those gaps above are for meals), it’s usually about a half hour interval. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is that I have not had the time to read. Or post. Or work on my summer assignments, because yes, I have those too! And then, when I finally have time to go online to get something done? BAM! No Internet connection. And then I look like this:

So. That is my explanation for why I have been AWOL. Without further ado, I will go to write a review before the Internet shuts down again!

*Edit* The Internet shut down right as I was about to post this four hours ago… ERG!!!!!

~Yours Truly