Saturday, 29 September 2012

Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Goodreads Summary : [From the back of the ARC] Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dream world -- a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen's creation, is the only one who can save him.
Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning hours of Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" will make his annual homage at the legendary poet's grave.
Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But even greater dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen's affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

Varen Nethers is prisoned in a perilous dream world and Isobel is haunted by disturbing nightmares of Varen’s creation. But she is the only person who can save Varen from the treacherous dream realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Her only hope is a mysterious “Poe Toaster” who makes his annual homage at the grave of Poe on the morning of the legendary poet's birthday and he is the only person who holds the key between two worlds. With the help of the “Poe Toaster” Isobel must fight an ancient evil much more powerful and cunning than her, who has turned Varen into a dark evil force; malevolent and dangerous.

I finished Nevermore just few months ago, and I was lucky that I didn’t have to wait nearly one and half years to read Enshadowed. As an avid Poe fan, I respect the darkness he had infused in his work and I adore the way author Kelly Creagh twisted the legendary works of Poe into such a praiseworthy and remarkable love story, which itself is a milestone,

Nevermore was unlike anything I have ever read: an unusual gothic love story, where we, Poe fans can envision his stories come to life. Here, in Enshadowed, the doomed lovers cross the fine line between love and hate, where Isobel faces her new advisory, a changed Varen who is no longer the brooding and gothic boy she loved.

Beautifully and poignantly written, Enshadowed again showcases the gorgeous prose of author Kelly Creagh .Throughout the book there is a perfect blending of dreams to reality and paranormal to normal, to beautify the entire story.

"Even if this is a dream," he whispered, "I'm not."
-Kelly Creagh, Enshadowed

We see a brilliant improvement in Isobel character, her journey from normal cheerleader to an extraordinary and brave heroine, who is willing to go to any extent and take any risk to save the boy she loves. I found it wonderful how the book unfolds depth of her character over the course of the novel, I feel more connected to her.
Varen appears later in the book in way we never expected, like a complete stranger. He is enshadowed in a veil of darkness and deeply affected by the desolate realm he is trapped in.
I loved Gwen in Enshadowed, she enlightens Isobel’s gloomy mood with her witty and funny lines, also and give the readers the pleasure of laughter. As a loyal bestie she helps Isobel in her quest.

The ending was a full-blown, on-the-edge cliffhanger with lots of questions but no answers. It’s been only a few days I have finished Enshadowed but the waiting for the final installment is already killing me. The book makes me shock and speechless in same time with excitement and rips off my eyes.

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Illumine by Alivia Anders

Goodreads Summary : For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she's like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they've begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.

My Rating : 3 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Illumine is one of those book with a common yet very interesting story line. Essallie is being haunted by memories of her boyfriend's murder, and trying hard to forget about it. Soon Kayden, the demon murdered her boyfriend entered into her life and made it more complected.

Essallie can conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, and she is desperately seeking for many answers, but the biggest question is can she trust the demon who was actually summoned to slaughter her?

Essallie was broken but strong heroine on her own, and Kayden, you are such a bad ass. The actions kept me on my toe, and I wanted more.Illumine was short yet fast and entertaining. I finished it one day. Only I can say this is not your usual angel and demon story, a gripping debut from the author. I would recommend it to lovers of demon-angle forbidden love story, I bet you will be satisfied.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Goodreads Summary : On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother-to-be and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : What a fun and entertaining reading. Time travelling is a very risky topic to play with and author Rachel Harris just nailed it. The author has an excellent way to adding humour in every single line that make the book more interesting to read.

On her sixteenth birthday Cat Crawford accidentally enters in an unusual gypsy tent and her curiosities leads her to Renaissance Italy, accompanied by her backpack full of modern stuffs. Cat is a delight and likable character. The story from her modern POV setting in sixteenth century was completely a different experience for me. Cat's fun way story narrating in sarcastic voice was delightful.
The setting of Renaissance Italy was brilliant. If truly there was a time machine and we got a chance to travel Italy of sixteenth century, I believe it would have been the same glorious and gorgeous as the author described. I let my imagination flow as described in the book, and truly took a took to Italy.
It’s hard to write a review without talking about hot boys, and especially when the hotties are Italian, I can stop my breath and let myself stare at them. And the book has not one, but two Italian gods of hotness. Aspiring artist Lorenzo who was a lady killing charmer, his best friend and Alessandra’s brother Cipriano was a little serious and protective but that couldn’t stop me from drooling over him. Alessandra was another character I adored and enjoyed. She was na├»ve yet full of life, I could easily relate myself to her.

I stood speechless when I was finished with the book. In my opinion it was one of the most entertaining yet extremely romantic novels that my face turned into scarlet. A wonderful journey of a 21st century girl to 16th century, I will be waiting for the next instalment

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Goodreads Summary : She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Do you remember the little girl who falls inside a rabbit hole and experience a whole new magical world of talking creatures?
Our teenage Alice Bell, is very different from our Little Alice in Lewis Carroll classic, and Alice in Zombieland is an modern retelling of Carroll classci, which is darker and more twisted. I'm not a fan of zombie fiction, but I couldn't resist myself form reading the most original remake of my favorite childhood tale.

Author Gena Showalter delivers the impressive and profoundly different zombie tale wrapping with actions and most enjoying dialog, and heavens! the romance is spicier than ever, and I'm still drooling over the protagonist Cole.
In Alice in Zombieland, our Alice didn't fall inside the rabbit hole, instead she witness her father worst imagination coming true and murdering her whole family. Broken but alive Alice went to stay with her grand parents and there she met Cole, the baddest of the bad boys who has dark secrets. But if Ali wants her revenge, she have to trust him with all her heart.

In Alice in Zombieland, Gena Showalter delivers the awesomeness of alpha hero and kick ass heroine, that will leave you speechless and make you swooning over them.The tantalizing romance between Alice and Cole blew me away. The sexual tension, and witty humor, was enjoying and adorable. Cole's fierceness and Alice's curiosity and when their attitude clashes, it was more like a volcano explosion. Other secondary characters are enjoying as well, especially her loud and partygirl best friend Kat and Cole's second in hand Frosty.

We know zombies are rotting hungry corpse resurrected back to life, but here author has changed the definition in many aspect. Yes they are hungry for human flesh, but they are not putrefactive bodies, they are more like souls from spirit realms.

However, I am a big fan of amazing storytelling and interesting characters, and Gena Showalter never disappoints me. So, I will being tortured until the next book Through the Zombieglass comes out.

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Goodreads Summary : In the first major YA steampunk anthology, fourteen top storytellers push the genre's mix of sci-fi, fantasy, history, and adventure in fascinating new directions.

Imagine an alternate universe where romance and technology reign. Where tinkerers and dreamers craft and re-craft a world of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Here, fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, embrace the steampunk genre's established themes and refashion them in surprising ways and settings as diverse as Appalachia, Ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California. The result is an anthology that defies its genre even as it defines it

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : I was really excited to get my hands on a rich collection of stories from my favorite authors of my favorite time period of clockworks and automatons.
The Best of them were Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks which a story of a odd girl and lone boy, and how they developed felling for each other when the girl told a story to the boy about Steam Girl, and her inventions and interplanetary adventures,

Holly Black's Everything Amiable and Obliging where a girl saves her cousin from falling in love with a automation, and prevents her from bringing shame to their family. The concept original and the the narration was brilliant.

Some Fortunate Future Day by Cassandra Clare was a story of a girl who harbored a false hope for falling in love with a wounded solider she saved. Needless to say , Cassie Clare is queen of steampunk and she delivered such awesome story.

The Last Ride of the Glory Girls by Libba Bray was story of a band of girl who rob trains by stopping time using clockworks. The concept was good but the story weaving was complicated.

Oracle Engine by M. T. Anderson delivers a steampunk twist in roman story set in a alternative history. Nice piece of work and I liked it but somehow the ending was predicted.

The Summer People by Kelly Link and Peace in Our Time by Garth Nix was disappointing after reading some awesome steampunk stories.

Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctorow was touching story of mutilated children in a orphanage. the story was very affecting for me

The Ghost of Gwemlach Manor by Delia Sherman was a story of a servant girl who was hired to assist an inventor, and later become a scientist herself. effective story from technical aspect.

Two brilliant graphic novels Shawn Cheng's Seven Days Beset by Demons and Kathleen Jennings's Finishing School was two intelligently drawn graphic novels, which i really really enjoyed.

I can't say each and every story was awesome but most of them were, and I couldn't relate couple of stories to steampunk world I build in my imagination. Some of the story was strangely intelligent and utterly awesome, that i could read them over and over.

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Goodreads Summary : In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Lucy Weston was most sensual huntress of night who preys on innocent boys. But Lucy has no similarity as Stoker has described her. But truth is she is a vampire and she is looking for the man who has condemned her. With Stoker’s help, Lucy ventured out for the person who transferred her into the creature of night.

The story begins at an opera house where a seductive singer at stage seemed to call Lucy, and she was so compelled by him that she could only focuses on him and only him. Next thing she knew she was on dirt, buried under mud and struggling to crawl her way out. Haunted by fragments for her memories, the life she left behind and struggling with her thirst for blood, she stepped between a war that could destroy both vampires and humans.

Dracula is one legendary creation of Bram Stoker, and reimagining the story and recreating the legend was a very difficult job, and I applaud her courage for taking the risk and she simply nailed it.
Stories set in Victorian periods is something that has always interests me, and Bram Stoker was another reason I chose this books as one of my most anticipated of the year. I have read Dracula, when I was in school, and trust me I couldn’t sleep for two nights. I’m older now, and horror stories don’t scare me that me, but I definitely felt chills on my blood while reading Incarnation at night.

The book was richly imaginative, vivid and luxurious. Walking down to the grim and spooky alleys of steampunk London of 1897, I felt my heart will jump out of my throat. The club houses loomed with seductive creatures and terror, and whole grim and lavish environment was very creative of the author.
Accompanied by a man named Marco, who came from a long line of vampire hunters, who knows about her more than herself, who also holds key to her past, Lucy found herself deeply attached to him. The characters was well written and well developed. I’m drooling over Marco, and Lucy, she is just as kick ass as you can imagine. Struggling with grief of losing her family, who thinks she is dead, and thirst for blood, there was feeling and humanity left inside her.
The author has related the story to Arthurian legend Mordred, knows as the traitor is history, but the author revealed the veil from his character, and portrayed him as the people who sacrificed himself for sake of his people, which gave a new turn on rest of the story. I’m not telling you guys more, if you want to find out, please read the book.
But I’m stunned to see how the author picked up legendary characters one by one and shade them in new colours which none of us could actually imagine.

Incarnation was extremely captivating and gorgeously written. As I drifted deeper, I found myself drawn to the dark world. Highly recommended for those, who are looking for a nice but surprising reading, then this is the book for you.

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Friday, 7 September 2012

Inbetween by Tara A. Fuller

Goodreads Summary : Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : OMG.....The book has just blown me away. I have never been through such an emotional journey before and trust me I doubt I will ever do. It was just a wonderful and heart aching bitter sweet love story that almost made me cry. The storytelling and the ways of representing was beyond brilliant, and praise worth skills of painting inner turmoil of each character.

Reaper Finn was not supposed to save Emma from the car accident that took her father’s life three years ago, but Emma outlived the fate. She has been living in trauma of the accident, with scars and memories invading her dreams. Now her life is in danger again, and Finn will protect her again, from evil he has accidently unleashed.

The story might seem simple but it is not. The characters seem to leap out of pages and turn into life. They feel so tormenting and comforting in equal amount. I have previously read few Reaper boy-human girl love story but this is very unlikely beautiful and heart rending. The author has shown us an existence of trance place called “inbetween”, somewhere in between heaven and hell, the world building was lovely and very unique.

Emma was broken and living with fragments of her memory from another life, where she was Alison, the girl Finn loved. Emma thinks all her memories are just her insane imagination which is truing her into some crazy person. She is soft and delicate, where Finn is emotionally broken too but head strong and yes….damn romantic. My heart seems to pound against my rib cage every time I saw his name mentioned in pages. He is that swoon worthy, and it’s not a secret I have a thing for green eyed guys.

Cas is the most enlighten as well as concerning character of the book. He stole my attentions every now and then with his charming personality, Sorry got a competition.

The narration splits between both Finn and Emma, so we get to know the story from both of their perspective and I was completely found myself attached with their pain, love and emotions. Inbetween was one of my most favorite read of the year. I really really do want to get my hands on the second book.

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Goodreads Summary : A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : When I was in eighth grade I first read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, where a orphan young girl fall in love with a broken rich widower and married him, then brought to a Manson in Manderly, where she was haunted by the memory of the first wife and the house keeper, who was fondly devoted to the first wife, Rebecca couldn’t stand presence of this new bride and started to make her life worst than hell. She was started being compared to Rebecca, who went missing and assumed to be dead. I was stunt by the mystery at each pages of Rebecca, so my expectation was high for new Girl. Now when I read it, I am confused.
The story was told from the perspective of both Becca, the girl went missing months ago from, prestigious Manderly Academy, and The New Girl who was given Becca’s vacant position at school, even her room, her locker, worst she started to fall for Max, Becca’s boyfriend. It actually helps to create the dramatic environment, as the readers get to know Becca’s story from third person POV and the unnamed New Girl from fist person POV.
Other than the concept, I liked how few things remain unchanged as of the original one, like the Manderly Manson became Manderly Academy, Maximilian de Winter became Max Holloway, and the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers turned into best friend Dana.
Actually New Girl is one of the most successful and original retelling of this year, although I don’t think it quite achieved the level of Daphne du Maurier, but Paige Harbison is definitely one of the talented author who has skillfully brought the whole story into modern teen lit aspect without changing the original tune. The new Girl struggled with her identity as she was living in shadow of previous queen bee and being compared with her in her every movement. With her growing insecurity of being throw out school as well as Max’s heart on Becca’s return, was well portrayed, but I think the New Girl could have been given a little more stronger personality.
Becca was a very complicated character who loved to live in limelight, snatching attention of everyone, even manipulating others for her own social image and needs. She had no idea what she wants from her life and slowly she drifted away in her own darkness.
The book progressed in fast pace, as mystery builds around Becca’s sudden disappearance, and the prime suspect was Max, the who was officially with Becca, also Jonny the boy with whom Becca has secret relationship. The conclusion was well planned and well executed.
The last line is New Girl was a very interesting read for me, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely recommend the book for those who loves both teen drama and suspense.

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Exclusive Interview with Author Lauren Oliver

Me : Tell us something about you that you have not told anyone before.

Lauren : No way! There's a reason I don't tell people. :)

Me : Delirium is a dystopian novel series. What was your idea behind writing a series on dystopia?

Lauren : I didn't know that dystopia was a genre when I started writing delirium. I don't really think of stories in terms of genre. It was just a story I wanted to write.

Me : Tell us three things about Alex and Julian does not have in common.

Lauren : Julian is sheltered, Alex was born free.
Julian is gentle, Alex is passionate
Julian is rescued, Alex is rescuer.

Me : If you have to choose between Alex and Julian, whom would you choose and why?

Lauren : For me in real life? Probably Julian.

Me : After Pandemonium, the mind blowing sequel to Delirium, what we are going to see in Requiem, would you like share few words about it?

Lauren : It's told from two different points of view. Lena, and Hana!

Me : Would you like to share your memories about the first draft of Delirium?

Lauren : I always hate my first drafts! I need to get some distance before I can start to like them again.

Me : What was your first ever piece of writing? Please tell us about it.

Lauren : I don't really remember, because I've been writing ever since I physically could! The first things I wrote were a kind of fanfiction, continuations of stories that I loved.

Me : Two perfect songs for Alex and Lena And Julian and Lena.

Lauren : Hmmm, I don't know! What do you guys think?

Me : Thank you for your time Lauren. Please leave a message for your fan who are dying to read Requiem.

Lauren : Just a huge thank you!!!

A huge thanks to my most favorite author Lauren Oliver for stopping by my blog and for such wonderful interview.