Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her
Kelly Keaton
Simon Pulse
Published: February 22, 2011
ARC from Publisher

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed-Goodreads

I wasn't to sure what to expect going into this book - the summary is just vague enough to draw the reader in but leave a lot of questions that need to be answered. There were some things that bugged me but, overall, I thought this book was a fun read with a different story from anything out there that I've read.

The story starts with Ari at a mental hospital looking for her mother - and what she finds and the events that follow are not exactly what she is expecting. When the search for what happened to her mom leads her to New 2 (a creeptastic rebuilt New Orleans) - she meets some unexpected people and realizes just how different she is.

One thing I enjoyed about this book was that it left you guessing - what is going on with Ari, who the people are and how they are connected, and what is going on in NOLA. Keaton keeps the reader drawn in by leaving out just enough to make you want to know more and not put the book down.

Something that did irritate me though was Ari's relationship with Sebastian - a boy she meets as soon as she gets to New 2. It was just SO FAST. No flirting, no talking - just hey, there's a cute boy let's make him a love interest! I would have liked to have seen that relationship develop a little more. Ari has been in the foster system for the past 13 years - I don't see her letting in someone as fast as she did with Sebastian. I just didn't get the connection between them...

I love the setting of this book as well. I have never been to New Orleans but it definitely some place I would love to visit. There just seems to be so much history and mystery there - and Keaton made it even more mysterious in her book. It was definitely one of my favorite part of the books.

Another thing I loved was the mythology that she brings into the story. There are so many different myths that she has woven together to make the story truly unique. I don't want to say what - because it definitely gives the book away - but I thought it was smart concept and lots of fun to read and try to figure out.

I'm really looking forward to the next book - even though I'll probably have to wait for a while. It was a fun, unique story with enough mystery to keep the reader guessing.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster I have FOUR copies of this book to giveaway! Just fill out the form below! Contest ends 4/5.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Bones of Faerie

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.

I really enjoyed this book. The story is based in a dystopian world in which faeries and humans have fought and destroyed the world around them. Now, the inhabitants of the world are faced with many strange things - trees that can kill them, shadows that walk around without a body, and food that does not want to be harvested from the ground. The only way the inhabitants of Liza's village know how to survive is to get rid of any magic within their town - even if it means killing young children.

When Liza realizes that she has magic, she flees her town and is thrown into a world that she has avoided for so long. Joined by a boy from her town, Matthew, with secrets of his own, they make their way to the closest city to find answers about what is happening to her and the world they live in.

Simner's characters are so well written in this story. I loved Liza - she was smart and caring and vulnerable - and her story is gripping and heart wrenching at times. With the lose of her sister and mother, Liza must find her way out into the world and bring back answers to what is happening to her. Matthew is also so well written. He has secrets that he has kept for years and sharing those secrets opens him up to so many things. 

I love the post-apocalyptic world that Simner created. There is so much destruction after The War between the fae and humans and it has effected so many people in so many ways. The world feels real and the reader gets lost in it. Everything is alive and fighting back - right down to the smallest seed - fighting for survival.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read that grabs your attention from the beginning. Its not like any faery stories I have read - and that's okay. The end was satisfying but left me wanting to know more about the world that Liza and Matthew live in.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stuff That Doesn't Suck Saturday (2)

Stuff That Doesn't Suck is hosted by Pam over at Bookalicious. If you don't follow her you totally should be! 

Blog That Doesn't Suck:
If y'all haven't checked out Miss Remmers of Miss Remmers' Reviews you are missing out! She is a 9th grade English teacher who has great reviews on her blog. Definitely check her out - you won't be disappointed!

Book That Doesn't Suck:
 I finished Wither by Lauren DeStefano this week and loved it. It is definitely getting a lot of much deserved hype around the blogospeher. If you haven't picked it up yet you definitely should. I'm dying for the 2nd book!

Song That Doesn't Suck:
Wheels by Foo Fighters. My husband and I have totally different taste in music but he had this on his Zune and I loved it and I usually don't like Foo Fighters. This is a great song!

Movie That Doesn't Suck:
I watched The Switch with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman last night and I adored it. It was so cute and sweet and I have always had some major love for Jennifer Aniston. I also don't think Jason Bateman is in enough movies. I loved him in this.

Upcoming Book That Surely Doesn't Suck:

I am so so so excited for City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - the next book in the Mortal Instrument series. This is one of my favorite series and I can. not. wait. for this book. So it surely can't suck since none of her other books have at all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blogger Hop and Follow Friday (3/25)

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is:
If you could physically put yourself into a book or series...which one would it be and why?
 Hmm.. Probably Harry Potter. I love the world that Rowling's created with Harry Potter and I think it would be fun to go to Hogwart's and learn about magic with Harry and the gang. Out of all the books, these are the ones I go back to and reread over and over again.
Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100facts about me, give us five book related silly facts about you. 
1. I love audiobooks. I find it so much easier for me to get through books faster when I listen to some and read some. 
2. I usually have 3 books going at once - an audio book, a regular book and a book on my Nook.
3. I'm a book hoarder. I buy way too many books - half of which I just had to have and still haven't had time to read.
4. I normally don't preorder books because I hate the thought of it not getting to me on release day. So, I'll drive the hour to a book store just to pick it up. (Except City of Fallen Angels, I preordered the signed copy of that.)
5.  My husband and I like to go 4wheeling in the summer but you will find me with earbuds in listening to a book or sitting in the Teryx reading (especially if its just a group of guys that go and I'm the only girl).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Winners!

I finally got around to picking my winners for the giveaway!

The winner of Darkness Becomes Her is:
Gabriella Carolina

The winner of book of their choice is:
Jessica B

Congrats! I'll be sending emails shortly! :)  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? - Goodreads

Y'all. I freakin' loved this book. So so much. There was just so much going on and the story line was so so good. I read it a few weeks ago and I still don't know what to say to adequately describe how much I love this series and how unbelievable sad I am that it is over. All of the books in this series have been on the dark and twisty side but this one seemed to take it a step further - and it was just amazing.

*Might be some spoilers from the previous book(s) - Read at your own risk!*

In The Dark and Hollow Places we meet Annah, who left her twin sister, Gabry, in the Forest of Hand and Teeth many years ago. Annah is so different from Gabry - she is broken and tough and has been living by herself for so long after Elias left that she doesn't trust anyone. When Annah meets Catcher, she must learn to trust him to help her find her sister and then to protect her from the chaos going on in the world around her.

While the first two books are amazing and filled with some tough choices and cliffhanger moments, this book leaves the reader turning the page wondering what will happen next, how will they survive it, and will they make it to the end. Some of the parts were so dark, the things the Recruiters did mostly is enough to give anyone nightmares, and the characters had to fight so much harder in this book than any of the others, that the book kept the reader at the edge of their seat to the very end.

If you would've told me that I would love a zombie series this much I would have told you that you were crazy. No way. But the writing captures the readers, draws them in, and doesn't let go until you turn the last page and you can finally let out the breath you've been holding. 

A lot of people have said that this wasn't their favorite of the three - but it definitely was for me. I loved the none stop action, I loved that there were no "love triangles," and I loved that Annah and Catcher were both so broken and needed to be fixed. There were parts of this book that I just wanted to look away because of the cruel things that the Recruiters did. The ending left me wanting so much more - with some questions still hanging in the air but overall it was a satisfying conclusion to an amazing trilogy.

If you haven't read these books - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Seriously, y'all, go - buy - read. You will not regret it. 

Received from: Publisher

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
Eona by Alison Goodman
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Nightspell by Leah Cypress
The Roar by Emma Clayton
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Super Suppers Cookbook 2
Swag from Cynthia Leitich Smith
Breathless Reads Poster from Kirsten Miller
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Ashfall by Mike Mullins
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blogger Hop and Follow Friday (3/18)

I have two giveaways going on right now! Lucky Leprechaun Hop Giveaway with a chance to win a book of your choice ( up to $15) and a copy of Darkness Becomes Her and 12.21.12 ebook giveaway!

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is:
Do you read only one book at a time or do you have several going at once?
I usually have several going at one. Right now I'm reading a paper copy of Divergent, Wither on my Nook, and listening to Sapphique on my iPod. It just depends on what I have to read and what I have with me. I let my twin borrow my Nook so I started Divergent (even though I was in the middle of Wither - cause I'm nice like that). Usually I just have two going though - reading one and listening to one.

Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
How did you come up with your blog name?
Well, I had been reading blogs for a while so when I decided to start my own I wanted something that I hadn't seen around. It was really the only thing I could think of that wasn't taken in some way so it just kinda stuck!
The question this week is:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway!

The Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Books Complete Me!

I'm going to do two giveaways here on Hooked to Books.
1) One book up to $15 of your choice. (International)
2) A finished copy of Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. (Thanks to Simon and Schuster!) (US Only)

I also have a giveaway going on for 12.21.12 right here!

So, just fill out the forms below. Sorry, I did two so it would be easier for me to pick the winners!

Make sure to stop by the other blogs on the hop to win other great prize!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading 
Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
My current read is:
Divergent by Veronica Roth

I wish I could say I feel guilty about what I did.
I don't. (pg 174)

  • (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Breathless Reads Tour!

I am FINALLY getting around to writing this post. I can't believe how long it has taken me but my Grandma was in the hospital last week and I had no time for anything.

So, last Friday, February 25th, me, my mom, and my twin sister piled in the Tahoe and headed to Raleigh, NC for the final stop in the Breathless Reads Tour. I was so excited to go to this signing! It was actually my first one and I love that it was! Even though it was a 6 hr drive it was TOTALLY worth it! 

I was the "official blogger" of the event for Penguin and was suppose to get to interview all the authors before the event but they were running SO late that I didn't get to. (Boo!) I did, however, get to talk to the sales rep for the area for a while and made a great contact - as well as got a copy of WOLFSBANE! I was so excited! 

So, once the authors got there they started a question and answer portion of the tour. They answered so many questions! I tweeted as much as I could all their answers but I kinda got sucked into listening to them.

Some of the highlights of the question and answer portion:

When asked what the hardest part of writing a romance book is..
Beth Revis said that the kissing thing was the hardest thing and the best part was blowing stuff up!
Andrea Cremer LOVE the kissing scenes.
Ally Condie loves falling in love with her characters and agrees the kissing scenes are hard to write.
Kirsten Miller likes her romance dangerous.
Brenna Yovanoff said the kissing scenes are hard to write too.

What is their writing process like?
Brenna Yovanoff jumps around all over the place but Beth has to write from the beginning to the end.

How many books did you write before you were published?
Beth wrote 8 books before Across the Universe.
Andrea wrote 2 novels that no one but her family will ever read.
Brenna only wrote one before The Replacement.
Ally had five books published with a small publishing company before Matched.
Kirsten's Kiki Strike book was the first book she wrote and she got it published.

What are you currently reading?
Brenna is reading Anna and the French Kiss
Beth is reading Blood Magic (jealous!)
Andrea is reading The Windup Girl
Kirsten is reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and some research books

What advice do you give your characters?
Ally - Trust yourself.
Beth - Don't trust anyone.
Brenna - Don't be so self conscience.
Andrea - Be careful.
Kirsten - Things are rarely what they seem.

What are you working on right now?
I'm pretty sure all of them said they were working on the sequels to their books. 

I did get to talk to them before they started signing and they all said they are willing to do an interview for the blog. So, I think I'm going to take them up on that! 
Me and Andrea Cremer
Beth Revis, Me, and Brenna Yovanoff
Me and Ally Condie
Me and Kirsten Miller

So, overall it was a great signing! I loved it and would definitely go back and see them again. My mom wants to read the books now after hearing them speak. Great first signing!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  
(Why does YouTube always use the worst still for the picture?)

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stuff That Doesn't Suck Saturday (1)

Stuff That Doesn't Suck is hosted by Pam @ Bookalicious.

Blog That Doesn't Suck:
Heidi over at YA Bibliophile. I started talking to Heidi on Twitter when she offered me her copy of The Dark and Hollow Places. She is a school librarian as well and her blog is pretty awesome. Check her out!

Book That Doesn't Suck:
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan! This book will be out in about 2 week and if you haven't, you must read this series. Its about zombies and love and adventure and full of awesomeness. I totally love these books and I'm planning on dragging the hubby to her signing in Cincinnati in a few weeks.

Song That Doesn't Suck:
Bruno Mars - Grenade
I totally <3 this song. I don't listen to much music but I so so so love this song.

Movie That Doesn't Suck:
The Adjustment Bureau - I went to see this last Friday with some friends and loved it. Love story, a little action and Matt Damon - what's not to love!
What doesn't suck for you this week?

RAK Signup!

Well, I finally had time to sign up for RAK! It is hosted by Book Soulmates and really a great idea! You make a list of books you would like to have, post it somewhere, and then you can check out the list of books other bloggers want and send them something! 

For more info check out  this post.

And here is my RAK!

Looking for a book for my dad

Hey y'all. I know this isn't the normal book I would talk about on here BUT I'm looking for a book for my dad and we can't find it anywhere. He trains dogs (mostly German Shepherds) and sells then to police depts and home protection and stuff. The book he is looking for is:

Unrevealed Secrets About Training Your Dog by C.A. Roy

If y'all know of any sites besides book depository and amazon or even if you just run across it we will send you the money for it! 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Blogger Hop & Follow Friday (3/11)

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is:
If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?
Wow! What a hard question! Umm..
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Beastly by Alex Finn
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This was hard cuz I usually just buy the books I want! These are the ones I don't have that I've been meaning to pick up.
Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
Just like Ashley said (love it) "Ashley the girl..." who are you the boy/girl, instead of you the blogger? 
Well, I am Michelle. An almost 28 year old wife and middle school librarian. I have been married for almost 4 years (3/31!) and we are currently trying to have a baby with the help of a RE. I have two Master's degrees - a Master's of Arts in Teaching emphasis on Social Studies and a Master in School Library Media. I have two furbabies - a yorkie/bichon mix named Jackson and a German Shepherd named Roxie. I have a twin sister and a younger sister and the best family EVA. We are super close and I live between my parents and my grandparents. I also have two adorable nieces that I would take from the twin in a heartbeat. If I'm not reading or working, me and the husband are usually out 4wheeling (which I take audiobooks to listen to). We LOVE it and our German Shepherd rides along too!

Blog Tour: 12.21.12 - Review and Giveaway!

I am part of the blog tour for 12.21.12 by Killian McRae. If you haven't seen this across the blogosphere you are missing out. I'm also giving away a ebook copy of 12.21.12 to one of y'all! So, make sure to fill out the form at the bottom and check out the rest of the blogs on the tour!

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, enigmatic international thief, Victoria Kent, and infamous rumored Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia. Both hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatras death, as they vie for Shep's trust and assistance. As he is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does Shep know that the fate of all humanity may hinge on his ability to discover the truth in between Victoria and Dmitris' fragmented claims and hidden identities. Working to decode the ancient past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids themselves and cloaked by the mayan prophecy of 12.21.12

My Thoughts:
12.21.12 is an action packed, conspiracy theory book based on the theory that the Mayan calendar just mysteriously ends on this date - possibly leading to the end of the world. This books is full of conspiracy theories and mythology with a lot of twists and turns thrown in to keep the reader guessing to the very end of the book. 
Instead of focusing on one character, the book switches back and forth between the viewpoints of several different characters. Each character has their own secrets and past that mysteriously are entwined with each other. One of my favorite characters in 12.21.12 was Sheppard Smyth, an archeologist who is mourning the loss of his wife by burying himself in the bottle. When he is asked to come to Mexico to look at a dig site - he goes because it looks like it could lead to answers about the death of Cleopatra who he thinks was murdered. Once Shep gets to Mexico he runs into Victoria and then Dimitri which leads to one of the biggest and most mind blowing adventures of his life.  

One of the best parts about this book was all the theories and myths that McRae pulls into the book - it is so unique and at times confusing. McRae does do a wonderful job of explaining things but sometimes you are left going "huh?" and then a few chapters later realize how it all fits together. 

One part that I thought was kinda off was the explanation of the death of Cleopatra. Without giving anything away, it is not what you expect and kinda a letdown. I thought it would be something a lot more mindblowing based on the rest of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are great and I love the switch in viewpoints - it definitely gives you a better idea of what is going on with the multiple viewpoints. McRae has written a very intriguing story that truly keeps the reader guessing and on the edge of their seats until the very end of the book. The ending is great and not something I was fulling expecting. 

This was a wonderful read and now you have a chance to win a ebook copy! Just fill out the form below. Contest ends 3/31/11! And make sure to check out the rest of the tour!

  1. Julie @ A Tale of Many Reviews - Review - March 1st 2011
  2. Yelania @ The Itzel Library - Interview - March 2nd 2011
  3. Damaris @ Good Choice Reading - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 3rd 2011
  4. Mandy @ Twimom101's book blog - Interview - March 4th 2011
  5. Casey @ Dark Readers Blog - Interview - March 5th 2011
  6. Alisha @ My need to Read - Character post - March 6th 2011
  7. Jules @ One Book Shy of a Full Shelf - Interview/Giveaway - March 7th 2011
  8. Lisa K. @ Baffled Books - review - March 8th 2011
  9. Sarah @ The Book Bee - Character Interview - March 9th 2011
  10. Page @ One Book at a time - Guest post/Interview - March 10th 2011
  11. Michelle @ Hooked To Books - Giveaway/Review - March 11th 2011
  12. Kristin @ My Bookish Ways - review - March 12th 2011
  13. Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews - Top Ten - March 13th 2011
  14. Sherri @ Urban Girl Reader - review/Q&A/giveaway - March 14th 2011
  15. Cherry @ Cherry Mischievous - Guest post - March 15th 2011
  16. Bianca @ Sweet Nothings xo - review/giveaway - March 16th 2011
  17. Rebecca @ My Life with Boys and Books - review - March 17th 2011
  18. Megan @ A Trail of Books Left Behind - review/character interview - March 18th 2011
  19. Jennifer @ Ponytails Book Reviews - review - March 19th 2011
  20. Tammy @ Into The Mystic -  - March 20th 2011
  21. Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 21st 2011
  22. Tara @ Taming the Bookshelf -  - March 22nd 2011
  23. Rachel @ Parajunkee's View -  - March 23rd 2011
  24. Melissa @ I Swim for Oceans - review/interview - March 24th 2011
  25. Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - giveaway/interview - March 25th 2011
  26. Christin @ Between the Covers - review - March 26th 2011
  27. Stacy @ Girls in the Stacks - review - March 27th 2011
  28. Ash @ Smash Attack Reads - character interview - March 28th 2011
  29. Aleetha @ bacaan-ally blog - review - March 29th 2011
  30. Ashlie @ Bookish Novelties - review/interview - March 30th 2011
  31. Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight - Review/Giveaway - March 31st 2011
  32. Once Upon a Twilight Author Live chat - March 31st 2011 @ 9pm CT

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: White Cat

Goodreads Summary:

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

My thoughts:
White Cat is the first book I've read by Holly Black and I enjoyed it. It took me a little while to get into the story - maybe because I was listening to it on audio and I wasn't connecting with the reader all that well. The world that Black created, taking our world now and adding workers to it, was very unique.

We first meet Cassel Sharpe on the roof of his dorm trying to find his way down after sleeping walking (so he assumes) up there. Cassel is from a family of workers and he is the odd man out - he doesn't have any special "gifts". Cassel's family is entertaining and unique and keep you interested in the storyline. He has two brothers - Philip who is  married with a baby and Barron who is going to school to study law. Cassel's mom is in jail for working men for money and his father is dead. So, when Cassel's school kicks him out for being on the roof and almost dying (they don't want the lawsuit on their hands) - his Grandfather comes to the house to stay with him. His grandfather is a worker as well - he was a death worker and has the scars to show for it.

Workers are people in society with a set of "skills" that allows them to change the lives of the people around them with just a touch. Some workers can change your luck while others can make you fall in love or even kill you with a touch. Since working is done through touch everyone in society wears gloves and touching people without gloves can get you in loads of trouble.

Cassel is such a wonderfully tragic character - he is haunted by the knowledge that he has killed someone, his friend and girl he liked, Leila, a few years prior. Ever since the accident, Cassel's brothers have treated him differently and Cassel doubts everything about himself - how could he kill the girl he thought he was in love with and not even remember it? Philip and Barron are horrible humans - Philip is working his wife and they are both in the workers equivalent of the mob. 

While Cassel is home from school, a white cat appears and talks to him in a dream - making him doubt everything he knows about his family and life. As Cassel searches for answers about his past and present he is drawn deeper into the world of curseworkers - and sees a side of that world he didn't know he was a part of.

This book started out slow for me but once it picked up I couldn't stop listening. I really loved Cassel's character and I thought the world Black created was just so unique. I also loved the characters - nobody was what they seemed and Cassel had such a interesting and tragic story. If you haven't read this book you definitely should - and don't let the beginning put you off - it is a fabulous read.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
My teaser this week comes from Enclave by Ann Aguirre.

The elder Hunter beside me whispered, "It's by elimination. The winner of each round progresses to the next until only two remain." (pg. 102)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. 

Abandon by Meg Cabot
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
Enclave by Ann Aguire

Please forgive me if I say any of the names wrong. I was exhausted and recorded it like 5 times before I finally gave up and just used this video.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: Matched

Goodreads Description:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Thoughts:

I went into Matched with high expectations and it did not fully disappoint. I listened to most of it on audio from the library and even enjoyed the reader. (Sometimes I just don't connect with them. I'm listening to Torment right now and that's kinda what it is.. even though the book is enjoyable.) I found the premise of the story intriguing - the society knowing fully what is "best" for everyone from their jobs to their mate to what food they need to survive and how much they can exercise based fully on data that is compiled about them all their lives.

When Cassia is matched with Xander, her childhood friend, they are both shocked but thrilled. How lucky to end up with someone you know and like! But when another face pops up on her data card, the face of another childhood friend, Ky, Cassia starts to wonder about him. When Ky is put into Cassia's group for hiking, they start to get closer. As Cassia's relationship with Ky develops, she starts to second guess the society and everything it is doing in controlling their lives. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is not the best dystopian I've read but it was entertaining and I want to know what happens with Cassia, Ky, and Xander. The world Condie created seems so thought out - I would really love more information about it. There seems to be a lot more that can be explored and a lot of unfinished business with all the characters.

Also, I've gotta say that I had a chance to meet and listen to Allie talk at the Breathless Reads stop (post coming soon!) in Raleigh, NC last weekend and she was so sweet and funny. I had so much fun at the signing. 

Blog Hop and Follow Friday (3/4)

I have about 6 reviews I need to write. This week has been CRAZY! I was gone all weekend and my Grandma is in the hospital so I've been with her. SO. Reviews are coming y'all - just hang with me a couple more days. 

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!
The question this week is:
 Who's your all time favorite book villain? 
This would have to go to Voldemort in Harry Potter. He is so mysteries in the first few books and Rowling does such an amazing job of developing the character throughout the books. He is so evil and doesn't care about anyone - even his followers. I can't think of any other villain that compares. He truly is the ultimate villain.
Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View
The question this week is:
 What embarrassing thing have you done on cold medicine?
I don't think I've ever done anything really embarrassing on cold medicine except maybe talk crazy. It usually just knocks me out and I sleep for days. I, apparently, do not handle drugs very well.
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