Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose
Andrea Cremer
Publish Date: January 3, 2012
ARC from Penguin (Philomel)

The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy.
-Goodreads


*Spoilers for Wolfsbane*
Y'all. I've been trying to review this book for over a month. There was so much that I loved about it and so much that left me heartbroken and angry. I have such mixed feelings that I'm going to try to put it into words without sounding completely ridiculous. 


Cremer goes into Bloodrose guns blazing - there is not a dull moment and from the start it is impossible to put down. Like I said in my review of Wolfsbane, I love Cremer's world-building and story-telling. This book is full of so many twists and turns and so much drama and love and hurt. I LOVE where Cremer took the story with the Searchers and the Keepers. I love the adventures the characters have to go on to retrieve the rest of the sword for Shay so he can defeat the Keepers. Cremer does an amazing job of describing and each location the group goes to and each location is more dangerous than the one before. These parts were by far my favorite parts of the book. I loved the adventure and the suspense that Cremer creates during these parts. 

The main love triangle between Calla, Shay, and Ren is still going strong - which I hate. I hate love triangles and I hated how Calla handled it in book two - but in Bloodrose we get the old Calla back. She's determined to protect her remaining pack over everything else - something that a true alpha should be doing, right? - and the love triangle isn't the prominent issue within the story. I actually love the other relationships in Bloodrose more than the Calla/Shay/Ren thing. Ansel and Bryn are two of my favorite characters and seeing them trying to work through things after all the hurt in Wolfsbane is interesting. I also love a a few of the other relationships that develop throughout the story - which I won't talk about so I won't spoil it.


My anger and heartbreak comes with the end of the book (typical, right?). There is just so much that happens that I didn't see coming and that I'm not sure WHY it had to happen. And I have questions about the way other things happened... Bloodrose was such a roller coaster of emotions for me. 


Overall, I really did love Bloodrose. The good outweighed the bad and the storytelling, worldbuilding, and emotional rollercoaster that Cremer takes the reader on is what a good book is all about. I might not like or agree with everything that happened but this was Cremer's story to tell - and she told it amazingly well. I honestly can't wait for the companion novel, Rift, and anything else Cremer writes.







Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane
Andrea Cremer
Published July 26, 2011
ARC from Penguin Young Readers Group
Purchased Copy

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive. -Goodreads


I put off reading Wolfsbane for a while - as much as I loved Nighshade I KNEW there was gonna be a cliffhanger and I just couldn't put myself through the wait. I'm one of those gals that if I can wait for the whole series to be released THEN read them - I'm a much happier reader. So - I waited. Patiently. And, I've gotta say, I'm so glad I did. I loved Wolfsbane as much as I loved Nightshade but, y'all, this book was intense. It was full of twists and turns and drama and awesomeness all rolled up into one excellent sequel.

Cremer takes the reader on one heck of a ride with Wolfsbane. Cremer laid the foundation in Nightshade and Wolfsbane took off and never looked back. Regardless of what team you are on, the plot of Wolfsbane is what keeps the need to finish this book as fast as possible going. Cremer builds a world that is so detailed and rich with history (History teachers FTW!) - you can tell that there is just so much planning that went into how these books would flow with each other. The world of the Searchers, Guardians, and Keepers is so complex - there were times I had to go back and reread certain parts just to make sure I was understanding the history (which I didn't mind). And the adventure Cremer takes us on! We aren't in Colorado anymore, Toto! The new world in Wolfsbane is definitely different than what we experienced in Nightshade - with a lot more heartache and danger.

If there was one thing that was a negative it was the lack of previous characters from Nightshade in Wolfsbane. Where is Ren? I LOVE Ren! And the rest of Calla's pack, who she left behind - there are so many unanswered questions when it comes to them and I missed the pack. However, I did love the new characters that Cremer introduced - Connor, Ethan, Adne, and the gang definitely filled some of the void - adding even more complexity to the story.

I'm not even going to address the love triangle. Team Ren. That's all.

When Calla left her pack to save Shay, she didn't realize the consequences - and, y'all, there are consequences. I spent most of the book wondering HOW THE HECK they were going to get out of the situations they were all in without everyone dying. (dramatic much?) The cliffhanger was one heck of an ending to Wolfsbane and I was SO HAPPY to have Bloodrose on hand.

And that review.. will be coming soon!

Guest Post: To The Tune of Untraceable by Shelli Johannes-Wells

I'm excited to have Shelli Johannes-Wells on the blog today, author of Untraceable!
Shelli has been awesome enough to give us a look at the playlist for Untraceable - songs that she would love to see on the soundtrack of the movie.
Thanks for stopping by, Shelli!
******
 I think music is important part of my writing.

I have a very cinematic mind so when I write. I think of my book as a movie as I’m typing. I can visualize every scene and hear every song in my head as the story plays out. (See my book should be a movie – do you hear that Twilight people?? :)

Once I plot out a story and know what is happening, I pick out a different song for each chapter. One that really puts me into the setting and mood of that chapter.

For example, in Untraceable, the first scene is a chase scene in the woods. I listen to Muse’s Time is Running Out.  My character’s name is Grace so when I sit down to write I always play U2s Grace. The lyrics are so perfect for my book.

Once I am in editing mode, I usually only listen to music with no words like classical or piano. 

For Untraceable, I have 50 songs for 50 chapters, but here are the 12 that would be on the movie soundtrack.
Time is running out - Muse
I'm not dead - Pink
Grace - u2
Somewhere only we know - Keane
Lakotas Power Song - Native American
Meet me by the water - Rachel Yamagata
Looking for answers - Susan Tedeschi
Missing you - Jem
Frightened - Toby Lightman
Goodbye My lover - James Blunt
Take Me Away - Avril Lavigne
Left Behind - AquaLung
Home - Jack Johnson

Sixteen year old Grace was reared in the wilderness. Her first pet was a bear named Simon. Her first potty, an oak tree. And, her first swing, a forest vine. Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything he knew about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When Grace's dad goes missing on a routine patrol, unlike everyone in her sleepy mountain town, she refuses to believe he’s dead. After finding a Cheetos bag and stolen government file, Grace is convinced she’s one step closer to proving all the non-believers wrong.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from imminent danger by Mo, a hot guy who has an intoxicating accent and a secret. Grace has never felt a connection like this before, certainly not with her ex-boyfriend, the adoring, but decidedly unrugged, Wyn.

After a few run-ins with the town's police chief, her father's partner, and some new evidence, Grace travels deeper into the wilderness that has always been her refuge only to learn that her father's disappearance is not a mere coincidence.

Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to emerge from an epidemic that’s spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she’s ever loved.


Buy Untraceable

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings!

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar - Carla over at The Crooked Shelf featured this during her Aussie Reads month and it looks awesome! 

2. Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart - Another Aussie book that Carla featured. The cover is gorgeous and it is different than anything I've read in a while. 

3. Passion by Lauren Kate - I read the first two in the series but just haven't gotten around to this one. I need it on my shelves!

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - This needs to be on my shelf.

5. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting - I started the egalley of this and didn't get to finish it. Must get a copy asap!

6. Harry Potter Page to Screen - This is just awesome. Should be on every Harry Potter lover's must list!

7. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - I haven't read this yet *hides from things being thrown* but I've heard nothing but great things.

8. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - I LOVED this book. I need it on my shelf.

9. Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts - This just looks awesome. I am dying to read it.

10. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel - A zombie novel? Yes, please!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas! Epic Reads - 10 Harper eBooks for $10!

Harper Teen is running a awesome promotion on ebooks from Dec 20, 2011 - Jan 30, 2012!
(I'm pretty sure they are live right now though - so go!)
Ten of their hottest books will be available for a $1 a piece. 
Definitely can't bet that - I will be buying a few myself. 

Amazon
(if you are reading this in Google Reader you will have to click on the post to see the Amazon links!)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next!

Finished:
The Death Cure by James Dashner (audio)
 Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Treachery by Andrea Cremer

Currently Reading:
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (audio)
Beautiful Chaos bye Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Up Next:
I honestly have no idea. There are so many I want to read. We will see what mood I'm in!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #51 with Giveaway

In My Mailbox is Hosted by The Story Siren.

Bought:
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Secret Santa Gift Exchanges:
 From Lori S. 
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Collector's Edition of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Thanks SO MUCH, Lori! Love them!!
From Estelle @ Rather be Reading Blog
Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
The Iron Knight bye Julie Kagawa
Everlost by Neal Shusterman
With all kinds of other goodies! Thanks so much Estelle! :)

Review:
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
UnCONventional: Twenty-Two Tales of Paranormal Gatherings Under the Guise of Conventions by Kate Kaynak and Trisha Wooldridge
Pure by Jennifer Armentrout
Audio of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - Read by Ed Westwick (yay!)

Giveaway:
After the Snow ARC by S.D. Crockett




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Friday, December 16, 2011

Audio Review: Fire

Fire (Graceling)
Kristin Cashore
Published January 25, 2011
Audiobook from Library
Read by Xanthe Elbrick

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
-Goodreads


 It has been so dang long since I listened to Fire but I absolutely adored this book. I even liked it more than Graceling and I loved that one. I love the direction that Cashore took with Fire. I love that Fire is a "monster." She is so unique and interesting and totally kickass. Katsa kicked butt in Graceling and Fire falls right in step with the awesomesauce but in a completely different way. She is not the fighter that Katsa is in Graceling but she has fire in her spirit and a determination to do what is right - sometimes regardless of the consequences.


Fire is the last human shaped monster in the Dells - a position that puts her in great danger but she never shies away from that danger - most of the time she sticks herself right in the middle of it - much to the dismay of everyone around her, especially Archer, her BFF. As the Dells, go to war - Fire is offered a unique opportunity to help them - one that she isn't sure she should take given all the history between the Dells and her father.  There are a lot of side stories going on in Fire - all of them interesting and does well at pulling this prequel together with Graceling.

If you are looking for a love story in Fire, this might not be the book for you. Yes, there is a love interest - but it's not at the forefront of the story. Fire and Brigan's story takes a more cautious  route - there is just so much history between the two characters that as much as you want them together you don't know how it could possibly work. There is a side interest as well - Fire's friend Archer is completely in love with her - even though she doesn't reciprocate the feelings in the same way. 


Cashore does a great job of keeping the story moving, keeping it interesting, and keeping it real (as real as fantasy can be). I love that she brought Leck into the story as a boy - so we got his backstory and it made things very interesting. 


Xanthe Elbrick is the reader of the audio and does a fantastic job. Graceling had a full cast for the audio, which was great, but there was something about the way Elbrick read the story that brought it to life. There are so many characters in Fire and she does a fantastic job of keeping them separated and allowing the reader to feel as though there is a full cast. Very very talented lady!


Fire was a fantastic listen and I HIGHLY recommend the audio.



Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey!
It's a great way to share what you read the past week, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next! 

So, if you follow me on Twitter you know that I've been sick with the plague and now have pneumonia. Two weeks worth of sickness made it almost completely impossible to do anything so, I'm sorry. Things should be picking back up here at Hooked to Books. Thanks for sticking around. 

Finished:
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (audio)
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (audio)

Currently Reading:
The Death Cure by James Dashner (audio)
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Coming Up:
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I have so many other books I need to read. I need to try to get them worked in in the next few weeks but we will see how it goes. 

So, what are you reading this week? Have you read anything above? Did you love it? Let me know! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout Cover Reveal!


The first book in the Lux Series, Obsidian, by Jennifer Armentrout will be released tomorrow - December 6, 2011. If you haven't read this book, you need to asap! Check out my review here.

You can buy Obsidian from













 


Now on to the really exciting news! 
Here is the cover for the second book in the Lux series, Onyx, and a little sneak peek at the official blurb.


No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

I am beyond excited for this book. I loved Obsidian and can not wait to see what happens next!

 




 
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