Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush (#3)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Pages: 438
Read in: 2 days

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

D, A, & P's Review:

Becca Fitzpatrick's oh-so-intense trilogy, has struck again. "Silence," the last book of the series, exceeded all of our expectations. The unpredictable turn of events keeps the reader on edge, knowing in any moment, the climax might burst out of its cocoon.

"Silence," picks up from the scene where Nora and Patch have been separated, and held in captivity. The Black Hand, who just-so happens to be Nora's biological father, wants to permanently prevent fallen angels from possessing the bodies of Nephilim during the month of Cheshvan. Patch agrees to help The Black Hand by betraying his own, in exchange for Nora's release from captivity. As previously determined, Nora can't help but be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just when you think things couldn't possibly get worse, Nora ends up in an alley with a group of fallen angels, trying to get a Nephil boy to swear an oath of fealty. Among those fallen angels, Nora later meets a mysterious, yet caring guy named Jev, who reminds her so much of someone ... she can't seem to remember.

Throughout the novel, we completely fell head over heels for Nora. Nora's attitude and actions all shouted, "I'm a girl who fights for what I want." Though her instinctive actions get her in a load of trouble, the unpredictable turn of events can't help, but leave the reader wanting more.

We’re so sad that The Hush, Hush Trilogy has come to an end. Not to say that "Silence" wasn't the best novel to end the series. In fact, we don't think Becca Fitzpatrick could've written a more perfect novel to end it with. We must admit, however, that we are anxiously waiting for her next novel to be published. As we have no doubt in our minds, that we will not be disappointed.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Born at Midnight - C.C Hunter

Author: C.C Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls (#1)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Pages: 398
Read In: 3 days  

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

D, A, & P's Review:

Kylie was once a human, or at least she believed she was. Lately, Kylie has been able to see a young soldier, who insists on following her wherever she goes. Here's the catch, no one else can see him. She thinks she's going crazy until she's "admitted" into Shadow Falls; camp where paranormal teens unite in hopes of discovering who they really are, and who they see themselves becoming. Kylie has a hard time processing the camp, and her alleged paranormal origins. Her journey becomes even more unclear, when she is unable to find out what paranormal species she originates from. As Kylie travels down this road to discovery, it becomes clear to her that Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs.
Over the novel's span, two guys are thrown into the mix. Lucas, a mysterious childhood acquaintance that Kylie feels almost a magnetic attraction to, and Derek, a sweet, caring guy who reminds her so much of her ex-boyfriend Trey; yet, he couldn't be more different. Kylie appears to have feelings for both of these guys, but her lack of communication and avoidance of Lucas, causes her to be drawn more to Derek.

“Born at Midnight”, was a bit ... tricky. We felt like the storyline coughed up a few select scenes that could have intensified the novel's exposition. For example, Kylie is recommended to attend the Shadow Falls camp by her psychiatrist, who was NEVER mentioned prior to her admittance. Her break up with Trey also would have been a great scene to help jump start the story's exposition. However, we did like how the C.C Hunter identifies Kylie as an anomaly from the beginning, as well as, the feelings Kylie has toward being one. In a way, things and people all around Kylie are constantly changing. Though, she doesn't react to all of these changes well, she still manages to push through the many obstacles that she is faced with.

In conclusion, “Born at Midnight” is a great read, but we wouldn't "Stop, Drop, and Read" it. Although, we WOULD recommend you save it for a quiet weekend at home.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall (#1)
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: March  2, 2010
Pages: 323                                                        
Read In: 1 day

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

D, A, & P's Review:                                         
Captivating, is one of the many words we would use to describe our latest read. "Hex Hall," was the perfect novel to launch Rachel Hawkins' new series.

Sophie, the main character, is sent to Hectate Hall (also known as, Hex Hall) as a final straw. From the age of 12, Sophie and her mother have moved across the US, in hopes of settling down. However, this seems unlikely due to the slip-ups Sophie makes with her magic spells. Everything changes the night of Sophie's high school prom, when one of her seemingly harmless spells goes disastrously wrong.
On her first day at Hex Hall, Sophie manages to make a few enemies, as well as, a friend who happens to be the most hated girl in the school. As the book progresses, Sophie discovers a new side to herself and her family's history. It becomes clear to Sophie that her life may never be the same.

We must admit, when we found “Hex Hall” at the local Barnes and Nobles store, we weren't so sure about reading it. After reading the overview, we expected a typical storyline of a teenage witch going through typical boy and magic issues. But we must say, we were shocked when we discovered Sophie's real paranormal origin. Hawkins brought something new to the table, that we are yet to see in any other paranormal YA writers, and we have no doubt that we will be reading more by Rachel Hawkins in the future.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Love Story - Jennifer Echols

Author: Jennifer Echols 
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Pages: 256
Read in: 2 days


For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?
Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

D, A, & P's Review:
Once again, Jennifer Echols has succeeded in writing another charming novel for all of her YA readers. "Love Story" was an amazing read. We literally couldn't put the book down. As a reader, we felt for the main character, but were also highly frustrated with the lack of communication between the main character and her "antagonist/lover."

Erin is a rich farm girl who is recently stripped of her trust and inheritance, by a guy she secretly lusted after. Echols does an amazing job of portraying Erin's (the main character) feelings of betrayal, lust, jealousy, and spite. Erin goes on to pursue a career in creative writing, and is determined to do so despite her living conditions, school stress, and her job at the coffee shop. Everything changes when a certain farm boy joins her creative writing class.

Hunter, the farm boy, is primarily portrayed as deceitful and manipulative. Although, it took some warming up, his personality gradually shifted to a sly, caring, and charming guy. Each time Erin and Hunter are alone, you can practically feel the sparks flying.

Erin's grandmother, the reason for Erin's stubbornness and hostility, never once sits down for a talk with Erin. Thus, the frustrating lack of communication. Overall, Echols was able to provide a tense, but humorous environment for the reader to enjoy.

This is the third book we've read by Jennifer Echols, and we haven't regretted picking up any of them yet. Each character she creates is vividly drawn, a reason why so many YA readers love her. We would definitely recommend "Love Story" to any YA romance reader.