Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ARC Giveaway: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

I was sent an extra ARC of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs which means you have a chance to win it!

Mandatory:

To enter all you have to do is tell me your favorite type of mythology (such as Greek, Roman, Norse, etc) or your favorite person from mythology.

Extra entries (optional):

+1 for following my blog via Google Friend Connect (publicly)
+1 for leaving a comment on my review of Sweet Venom

*Please leave all entries in 1 comment*

US ONLY
Ends 8/9/11 @ 11:59 pm EST

*I'm not responsible for any item being lost or damaged in the mail. I will send the book with delivery confirmation

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Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls, Book 1) by Tera Lynn Childs
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (September 6, 2011)
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster. Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though. Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters. These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight
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Young Adult books with a mythology theme is one of my favorite things to read and Tera Lynn Childs is a master at it. I was blown away by Sweet Venom. The mythology in this book is Greek and focuses on descendants of Medusa. The story is filled with monsters, prophecy, and cute boys.

Gretchen, Grace, and Greer are triplets. They only recently discovered this though so it was a shock for them (in addition to Grace and Greer finding out that they are descendants of Medusa). Gretchen was mentored and taught how to fight the monsters that would try to sneak into this world. She is the tough girl type who is used to doing things on her own. Grace is so unlike Gretchen. She is shy, meek, and kind of a computer geek. She comes off as a genuinely nice person. Finally, Greer is a rich girl who is a bit of a snob. She is all about perfection and having a full social calendar. All three girls were adopted into very different families and it shows in their personalities.

There are some guys in this book that are very interesting and will most likely play a big part later in the series. Thane is Grace's adopted older brother. He is a man of few words and that just makes him even more intriguing. Then there is Nick. I find myself very suspicious of him. He attends school with Gretchen and seems to know more than he should. I am anxious to know his real motives.

Sweet Venom is mostly the set up for the series. There is definitely some action but I have a feeling the story will be more intense in the next book now that the characters have been introduced and the basics have been explained. I am so excited about this series and these characters. Sweet Venom is such a fun read!

5/5


I received a copy for review from the publisher. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Want to win a copy of Sweet Venom? Check out my giveaway HERE

CymLowell
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows, Book 1) by Gena Showalter
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (August 23, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...
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The Royal House of Shadows series is unique in that each book will be written by a different author. This first one is written by Gena Showalter who happens to be my favorite author. The rest of the books will be written by Jill Monroe, Jessica Andersen, and Nalini Singh. The release dates are only a month apart so this series will be an easy one to follow.

I have mixed feelings about Lord of the Vampires. I think the story would have benefited greatly from more pages than the 288 there are because the storyline felt rushed. I also had trouble connecting with Jane and I wasn't that crazy about Nicolai either. I think what really put me off was the instant connection between them. Nicolai doesn't exactly make the best first impression so I felt like the chemistry between him and Jane should have had a slower build. I expected Jane to resist more and for longer.

I really love the overall premise of the entire series with the royal heirs sent away for their safety but at the same time filled with the need for vengeance.
Although I had some issues with this book I do plan on continuing with the series. I'm looking forward to getting to know each of the siblings and their situations.

2.5/5

I received this book for review from Netgalley. Any opinions expressed are my own.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review: Twisted by Sara Shepard

Twisted (Pretty Little Liars, Book 9) by Sara Shepard
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (July 5, 2011)
It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild. Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship. Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually.
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This is the 9th book in the Pretty Little Liars series. If you have not read this series before I recommend you start from the beginning, otherwise you will just get lost. You would think by now the story would get old and maybe even predictable, but no. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. I had thought that the 8th book was the last one and that the story was finished and I was okay with that because I felt that it was ending on a good note. Now that I have read Twisted I am so glad that the author decided to write more. At this rate I don't think i will ever get tired of this series.

Although there was quite a bit of death in the previous books this one somehow feels a bit darker and I think it has to do with the girl's secrets this time around. Not all the secrets they are keeping are revealed yet but the ones that are will shock you. Honestly, by now you would think they would realize that keeping secrets is like cancer. The lies and paranoia cause them to spiral out of control. Obviously, they have not learned their lesson the first time around.

Aria was my favorite to read about in this book. The situation with the exchange student staying with her boyfriend's family is laced with juicy drama. Hannah endangers her father's campaign when some not so tasteful photos of her are taken. I felt how she handled things was pretty extreme. Spencer makes me want to roll my eyes. It always seems to be guys with her, and this time it is her future step-brother. Okay, so technically they aren't actually related but still it is a stretch. When will she learn (or for that matter when will any of them)? Emily is the hardest one to read about because she always comes across as pathetic and needy. Her dilemma is pretty serious though and it is only compounded by her personality. Maybe she comes off as pathetic because she feels so guilty.

In addition to their individual dramas there is a secret even bigger that they all share. Totally unexpected with lots of twists and turns. The storyline will keep you in a lot of suspense and wanting more. I'm sure that there will be more crazy plot twists in the books to come and I am anxious to find out how the girls handle things not to mention learn more about their secrets.

5/5

I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers

Original Sin (Personal Demons, Book 2) by Lisa Desrochers
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (July 5, 2011)

Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.
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I really loved the first book in the Personal Demons series so my standards were set pretty high for Original Sin. Unfortunately I was let down a bit. Although the story was good I also found it to be predictable. The problem mostly had to do with the author's penchant for giving characters revealing names (like Luc=Lucifer, Gabe=Gabriel). A new character was introduced and I immediately knew what was going on with her just based on the name. I'm not sure it was the author's intention for it to be figured out so quickly. There were clues throughout the story of the character's identity, and had I not known immediately who she was I would have enjoyed figuring it out over the course of the story. Since I was aware of this character's identity right off the bat, most of the plot was predictable.

Frannie's angel brother Matt is in the story a lot. Actually the book alternates point of view between him, Frannie, and Luc so we get to view his thoughts about his sister's relationship with Luc as well as this new character. For those of you wanting a Gabe fix, I hate to disappoint but he isn't in this book very much at all. If he had been though, most of what occurred in this book probably wouldn't have happened. I doubt he would have been blind to so many clues that were presented.

Luc was the best part of the book. The love, fierce protectiveness, and the fact that he became human for Frannie makes him swoonworthy. I really just can't get enough of him. There were some tough moments for him and I definitely felt his pain. In addition to Luc, some interesting tidbits about Lucifer, a newly discovered power, and Frannie's family saved this series for me. Based on these things I am interested enough to want to continue this series.

3/5

I was provided a copy of this book to review. Any opinions expressed are my own.
CymLowell
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon
I have made a last minute decision to join the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon that Starts today and lasts through the 13th. I have a ton of reading I need to get done and I figured this would be my motivation to get it done. I will update this post every day with my progress.

My reading list:

Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers-finished
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Twisted by Sara Shepard-finished
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


Day 1

Mini Challenge at IB Book Blogging:

1. What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?
I love all types of mythology but Greek has always been a particular favorite.

2. What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?
That is a tough one because there are so many great books with mythology. I really love the Percy Jackson series so I will go with that.

End of day progress:

I ended up only reading about 77 pages of Original Sin. I had to do a lot of stuff around the house so I am going to buckle down on Tuesday and get serious about reading.

Day 2

Mini Challenge at YA Bliss

Top 3 Love Triangles:
  • Peeta vs. Gale (Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)
  • Ash vs. Puck (Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa)
  • Ryu vs. Anyan (Jane True series by Nicole Peeler)
Mini Challenge at The Bookish Type

Pick any book from your readathon pile and write a fake synopsis based solely on the cover.

Liz is a liar...and she has messed with the wrong witch.

Liz finds herself trapped in an enormous living dollhouse with a dozen other girls. The witch turned each girl into a doll as punishment. They must find a way to get free or they will spend forever as the witch's playthings, but how can they break the curse and beat the witch when they are just dolls?

End of day progress:

I was able to finish reading Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers and I got about halfway through with Twisted by Sara Shepard.

Day 3

Mini Challenge at Wicked Awesome Books

Match-make two characters from different book:

Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter series) and Puck (Iron Fey series)

Luna is odd with an ethereal quality. She is open, friendly and nonjudgmental wich I think would pair well with Puck's mischievous playfulness. I think they would have a lot of fun together. I also think that since they are both able to use magic the pairing is a good one.

Mini Challenge at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing

Book Recommendation:

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

This is an amazing read, especially if you like mythology. What makes this one really stand out amongst other books is that is doesn't limit itself to one type of mythology and the characters are of a variety of ethnicity. It is a nice change from the norm. The gradual discovery of what god or goddess the characters are is exciting as well as the danger they must face.

Book recommendation from books read during read-a-thon:

Twisted by Sara Shepard

This is the 9th book in the Pretty Little Liars series and yet it is just as awesome as the first! Each chapter leaves you anxious to find out what happens next. The curiosity will drive you crazy and leave you wanting more and more. This book has some unexpected twists to it and the storyline promises to build up to something even darker than in the first 8 books in the series. In Twisted there are more secrets, betrayals, and danger. It will leave you on the edge of your seat in suspense and shock.

End of day progress:

I finished Twisted and read through part of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

Overall:

I'm not really satisfied with the amount I read. Had I stayed focused on reading I could have easily read 5 or 6 books at least. I only completed 2 books and about 1/3 of another. As it is, I did read more in these 3 days than I have been lately so I am glad I joined the read-a-thon.
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

Book Soulmates
I signed up for the July R.A.K. hosted by Book Soulmates. This is my first time participating and I am excited about it! I've been seeing posts for a couple months now and thought it sounded like fun. I'm looking forward to brightening someone's day by sending them a book they have been wishing for :)

For more info about it go HERE

My wishlist is HERE
I'm not picky so Kindle books, paperback, hardback, used, new, ARCs....it's all good to me :)




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