Monday, October 31, 2011

REVIEW: Blood Magic (Blood Journals #1) by Tessa Gratton

It stars off simply. Draw a a dead leaf in the center...sprinkle some salt...recite a little Latin...add a drop of blood...
Maybe that last part isn't exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotelyy right since her parents' horrific deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family-even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep...and spill some blood.
The book isn't the only recent arrival in Silla's life. There's Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She's not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick's first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction. And they can't ignore the dark presence lurking nearby-waiting to reclaim the book and all its power. (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton (Check out her website)
Publisher: Random House Books For Young Readers
Pages: 405

"I am Josephine Darly, and I intended to live forever." - pg 1

"A handful of drama club members chatted near the barn, including Nick, who was dressed in a pinstripe three-piece suit like he'd walked out of a production of Guys and Dolls." - pg. 85

"I reached out and tentatively put my finger in the scarlet pool. It was warm and sticky and gross." - pg. 139

My Review:
I waited until Halloween to post this review because I believe it to be a perfect book to read today. The story starts with Silla who has lost both her parents. She lives in a small town where her every action in response to their deaths is watched and scrutinized. Her way of surviving is to live behind the beautifully interact masks, one for every reaction or occasion. The other side to this story is told from Nick's point of view. Nick, the city boy who has inherited his grandfather's property in Silla's small hometown. Past and present meet in this lovely tale of how magic that was started in the past changed the present in unexpected ways. I would like to give you more details, but this story is truly best left to the reader. You will be taken on a journey as Gratton develops each character and as the story lines intertwine you are left with a beautiful story of hardships.

Things I Loved:
This book is the best example of a stand alone novel that is a part of a series that I have seen in a while. I feel like when authors do the cliffhanger it is almost as if they are insecure about their writing and are trying to force the publisher and the readers to buy into the next book to know what happens next. You will just want more of Tessa Gratton's writing. Her writing style is beautiful. Other things I really liked about her book: Dueling narrative (We see the story from two main characters, Silla and Nick), there are diary portions which take you back in time momentarily, and the author uses the setting (woods, graveyard, school) as a character in itself. It is the perfect October read because it has to do with all things witches. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

Keep your eye out for the next book in this series, The Blood Keeper, set to release next Summer 2012. 

Disclosure: Won from Bibliopunkk and part of the Tessa Gratton Blood Magic Challenge

Happy Reading!


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

REVIEW: Firelight (Firelight #1) by Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki - a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away-if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy. (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan (Check out her website)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 323

"You should stay away from me. Something I already know, but sitting in the front seat of his car, I'm not quite succeeding at that. I wish I could." - pg. 128

My Review:
Firelight is one of those books that eases you into not wanting to put it down, then leaves you wanting more. It is like hot chocolate on a cold day, you know you want it but once you start drinking it you have no idea what you did the rest of the day cold and without chocolate. Jordan takes a teenage coming of age story and gives it a nice draki twist. The main character, Jacinda, is a rare breed of draki which makes her more of a commodity than a person in her Pride. This is especially evident when the Prince of the Pride, Cassian, deems her as his mate without really caring if she is interested or not. In addition to her complicated Pride life, her father is dead and her mother and twin sister want nothing to do with the draki world. Jacinda's mom's solution is to runaway from the Pride, which means the whole rest of the story is told from living in the human world as a draki. If it is not clear this is a horrible thing for Jacinda who feels she is having to sacrifice who she is to make her family happy. The rest of the story you will have to read the read to book to get the details, but here is some juicy stuff to hold you over: there is another boy thrown into the mix (I'm on Team Will), Jacinda comes face to face with the draki's mortal enemies, and there is a chick fight (love those). You will not be disappointed if you read this book!

Things I Liked:
First off, I really enjoyed the paranormal change. Do not get me wrong I love me some vampires, witches, and various forms of animal shifters, but being a mythical dragon that can shift into a human is pretty awesome. Secondly, the cover is just tasty. Red heads with blue eyes are such a rare happening, then when I found out twins were in the story I got even more excited. I have an unnatural love of twins and after having read Jaye Wells' Sabina Kane series let me tell you I love a good twin drama. Finally, I love how she ended this book. So many of the people I talked to about this book were complaining about the cliffhanger ending, but I felt like that is where I would have paused the story. It felt natural. Overall, I thought this book was very well done and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Firelight Series, Vanish.

My Complaints:
I wanted more information about the different kinds of drakis. With this story being predominately in a setting where Jacinda was forced to keep her true self hidden we were not given as much of the draki world as I would have liked. While I do love how she ended the book it is not a stand alone novel, which I always expect even books in a series to be.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Keep your eye out for the next book in the Firelight series, Vanish.

Happy Reading!


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday highlights an upcoming book that you just cannot wait to be released. This week is a book written by Michele Vail who also writes as Michele Bardsley. If you do not know this special lady then you have the opportunity to meet her on October 25, 2011 at Firewheel Barnes and Noble. This new novel is her first step into the YA field and I am excited for its release. 

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird ...
Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.
Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.
Rath will be watching closelky to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.
To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally. (Taken from Goodreads)

Set to release February 28, 2012 by Harlequin Teen. Want to know more about Michelle Vail? Check out her website.

Happy Reading!


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along and all you have to do is the following:
  1.  Grab you current read.
  2. Open to a random page.
  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
  4. Share the title and author as well so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

**Be careful not to include SPOILERS! (Don’t give too much away and spoil the book for others who have not read it yet.)

My Teaser:

"You should stay away from me. Something I already know, but sitting in the front seat of his car, I'm not quite succeeding at that. I wish I could." 

Please leave a comment with a link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post or feel free to share your “teaser” in the comments here. I look forward to being teased by you.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Mailbox Monday

It time for Mailbox Monday again! You know that weekly ritual where you share all the ways in which you prove to be addicted to the wonderful feeling of buying and receiving books.

I only post this when I have actually received/purchased a book or books in most cases. For this reason, you can be sure that you will not see Mailbox Monday every week, otherwise I might need an intervention. Now, on to the good stuff. . . 

Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 384
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occassion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspence, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: Sex On The Moon
Author: Ben Mezrich
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing
Pages: 308
Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea - a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.
Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA - past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways - and help him steal the most precious object in the world: the moon rocks.
But what does one do with an item so valuable that it's illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts - undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut - really what he seemed? (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: The Girl Is Murder
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 352
Iris Anderson is only 15, but she's quickly mastering the art of deception in this YA novel for fans of Veronica Mars. It's the Fall of 1942 and Iris's world is rapidly changing. Her Pop is back from the war with a missing leg, limiting his ability to do the physically grueling part of his detective work. Iris is dying to help, especially when she discovers that one of Pop's cases involves a boy at her school. Now, instead of sitting at home watching Deanna Durbin movies, Iris is sneaking out of the house, double crossing her friends, and dancing at the Savoy till all hours of the night. There's certainly never a dull moment in the private eye business. (Taken from Goodreads)

I know I cannot wait to read these. I have always been fascinated by the Jack the Ripper story and who can resist a NASA conspiracy story. Oh, and who watched Veronica Mars? I know I did! These all look like fascinating reads.

Happy Reading!


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

25 Follower Celebration Giveaway!!

I cannot believe this day has some so soon. Just a few months ago I was writing to myself and today I am writing to at least 25 people. I wanted to commemorate this day because there will be one day, I hope at least, that I will have a larger audience, but nothing will compare to this feeling today. Since June I have met some great people, readers, book bloggers, authors, and even two publicists. I have felt like a sponge trying to absorb all the tidbits of wonderful information every time I went to another book event. 

In particular, Sara Reyes (Fresh Fiction) and Felicia (The Geeky Blogger) have sparked a love of sharing about books recently read that I never thought possible. These two ladies are constantly talking about new and interesting ways of sharing their knowledge of books. I always know to bring a pen and paper when I am around these two. So if you two do not already know, now you do, you rock! I also want to give a big thanks to all my DFW book club friends. You welcomed me into your crazy family and helped make Texas home. To my blogging big sis', Amanda (Letters Inside Out), thank you for helping me find voice and answering all the questions I have occasionally been too embarrassed to ask. To all the authors out there I want you to know that your writing bring joy to my life daily. I will continue to work on not pointing and staring from afar like you are an exhibit at the zoo, but you are like exotic creatures in my mind. Finally, (I know right, you were wondering how long I would go on, and on, and on) I have to thank my husband and family for their support. They get more excited than I do when I make a post.

So, now the part that everybody is looking forward to - THE GIVEAWAY.

In honor of 25 followers I am giving away a twenty five (25) dollar gift card to the book seller of your choice: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or The Book Depository. Winners choice is pretty awesome I think. As with most other blogs I think you should be rewarded if I grow. So if I reach 100 followers before the contest ends there will be an additional winner of a mystery prize pack. 

So what are the rules? Simple leave a comment with the following information:

  1. Name you want announced if you win.
  2. Your email address. (So I can contact you when you win)
  3. Answer to the following question: What is your number one book recommendation? The book you believe to be a must read.
Contest ends 11/1/2011, Winner announced 11/2/2011. International Giveaway.

Easy as 1, 2, 3. See no following of the blog or my twitter account (OBoyledBooks). You can't get an easier giveaway than this. 

Thank you again to you my readers. Each of you are awesome in your own way!


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