Thursday, September 30, 2010

Halloween Read-A-Thon Sign Up Time!


Lesley over at Young Adult Books Reviewed is hosting a Halloween Read-A-Thon and I want YOU to sign up!

Here's the important info...

Read-A-Thon runs from October 15th-17th. And, in Lesley's own words....

What does this readathon entail you ask? Good question!
For this readathon: read Halloween themed stuff. Not necessarily with the day of Halloween, or even the month. None of that (unless you want to). What I am thinking is examples like this: vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, shifters, immortals, urban legends, zombies, anything horror or paranormal related.

For those of you who have never participated in a readthon, what exactly is it?
For this readathon it is just the weekend. So for 3 days, read as much as you can for however long you can! You can set a goal if you'd like as well. I'm going to set a goal of 4 books for the weekend. So I'm going to read as much as I can and hopefully hit my goal. Read at your pace, whatever you want to do!

Do I have to have a blog to participate?
No way! This is just to read and have fun. If you have a twitter, a google connect, anything will do.

Sign up so you can be in on the fun (and GIVEAWAYS!) Just click the pic to get to the sign-up page!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Personal Demons

by: Lisa Desrochers

Publication Date: September 14, 2010

Published by: Tor Teen

368 pages

I bought this book

From Amazon....

If you had to choose between Heaven and Hell, which would it be?

Are you sure about that...?

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance--even her closest friends--and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions--for Hell--and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he's as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn't stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn't get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay...for all of them.

Why I picked it up: Cause I love the whole good vs. evil thing

Why I couldn't put it down: I almost DID put it down, a few times. The first 150 pages or so were downright tedious for me. Let me sum it up for you...

Luc shows up at school, he thinks Frannie is hot, she thinks he is hot.
Gabe shows up at school. Frannie thinks he is hot.
LOTS of tingling going on.
Lockers, lunchroom, lockers, lunchroom.
Frannie kisses Luc, thinks she might be in love.
Frannie kisses Gabe, thinks she might be in love.
Tingle, lockers, tingle, lunchroom.

Oh and lots of Luc "smelling her ginger" whenever Frannie was feeling attracted to him. Was I the only one who found this phrase a little ewwww worthy??

In other words, nothing really interesting happens for the first half of the book. Now granted, I understand characters need to be introduced and things need to be established early on, but by the time any real action gets underway, I was so tired of keeping up with who was sitting by who at lunchtime that I really didn't care about any of the characters. Frannie's so called possible love for these guys was based on nothing more than physical attraction. It would have been nice for her to have something else to go on before she started locking lips with whichever one was in closest proximity. When it comes down to it, I really didn't like Frannie that much.

And as for the boys...Luc's description was NOTHING like the Luc on the cover...did the artist even read the book?? Not to mention that for being a demon, he really wasn't that bad of a guy. And Gabe...well, Gabe felt more like a secondary character than a contender for leading man.

I will have to say things did get more interesting halfway into the book. Desrochers delivers some clever and unique ideas that I think would ultimately have worked better if the hormones had been scaled back and the personalities played up. When it came down to it, I didn't really care enough about either of the guys (or Frannie for that matter) to be invested in who she chose and what everyone's fate would be.

There are a lot of great concepts introduced though, and I'm hoping the next book will focus more on them than the hormones and the love triangle. I know there will be lots of people who DO like this book, it just wasn't one of my favorites.

3 out 5 stars

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baby Got Back (zombie style)

Just thought I would share my entry for the Zombie Love Challenge ...
(it's truly have been warned =)

Baby Had Back
(to the tune of Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-A-Lot)

I like big meals and I cannot lie
You other zombies can't deny
When a girl walks by with a big butt and thick waist
In front of your rotting face
You get hungry!
Wanna pull out a fork
Cause you notice that butt's like pork
A meal in the jean's she's rulin'
I'm hooked and I can't stop droolin'
Oh baby, I wanna bite into ya
And taste your tibia
The living tried to warn me
But that butt you got makes me so hungry!
Ooh rump of din-din
You say you don't wanna lose your skin
Well scream....and run...
Cause you ain't that average dim sum
Don't need Budweiser,
To hell with appetizers
She's meaty and thick
Got it goin' like a sirloin steak
I'm tired of Rachel Ray
Sayin' pasta makes your day
Take the average zombie and ask him that
She gotta pack a rack (of ribs)
So..zombies (yeah!) zombies (yeah!)
Has your victim got the butt?
Just eat it (eat it!) eat it (eat it)
Eat that human butt....
Baby had back =)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steampunk Challenge!

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I've decided to sign up for The Bookkeeper's Steampunk Challenge. I've had some steampunk titles on my TBR list for awhile and I've really been wanting to check out the genre so I think this will give me the push I need to need get crackin'!

The challenge runs for a year and there's no minimum number of books to read or anything like that, all you have to do is share your reviews and have fun!

If you want to join in, click the pic =)

Books I plan to read for the challenge...

1. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

2. Soulless by Gail Carriger

3. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Any other suggestions????

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


By: Laurie Halse Anderson

Publication Date: April 20, 2006

I bought this book

197 pages

From Amazon...

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute... Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence.

Why I picked it up: This has been the most talked about book for the past few days and while it was easy to take a stand against banning it, I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and see just what it's all about.

Why I couldn't put it down: I have never read a book that captures so painfully and so truthfully what it's like to be a teen aged outcast. Melinda was quite possibly the realest character I have ever lost (and found) myself in. Reading this book took me back to some of my own painful memories of junior high, memories that make me wanna cry for the girl I was and wish I had found my own voice sooner. I was never raped, but I suffered emotional abuse at the hands of my classmates. My family moved a lot when I was growing up and I found myself in a new school almost every year. Seventh grade: I was new, I wasn't cool, I wore a lot of badly patterned polyester, and I got good grades. These things didn't win my any popularity contests. I can remember sitting by myself at lunchtime and having kids come up and smash M&M's in my hair. I can remember hanging out after school with the girls I thought were my friends only to suddenly find myself alone save for the school bully and her followers. I got punched that day and walked home alone and shaking. I remember being excited like everyone else at the end of the school year about getting my yearbook signed only to find everyone wrote "to a weird girl."

Anderson captured perfectly what it feels like to be that girl. This book isn't just for survivors of sexual assault, it is for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast, like they didn't fit in, like they were alone. Melinda's thoughts and feelings could belong to any girl. And that's what made me so invested in this character. I was pulling for her the whole time, wanting her to find her voice and find realize that she may have been damaged, but she wasn't broken.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you haven't read it yet, read it soon. If you know a girl who might be feeling left out, give her a copy. I wish I would have had this back in 7th grade. I might not have felt so alone.

5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Loudly

I'm sure by now most of you are aware of this article

I was at work today, but kept reading all the #SpeakLoudly hashtags on Twitter, and while I was appalled at the article, I was truly heartened by how the book loving community came together to speak up for what we believe in.
I haven't read Speak yet, but I have it on my nightstand and will be setting aside the other books I'm reading to start it tonight. And when I'm done, I will be passing it on to my daughter for her to read. Because it's important. The subject matter as well as our freedom to read it.

If you haven't had a chance yet, watch this video of Laurie Halse Anderson and the poem she wrote based on the letters of girls and boys who have read Speak and been impacted by it. It's very powerful. And so are our voices, as long as we continue to SPEAK LOUDLY.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We Have a Winner!

The winner of my She Smells the Dead Giveaway is...

Lesley from Young Adult Books Reviewed

Congrats and thanks to all who entered!

Sneak Peek: Night Fall…new YA Horror Series!

YA Horror! Where the things that go bump in the night scare you instead of falling in love with you! I’m a huge fan of horror and I’m really excited to see some new titles coming to the YA shelves, so welcome to the Night Fall series, published by Darby Creek, a division of Lerner Books.

Taking cues from horror films and video games, Night Fall™ is high-interest, contemporary, horror fiction that is perfect for teen readers. Featuring YA themes and a highly accessible reading level, each story features teenagers from a small New England town called Bridgewater. Strange and awful things happen in Bridgewater, and readers will be lucky to escape with their sanity.

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1. Unthinkable by Shirley Duke

Omar Phillips is Bridgewater High's favorite local teen author. His Facebook fans can't wait for his next horror story. But lately Omar's imagination has turned against him. Horrifying visions of death and destruction come over him with wide-screen intensity. The only way to stop the visions is to write them down. Until they start coming true...
Enter Sophie Minax, the mysterious Goth girl who's been following Omar at school. "I'm one of you," Sophie says. She tells Omar how to end the visions―but the only thing worse than Sophie's cure may be what happens if he ignores it.

2. Skin by Rick Jasper

It looks like a pizza exploded on Nick Barry's face. But bad skin is the least of his problems. His bones feel like living ice. A strange rash―like scratches―seems to be some sort of ancient code. And then there's the anger...
Something evil is living under Nick's skin. Where did it come from? What does it want? With the help of a dead kid's diary, a nun, and a local professor, Nick slowly finds out what's wrong with him. But there's still one question that Nick must face alone: How do you destroy an evil that's inside you?

3. The Protectors by Val Karlsson

Luke's life has never been "normal." How could it be, with his mother holding séances and his half-crazy stepfather working as Bridgewater's mortician? But living in a funeral home never bothered Luke. That is, until the night of his mom's accident.
Sounds of screaming now shatter Luke's dreams. And his stepfather is acting even stranger. When bodies in the funeral home start delivering messages to Luke, he is certain that he's going nuts. As he tries to solve his mother's death, Luke discovers a secret more horrifying than any nightmare.

4. Thaw by Rick Jaspar

A July storm caused a major power outage in Bridgewater. Now a research project at the Institute for Cryogenic Experimentation has been ruined, and the thawed-out bodies of twenty-seven federal inmates are missing.
At first, Dani Kraft didn't think much of the breaking news. But after her best friend Jake disappears, a mysterious visitor connects the dots for Dani. Jake has been taken in by an infamous cult leader. To get him back, Dani must enter a dangerous, alternate reality where a defrosted cult leader is beginning to act like some kind of god.

5. The Club by Stephanie Watson

The club started innocently enough. Bored after school, Josh and his friends decided to try out an old game Sabina had found in her basement. Called "Black Magic," it promised the players good fortune at the expense of those who have wronged them. Yeah, right.
But when the club members' luck starts skyrocketing―and horror befalls their enemies―the game stops being a joke. How can they end the power they've unleashed? Answers lie in an old diary―but ending the game may be deadlier than any curse.

6. Messages From Beyond by Stephanie Watson

Some guy named Ethan Davis has been texting Cassie. He seems to know all about herbut she can't place him. He's not in Bridgewater High's yearbook either. Cassie thinks one of her friends is punking her. But she can't ignore the strange coincidences―like how Ethan looks just like the guy in her nightmares.
Cassie's search for Ethan leads her to a shocking discovery―and a struggle for her life. Will Cassie be able to break free from her mysterious stalker?

These titles will be available October 1st, just in time for Halloween! In the meantime, you can go to to enter their short story writing contest (ages 11-18 only) AND you can view the Thaw ebook free until October 31st.

And stick around….I’ll be reviewing these and hosting a Night Fall giveaway next month!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

ARC Review: Torment by Lauren Kate


By: Lauren Kate

Publication Date: September 28, 2010

Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

The awesome Amy from Reading Teen let me borrow her copy. Thanks Amy!!!

From Amazon...

Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

I liked Fallen.


First of all, one of my favorite themes to read is good vs. evil and even better when it's heaven vs. hell. And while most people are probably going to be more interested in the love story aspect of this series, for me it's really all about the battle between the angels and demons. Daniel, the good guy against Cam the bad guy....or are they?? The line in the sand is sometimes a little fuzzy in Torment. You'd think it would be easy to predict the behavior of either one, but sometimes they act in unexpected ways which leaves Luce confused and questioning. And is one of the things that makes Torment so compelling. There are definite mysteries to be solved and I am loving trying to figure them out!

Torment gives us a new setting...the gorgeous California coast. Shoreline is everything that Sword and Cross wasn't. Sunshine and beaches and a gorgeous building with decks and windows where classes are held. We are also introduced to some new characters at the school...Shelby, Luce's new roommate and Miles, a totally sweet guy who helps make Luce feel comfortable in her new school. And there are two teachers who...well, let's just say they're not your ordinary teachers *wink*

And then of course there's Daniel and his glorious wings. Lauren does an absolutely amazing job of describing them...not only can you picture his wings, she makes you hear and feel them too. As you would expect, Daniel's main goal is protecting Luce from the Outcasts, but he's also protecting her from her past. There are lots of unanswered questions and we are left wondering just what it is that he is hiding from her. I think there are going to be some amazing reveals in book three!
***I have some theories, if you've read this one and wanna discuss, email me!! (and Pam, you might be interested to know my ideas on this one even if you don't read it =)***

I was really happy with Luce's growth in Torment. Granted, she has a habit of doing the absolute opposite of what the people trying to protect her tell her to do, but I think ultimately that is an important part of her personality. She has free will and she acts on it. She puts herself in some situations she should avoid, but there is so much about her past she doesn't understand and she wants to know. You really can't hold it against her. I also really love the fact that while she has this great passion with Daniel, she questions their relationship. She gets that passion and attraction and history isn't everything. So many girls in YA fiction don't do this and I love that Luce is actually thinking.

Bottom line...if you liked Fallen, I think you're going to love Torment!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Just In!!

Just received this courtesy of the authors and it looks AWESOME!

From Amazon...

Maberry (Marvel Zombies Return) and thriller writer Bashman's closeup look at the inevitable battle between good and evil spans decades upon decades of rich monster history, beginning with the definition of evil itself. Illustrations and interviews with top publishing, film, and comic industry names, such as Stan Lee, Jason Aaron, John Carpenter, add depth and intellect to a gripping and informative work. Lists of top villains and horror genre movies serve as appendixes and added entertainment value. Encyclopedic chapter insets offer bits and pieces of information and history on subjects ranging from the "Necronomicon" (the Lovecraftian "ancient and evil book of sorcery") to ghosts and the definition of fear: "In modern speech the word ÿfear' refers to emotions; but in Old English ÿfaer' refers to the specific ÿperil or danger' and not the emotional reaction." With its presentation of the story of evil through straight history, factual tidbits, and pop culture, this book is the horror genre fan's best friend. No stone is left unturned in Maberry and Bashman's fantastic and inventive approach to the world's oldest war. 8 pages of color and 40 b&w images.

Discover the nature of Evil- and how to kick its butt!

These days you can-t swing an undead lycanthrope without hitting a Minion of Evil. They-re everywhere-TV, film, the basement-right behind you! It-s never been more important to know what you can do to keep them at bay. Garlic? silver bullets? holy water? torch-wielding mob?

From today-s foremost experts on nightmares-come-to-life, this indispensible guide identifies and describes mankind-s enemies-supernatural beasts, ghosts, vampires, serial killers, etc.-and unearths effective time-proven responses to each horrific threat.

  • Separate fact from fiction, the deadly from the merely creepy.
  • Learn when to stand your ground and when to run screaming for your life.
  • Determine which monster-specific heroes to call and their likelihood of success.
  • Consider your own potential as a Champion for Good, Conqueror of the Damned.

Whether we-re talking ancient vampire hunters or modern-day FBI profilers, it-s good to know someone-s got your back in the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. And this book, with over fifty illustrations, as well as commentary from luminaries like filmmaker John Carpenter, author Peter Straub, and the legendary Stan Lee, provides all the information and reassurance you need to sleep soundly at night. Just not too soundly.

Vampire Diaries vs. True Blood



Which show do you like better?

I used to absolutely love True Blood. I thought season one was brilliant…funny, sexy, well-written , with a lot of social commentary thrown in. That opening montage? Where it shows the flash of the sign that says “God Hates Fangs?” I thought that was sheer genius the way it was a reflection of those horrible people who hold “God Hates Fags” signs. Yeah, season had it all and I loved it.

Season two was still pretty good although I felt like some of the characters were losing their complexity and just becoming jokes. But season three has been where it has all fallen apart for me and I can tell you exactly when it happened. There was a scene in one of the earlier episodes where Bill was having sex with Lorena and literally twisted her head around 180 degrees (you could hear the bones crunch) so she was facing away from him and continues on with the sex. Wow. It was just too violent for me, with too much hatred during an intimate act. Did it really have to go that far?

And that is the problem I think. Seems like some of the people behind cable TV shows are more concerned with how far they can take it, how much they can shock an audience than with how good a story they can tell. Nip/Tuck did it. Blood and Sand did it. And True Blood does it.

Then we have The Vampire Diaries. As far as I am concerned, this is a vampire show that gets it right. The storyline is interesting, the characters are complex and multi layered and the vampires are actually sexy. One fully clothed kiss on Vampire Diaries is INFINITELY hotter than all the jiggly bits on True Blood. And besides. I’m from Tennessee….all the vampires on True Blood remind me of my uncles. SO NOT SEXY.

And what a season premiere! I won’t give any spoilers, but if you saw it then you know how amazing it was. And if you haven’t watched the show before…..quit reading this and get thee to Netflix!!!!

So tell me, which show do you prefer?? Why?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: She Smells the Dead (And Giveaway!!)

She Smells the Dead
By: E.J. Stevens
Publication date: September 9, 2010
Published by: Sacred Oaks Press
Received from the author for review

From Goodreads....

It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.


The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.

Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

Why I picked it up: Hello, gorgeous. One of my very favorite covers...I just love this picture!

Why I couldn't put it down: I received this one yesterday, started reading it last night and finished it today. After a couple of recent disappointments with books featuring characters I didn't really care for, I am happy to report I enjoyed Yuki and her friends. Yuki came across as a pretty normal, goth-y, teenage girl (well, other than that whole smelling the dead thing) who likes big boots and anime AND is a vegetarian (veggie characters always make me happy, can't help it =)

Yuki can smell the dead, but not in the way you would imagine. The scents don't lead her to where the body is or anything like that. Instead, the scents point to someone who has died who still has unfinished business to wrap up before their soul can move on. The smells work more as a kind of communication between Yuki and the deceased so she can help them.

There is romance and a WHOLE lot of paranormal stuff going on. As a matter of fact, that is pretty much my only complaint about the book. At only 168 pages, I felt like there were maybe too many things going on without enough space to fully explore them. Not to mention there were two main storylines going on as well, with a third being introduced near the end of the book. I wish the book had been longer so some of the themes could have been elaborated on. And speaking of themes, I liked that the book contains "fantasy" paranormal as well as what I like to think of as "real-life" paranormal....more of what might be referred to as new-age aspects. Yuki's friend Emma is into herbal teas and remedies and Calvin has dragged Yuki to yoga class. The idea of animal spirit guides also plays a major role in the story, which I kind of dug since I've always had an interest in "real-life" paranormal stuff myself =)

All in all, a quick and enjoyable read, just be warned...there's a lot going on!!

Now...for the giveaway! Up for grabs is a brand new autographed copy of She Smells the Dead and bookmarks....and all YOU have to do to enter is visit THIS LINK and take the quiz "What's Your Inner Power Animal" and let me know your results in the comments! Of course, if you already have an idea of what your animal spirit guide is or would be, feel free to skip the quiz and tell me all about it!

A winner will be picked at random by and following isn't necessary, but it is appreciated. Tweeting gets you an extra entry, be sure and let me know. And make sure you leave me your email addy as well! Contest is open to US and Canada and the winner will be picked on September 18. Good luck!!! get the ball rolling, here's my quiz result =)

Whats Your inner Power animal?

Your inner animal spirit is a Panther

Intelligent, Cunning, and Wise. You are the jaguar. You have strong belifes, but are empathetic. You unique, clever and dark.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Latest Additions to the Did Not Finish Pile

Sadly, every now and then I start a book I think I'm gonna love only to have it end up as one of the DNFs....the dreaded "Did Not Finish." There were two of these recently, and while I didn't finish them, I did read enough of each to feel justified in giving my opinion. First on the chopping block...

Undead and Unwed
By: Mary Janice Davidson
Publication date: March2, 2004
Published by: Berkley Sensation
I bought this book

From Amazon:...
Betsy Taylor--former model, newly unemployed secretary, 30, and still single--wakes up after being flattened by a small SUV in a tacky coffin wearing cheap knock-off shoes. Her mother is glad she is back, albeit as a vampire, but her stepmother is enraged that Betsy has reclaimed her designer-shoe collection. With a wealthy best friend and a newly acquired doctor pal who is not susceptible to her formidable allure, she sets out to right wrongs but is abducted by Nostro, a tacky 500-year-old vampire who rules the undead roost. It seems that Betsy is an anomaly: a vampire who doesn't burn in sunlight, can fight the urge to feed, and is not repulsed by religious articles, all of which may make her the prophesied Queen of the Vampires. Teaming up with gorgeous vampire Eric Sinclair, who is in her opinion a major pervert, she takes on Nostro and his minions. Sexy, steamy, and laugh-out-loud funny, Davidson's chick-lit foray into the paranormal is delightful.

Why I picked it up: Having recently enjoyed the hell out of Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler, a humor filled paranormal, I thought I would give another funny one a shot.

Why I put it down: I almost finished this one, I only had about 20 pages to go when I just couldn't take it anymore and realized that I didn't like anyone in the book enough to care what happened at the end. Betsy was, for me, an immensely unlikeable character. EVERYTHING that came out of her mouth was sarcastic and the heavy handed nonstop "witty" banter was enough to make me wanna throw this one against the wall. If I knew a Betsy in real life, I would do everything in my power to make sure we were never EVER in the same room together. I wouldn't want to go to jail. I'm sure there are many people who will find this one funny, but literally every bit of dialogue was filled with over-the-top snarkiness. Not to mention the fact that this is the first book I've read in which I couldn't stand the vamps. I have to like at least one person in whatever I'm reading and I can't say there was anyone I cared for in this one.

(Which is the same problem I had with the next book.)

By: Joan Francis Turner
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Published by: Ace Hardcover
ARC received from the publisher for review

From Goodreads:

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.
Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.
Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.
Now, she’s not.
After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

Why I picked it up: I first heard about this one from a free chapter handout I received at Comic Con and c'mon...I thought it sounded awesome and unlike anything I've come across before!

Why I put it down: This pretty much proved it. Zombies just aren't meant to be sympathetic characters. I'll take 'em scary, I'll take 'em funny. But I can't take 'em as the heroes.
The book was non-stop violence, which, as a fan of horror, I don't really have a problem with. However these were the characters we're supposed to become emotionally invested in and I just couldn't get there. They were constantly hitting each other (CONSTANTLY) and pulling off each other's limbs. Kind of senseless violence, especially since it was just the zombie gang members constantly beating each other up. The author made the choice for this gang to be "vegetarians"...they hunt and eat only animals for the main part, not human brains and while I think that was supposed to make us sympathetic towards them, their otherwise violent behavior left me cold.

One other complaint...the two main male characters are named Joe and Jim. Too similar for me to really be able to keep them apart in my mind and half the time I couldn't keep track of who was was who. Minor, yet annoying nonetheless.

Anyway, yeah, 170 some pages in, I realized I didn't like or care enough about any of these characters to finish the book. From now on I'll take my zombies as the bad guys! to me...any books fall into your DNF pile lately? Got any recommendations for funny paranormals or zombie books with zombies I can care about? I'm open to suggestions =)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: Mockingjay (Yes, there are spoilers)


By Suzanne Collins

Published August 24, 2010

Scholastic Press

I bought this book

5 out of 5 stars

I was late to the Hunger Games party, but after reading all the Mockingjay pre-release buzz, I decided I needed to see for myself what everyone was talking about. I flew through The Hunger Games and Catching Fire in two days each and was blown away. I couldn't stop talking about these books and went on a major campaign to get everyone I know to read them. So come release day, I had no other thought save diving right into Mockingjay to see just what was going to these characters I had become so invested in.

I will be honest. Mockingjay wasn't what I expected (but isn't that a good thing?) but I was still more than satisfied with it. Yes, there were times when I felt like the heart of the story was being sacrificed for the action scenes (was Collins maybe writing for how things would play out on the big screen rather than in our imaginations??) BUT I don't think she ever intended for this to be sweet, fulfilling romance novel. The 'real or not real" theme, evident in all three books, was the guts of Mockingjay and it was expressed in downright heartbreaking ways.

I think everything played out in a realistic, if sometimes disappointing (for my sentimental soul) way. The death of Prim? BROKE MY HEART. But in real life, war doesn't discriminate in favor of who we love. War is tragic and death doesn't play favorites and I thought Collins made a bold and real choice in allowing Prim to be a victim.

I have read some comments around the internet from people who were upset that Katniss agreed when Coin suggested a new Hunger Games. I don't believe Katniss WAS really agreeing at that point. I think THAT is when she decided what her course of action would be and the moment when she decided to take her destiny and her choices back into her own hands. She realized at that point she could no longer be The Mockingjay, that her voice would be her own again. And I loved that moment when she let the arrow fly!

I DO wish we had seen a little more of who would eventually become president and been given a chance to root for someone. I would have liked to have been emotionally invested in that sad that I can't even recall her name =(

As for the ending, yes, I was happy with it. I felt Peeta was the right choice for Katniss and I LOVED that last "real or not real." LOVED. And I was happy that despite everything they had been through, they still came out of it with hope for the future.

Have you read these books??? What did you think??? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zombies Vs. Unicorns!

It's Zombies Vs. Unicorns MONTH over at vv32Reads and in a surprising turn of events (considering my love of horror,) I have decided to go Team Unicorn. Yes, yes, I have a fondness for zombie movies and I can't wait for The Walking Dead premiere, but I had to ask myself this question...what would I rather walk out the door and find in my backyard??? Um, yeah. Unicorns.

There are a ton of awesome giveaways planned for the month, and anyone who comments on MY post here is eligible for prizes as well! So be sure and let me know if you're Team Unicorn or Team Zombie and be sure to click the pic and head on over and sign up. Her contests are a BLAST and I guarantee you will have fun!