Sunday, 29 August 2010

Book Review: The Van Alen Legacy - Melissa de la Cruz

They're young, fabulous, and fanged...
And they're under threat. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods, the city's vampire elite, now find themselves in an epic battle for their very existence.
But the Silver Bloods are not the only worry, as the Blue Bloods are struggling to cope with dangers to the heart as well. Schuyler and Jack must decide if true love is worth facing destiny's wrath - and Mimi's.
- From the back of the book.

*If you have not yet read Revelations, do not read any further if you do not wish to be spoiled.*

The Van Alen Legacy is the fourth instalment in the popular series, Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la Cruz. I recommend that you read these in order, because of a complex plot, that runs throughout the whole series. Because of this, if you haven't read the first three books in the series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade and Revelations, then this book will be hard to understand, and wont make any sense.

The Blue Bloods series is very much like Gossip Girl, but with vampires. It has all the glitz and glamour, and fashion and parties, but it has something more. The plots are complex and interesting, making it a very fast page turner, and I think this book is the best. It has strayed from the Gossip Girl kind of book, and this is not a bad thing. There is more depth, and more reality to this book, something that I think more people would be able to relate to. For example, Melissa de la Cruz has taken into account the current economic crisis, and has woven that into her book, with many of the privileged vampire families facing bankruptcy. If you add to this the tragic events of Revelations, the third book in the series, when the majority of the Conclave were murdered in a surprise Silver Blood attack, the sophisticated New York Blue Bloods have come to the end of their glamorous lifestyle.

The Blue Bloods know that there is something wrong. But, the Elders do not seem to acknowledge this, and therefore, it is left to Mimi, Jack, Schuyler, Oliver and Bliss to sort things out.

The Van Alen Legacy begins a year after Revelations ended. Schuyler and Oliver have been on the run from the Conclave for a year, and their little adventure has only deepened their relationship. Schuyler has put Jack Force out of her mind, and now she only has eyes for Oliver. As the book starts, they are in Paris, hoping to meet with the head of the European Coven, to see if she can keep Schuyler safe from the New York Conclave, who believe she was the one who murdered her own grandfather and former Regis, Lawrence Van Alen.

Mimi has been out on a Venator mission to find Jordan, Bliss' little sister, who had been carrying the powerful spirit of the Watcher, Sophia, inside of her. Mimi changes in this novel, probably the most out of any of the characters. At the beginning of the series, Mimi was just a spoiled, full-of-herself, rich brat. In this novel, she shows that she does in fact have caring and compassionate nature, something which will please even the most hard hearted of readers.

Jack too is on a Venator mission. He has gone to save Schuyler from the Silver Bloods in Paris. This, once again, puts Schuyler and Jack together, which is complicated, as Jack has been promised to Mimi, yet, he only loves Schuyler. This presents Schuyler with a choice, a choice which she has no idea which way to go. She loves Jack, but she can't hurt Oliver, who loves her just as much as she loves Jack. The romance between Jack and Schuyler is forbidden, which only makes it more appealing. It has been a major part of the plot, and this storyline seems like it is going to stick around for a while.

Lastly, Bliss Llewellyn. She has the largest part in the book, I think. She is harbouring the spirit of Lucifer insider her. Not one of the Blue Bloods seems to have noticed that the Llewellyn family aren't what they thought they were, and no one notices that Bliss is slowly being held prisoner in her own body. Every morning, she must remember who she is, where she is, and what she is doing. She struggles to hold on to the little bit of herself that she has left, and she must figure out a way to get rid of Lucifer. And the only way to do that is to... But I wont give that away. You'll have to read it and find out yourself.

Every book in the Blue Bloods series is better than the last. The Van Alen Legacy is by far the best book in the series, and it mixes drama, romance, fantasy and action all into one amazing book. It certainly kept me turning pages until the small hours in the morning, and I'm sure that it will keep you up too. I cannot wait to go out and buy Keys to the Repository, and I am very eagerly awaiting Misguided Angels, which comes out in October.

I give it 5 Feet!

Book Review: Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson

Hanover Falls hasn't had a werewolf problem in over one hundred years, but when people start dying in Claire Benoit's town, panic spreads fast. The gruesome killings are all anyone can talk about at Claire's sixteenth birthday party, though the only thing on Claire's mind is gorgeous Matthew Engle chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, Claire discovers something that takes away all sense of normality: she's a werewolf.
Claire knows she must keep her changing identity a secret, especially from Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. But then a rogue werewolf threatens to put everyone she knows in danger. Struggling to feel comfortable in either skin, and her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, Claire is forced to make a choice that will change her forever.
- From the back of the book.

Claire de Lune is just like I expected it to be. I was expecting a story about a girl who is a werewolf, trying to cope with becoming a werewolf, and coping with hiding this from her boyfriend, etc. And that was what I got.

Claire appears to be a normal 16 year old girl. She has a best friend, a crush on the most popular guy in the school, Matthew, even though she herself is not very popular. And Matthew's more than just the most popular guy in the school. He's good-looking, a star centre on the soccer team, but he also has taken an interest in Claire, which amazes Claire. She thinks that that's the biggest piece of news she's going to have to cope with for the next few weeks. But she was wrong.

On the evening of her sixteenth birthday, Claire's mum drops a bomb on her. She tells Claire she's a werewolf, and she is one of a very few number of females who are. Over the course of the night, the biggest secret in the world to Claire is being revealed - a secret that has been kept since the day of Claire's birth! Suddenly, having her crush interested in her is the most insignificant thing in her life. She's having to deal with a lot, and she's not sure whether she'll be able to keep herself together.

Claire de Lune is more of a coming of age story, rather than a werewolf story. Claire has to struggle through understanding who and what she is, and also learn how to trust the people around her, even after they've been keeping secrets from her all this time, and most of all, how to trust herself.

The funny thing is, werewolves do not have to hide. People know about them, and though they may not like them, they know they exist. They do not know who the werewolves are, but they know everything else. There are no male werewolves either, because the honour of being a werewolf is only for females. And, one last thing, they are born, not made. If you are bitten, you'll just have a nasty scratch.

Claire de Lune was very predictable. It was not thought out as well as it perhaps could have been, and there were lots of holes in the world in which Claire lives. I knew, or thought I knew, what was going to happen, and though the ending shocked me a little, I wasn't all that surprised.

It wasn't the best book in the world, by a long shot. I enjoyed it, but only for a quick summer read that only takes a day or so to read. I would recommend you read it, if you want something quick, but if you want something good, long and interesting, maybe Claire de Lune is one you should leave on the shelf in the bookshop.

I give it 3 Feet! 

Book Review: A Kiss In Time - Alex Flinn

Talia fell under a spell...
Jack broke the curse.
I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic...

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.
I awakened in the same place but in another time - to a stranger's soft kiss.
I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.
Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!
Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels... The good news: My parents will freak!
Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all - even time? - From the back of the book.

A Kiss In Time is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. There is something a little odd about this fairy tale. Do you not think it's a bit weird when a boy who finds a sleeping girl, kisses her? Even if he doesn't know her, he just decides to kiss her. I think it's more than a little odd, and rather creepy... Anyway. I'm just saying.
Talia is a 316 year old princess, and Jack is a 16 year old boy from the 21st century. How will Talia adapt to the world around her, so different from the one she grew up in?

Upon finishing the book, I thought, it's not amazing. I've read better, but I've also read worse. Much worse. And I only wanted a quick summer read, and that's what I got, so I wasn't disappointed. There were some good points to the book, and some bad, but overall, very readable.

I've never been that much of a fan of fairy tales, mostly they're just stories that don't really matter that much, so, this being a retelling of one, I didn't really know what to expect from it. I have read Beastly, also by Alex Flinn, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and loved it. You can read my review of Beastly here. So, I was hoping that A Kiss in Time would be as good as Beastly, and it almost was. Almost. But not quite.

Anyway, onto the characters. At the beginning, Talia annoyed me. Just the way she has such a high opinion of herself, and the way she expects everyone to treat her like a princess. Although, saying this, she was sweet, honest and polite, unlike a lot of girls these days, so that made me like her a little more. I can say though, now, having finished the book, I like Talia a lot more than I did at the beginning.

I liked Jack. He was the typical slacker teenager with a heart of gold, hidden deep inside, and only Talia is able to reach it and pull it out. I liked how he helped Talia to understand the 21st century, and even when she didn't fully grasp how the world works, he still kept going, trying to help her, just as she tried to get him to understand her world.

Although, there were some strange things about their relationship. Talia wakes up to Jack's kiss, and suddenly she's proclaiming her love to him, for he must be her true love. She doesn't know him at all! Also, one minute, they seem to be friends, and then, the next, they're two people deep in love.

So, my verdict: I think you should read it. It's worth it, even if it's not the best book in the world. Although, in my opinion, it's not as good as Beastly, but don't let that put you off. It's short and sweet, a cute little holiday or weekend away read.

I give it 3 Feet!

Book Review: Glimmerglass - Jenna Black

Dana Hathaway doesn't know it yet, but she's in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she's had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl - she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.
Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she'll never have a chance with... until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn't sure where she'll ever fit in or who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.
- From the back of the book.

Glimmerglass is the first book in the new Faeriewalker series by Jenna Black. Dana Hathaway is fed up of her alcoholic mother, and fed up of knowing nothing about her mysterious father. So off to Avalon she runs, off to find her father, and restart her life in a new place, with new people. She doesn't know she's a Faeriewalker, not yet, and doesn't know what kind of dangers being one of these rare people could mean. And it's not exactly good.

Glimmerglass is written excellently. It was engaging, and realistic. The world of Faerie, even for those unfamiliar with Faerie books, was easy to understand, and the rules were easy to grasp. It's full of action, due to the events that occur in the book, and the characters are always doing something, but everything is explained very well, so even with the large catalogue of happenings, it's not confusing or over-complex.

The characters felt real. Dana appears to be an average sixteen year old. But, she is half Fae. She's strong and intelligent, having to cope with one crisis followed by another, followed by another. Although, being only sixteen, she makes mistakes that any sixteen year old would. She doesn't know what to do a lot of the time, which makes her seem more real and believable, something that some authors don't seem to get with their characters. For example, some characters are thrown into a world of vampires, werewolves, Faeries, etc, without knowing they even existed, yet they seem to know exactly what to do and when. How would they know this if they didn't even know that said supernatural world even existed? Anyway, back to Dana. She's not like this, and I'm glad. Without some of the mistakes that Dana made, the story wouldn't nearly be as good. She's very self conscious about how she appears to others, and she knows when she's being annoying or whiny, and fixes it quickly. She can get a little overwhelmed by her hormones, but that's a given, her being a sixteen year old girl.

And it's not just Dana that was written well. Ethan and Kimber were written brilliantly too. Ethan is of course, a gorgeous male, even by Fae standards, and there is obviously an instant attraction between him and Dana. He's charming and funny, and Dana can't help but feel a pull towards him. His sister, Kimber, is quite the opposite though. She's shy and guarded when she first meets Dana, but slowly, as she gets to know Dana better, she opens up and becomes a good friend to Dana. She takes Dana under her wing, and makes sure she feels safe. But why would she need Dana to feel safe, I hear you ask? Why are Ethan and Kimber after Dana?

This book is full of everything needed to make a good book. There are so many twists and turns in the plot, that you are constantly kept on your toes, and flicking through the pages as fast as you possibly can. One minute, Dana is here, and the next she is gone, and she's being told she can trust this person, but suddenly, that person's a bad guy, and they can't be trusted. Glimmerglass makes for good reading, and it gives you plenty to think about for the next book. By the end, you are still not sure who's on whose side, and who can be trusted, and I'm sure the next book will be eagerly awaited by many.

I give it 5 Feet!

Book Review: Boys That Bite - Mari Mancusi

Two sisters - as different as the sun and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Coven is to die for. But for the other, getting out could be lethal...
When Sunny McDonald gets dragged to Club Fang by her twin sister, Rayne, she doesn't expect to find anything besides a bunch of Goth kids playing at being vampires. But when some guy mistakes Sunny for her dark-side-loving sister and bites her on the neck, she finds out that his fangs are real - and deadly.
Now Sunny has less than a week to figure out how to reverse the bite, or else she's going to end up as one of the perpetually undead. And not only will she be a vampire, she'll also be bonded to Magnus - the bloodsucker who bit her - forever. And forever is a really long time...
- From the back of the book.

The first book in the Blood Coven series by Mari Mancusi is a fun one. It made me laugh out loud, especially at 'Bertha the Vampire Slayer', and at the 'Vamps Are People Too' campaign, which failed to get the message across to Slayers Inc, which, as you can guess is the Incorporation behind the Vampire Slayer. It is their destiny, so they will not give up slaying vamps.

The process to become a vampire is well thought out, and planned specifically for the person who wishes to turn. They must sign a contract, and then go through three months of training, before receiving the bite which will change them forever. They also have to have their blood tested for diseases. After all, they don't want vampires with diseases, do they?

Boys That Bite is written in a funny way, and is full of slang. There is plenty of action and romance to keep you entertained, and this makes it perfect for any teenagers wanting a quick read. I definitely enjoyed it, and it's not often that I actually laugh out loud at a book. Also, being heavily influenced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy fans and non-Buffy fans alike, will love this book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Stake That! and I really hope it is full of the same humour as the first one.

I give it 5 Feet!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Book Review: A Certain Slant of Light - Laura Whitcomb

Someone was looking at me. A disturbing sensation if you're dead.
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years. Human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen - terrified, but intrigued - is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets if their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.
From the back of the book.

This book has everything it needs. There are ghosts, romance, mystery. You couldn't help but get chills while reading, and it was hard to put down. The world that Helen and James belonged to was so different to my own, yet I found it easy to slip into their world for a few hours and lose myself in their story. Helen, as a character, was wonderful. It was so easy to imagine her feelings, her surprise, confusion, joy and pain at all the previously unimaginable things that are happening to her. She goes through so much in a few days, and this must take it's toll on her. It's so heartbreaking, James and Helen not being able to be together, and then they finally find a way, only to have it taken away again.

James is an interesting character. He, like Helen, is Light (a ghost/spirit), but unlike Helen, he has possessed the body of Billy Blake, who deserted his body and left it empty. The only problem? He needs to think and act like Billy, something hard to do if you have no memories of the person Billy was. Although it was only meant to be temporary accommodation for James, he finds himself unable to leave the body. Making it hard for Helen the Light to be with James the Quick (human). It makes you think. What does it mean to be alive? It's not just simply living, there's more to it than that. It's being able to handle everything, everything that life throws at you, emotions, and whatever else may come. While rejoicing in being alive together, they also have to figure out how to cope with everything their host is going through, as well as everything they themselves are going through.

It is obvious that the characters well thought out, and well understood. Laura Whitcomb knew her readers too, and this makes this book stand out. There are so many books in this genre out there, some good, some bad, and this is definitely one of the good ones. Certainly one of the best ghost books I have ever read. It has been sitting on my shelf since October last year when I got it for my birthday. I was disappointed, because I didn't get the book I wanted, so I was reluctant to read it, as it wasn't something I asked for, and therefore didn't know anything about it. But now, almost a year later, I am so glad I have read it.
I would just like to say, the plot was quite complex, and there is lots of sexual tension, it's definitely more of a later teen/adult book. Though I am neither of those, I will re read it again in a few years, and I think, being older and wiser, it'll be even better.

I give it 4 Feet

Friday, 13 August 2010

Book Review: By Midnight - Mia James

April Dunne is not impressed.
She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception.
Ravenwood is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) sudents - and the only school where her parents could find her a place in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart... and trying to fit in, when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps find something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift.
But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from...
something... in Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place just where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on.
... and whether or not she's going to live through it...
- From the back of the book.

Edward and Bella, stand aside. Enter April and Gabriel. The two share a love, one that is so strong the are willing to go to great lengths to save the other. They just don't realise it yet. They have a connection, but they aren't quite sure how powerful it is, and what it means. Everything a good book needs to be is By Midnight. It has mystery, romance, suspense, fear. It can make you laugh or cry, and will keep you reading into the night.

It is completely different to any other vampire book I have read before. I started reading, and all I could think was, 'Oh no. It's just like Twilight...' But, actually, the further you get into the book, the more different to Twilight it becomes. The plot is full of twists and turns, is well balanced, and is very difficult to predict. One minute, you'd be so sure you'd figured out the mystery, then you read the next page, and suddenly your theory doesn't make any sense, and you have to start again. Who could the murderer be? It certainly kept me up until the small hours of the morning.

The thing that really worked in the book for me are the characters. Written in third person, you get a look at how all the characters are feeling, instead of just seeing it through one character's eyes. The main character, April Dunne, was written fantastically. Her feelings were portrayed wonderfully, so you always knew how she was feeling, why she felt that way, even if she didn't fully understand that herself. She'd been pulled away from the only life she'd ever known, and thrown in the deep end to something beyond what she could have ever imagined. As you go through the story, you feel her pain as badly as she feels it, feel her joy tumbling off the page. She is definitely one of my favourite characters, not just in this book, but out of all of them. She's definitely up there with Katniss Everdeen, Zoey Redbird, Gemma Doyle and Chloe Saunders, who are my all time favourite lead female protagonists. And, when she's told that there may possibly be vampires in Highgate, what does she do? She laughs in the face of the person who told her, and thinks she's a loony, unlike some people... cough *Bella Swan* cough.

So, if you're looking for a good vampire book, buy this. If you're looking for a good mystery book, buy this. If you're looking for a good summer read, buy this. And if you're not, well, just buy this anyway. It is amazing, one of the best books I have ever read, and I couldn't recommend it to you enough. Go and buy it. You won't be disappointed.

I give it 5 Feet!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Birthday Giveaway [Girls Without A Bookshelf]

Over at Girls Without A Bookshelf, they are giving away 7 books to celebrate a birthday! They are giving away:

Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick (sequel to Hush, Hush)
Torment - Lauren Kate (sequel to Fallen)
Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (sequel to Beautiful Creatures)
Return to Paradise - Simone Elkeles (sequel to Leaving Paradise)
The Haunted - Jessica Verday (sequel to Tha Hollow)
Ascendant - Diana Peterfreund (sequel to Rampant)
Sapphique - Catherine Fisher (sequel to Incarceron)

And they're all sequels!! Click HERE to enter! Good luck =]

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Book Review: Linger - Maggie Stiefvater

I feel the weight of the pack's gaze...
Grace and Sam must fight to be together. FOr Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with his werewolf past... and figuring out a way to survive the future.
But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace realizes she's changing in ways she could never have expected...
- From the back of the book.

Sam is amazing. I love him. He grows a lot in this book, and you can really see the changes in him from the first books. He has been pushed through a lot, and he has been forced to push his own worries aside and concentrate on others, something that I admire him for. He is still a broken man, yet his love for Grace is slowly but surely putting him back together. It's no longer a matter of if he will be whole again, it's when.

Linger is a lot more laid back than Shiver. This is because a lot of Shiver was based on if and when Sam was going to change. Linger isn't as fast-paced as Shiver was, but this didn't make much of a difference, I was still turning the pages just as fast, waiting to find out what was wrong with Grace and how Sam was going to fix her. There is more drama in this book, but not so much that you find yourself lost and not sure what's going on. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, to find out what will happen next, and I just hope that Maggie Stiefvater will find a way to keep her books as amazing as they are.

I give it 5 Feet!

Video Chat with Cassandra Clare!

Love the Mortal Instruments series? Then you're not going to want to miss this! Cassandra Clare is doing a live video chat on Wednesday 4th August at 5pm EST
To watch, just make sure you're at . And if that's not enough, you can even WIN a limited edition Clockwork Angel pendant!

ARC Giveaway: Radiance [Books With Bite]

Over at Books With Bite, an ARC of Radiance - Alyson Noel is being given away! To enter, or to find out more information, click here. And, it's international! Good luck! =]
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