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Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2005
Purchase: Amz/B&N/

Blurb from Amazon:

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 of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

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Cover Love: Love it, the cover actually points towards an event in the book so it is beautiful and useful

I knew I love the book the moment I saw the cover but story within the pages cements my love for it. It is so haunting and lovely at the same time.

Helen makes a very compelling character; she loves literature so she clings to those who like literature. She needs to be attached to a living person so she can continue to exist in the world of the Quick (the living). The ghosts called themselves Light (if they aware that they are dead). It’s when Helen meets James that she begins to consider her needs. James is a Light inside of Billy (a recovering drug addict). James introduces Helen to the idea of possessing a body that a soul no longer wants. The possession of the bodies helped both of them move on with their lives and be somewhat happy for awhile.

Helen posses Jenny and has to deal with a super conservative Christian family while James posses a drug addict. By helping the lives of the individuals they are possessing, they are bringing closure to their own stories by remembering their memories of their final moments. They died with the belief that they were sinning and probably deserve their death but as the memories come back, they start to remember what really happened.

Helen as Jenny helps the family move on from their extremely closed minded view of the world. Helen makes a better world for Jenny to live in and tolerate. James as Billy struggles to make a better life for Billy because Billy was such a troublemaker. In the end, he manages to bring closure to his brother.

Normally, I have issues with books but I can’t find anything that would decrease the rating of this book. Some may take issue with the portrayal of Jenny’s family. The family is hardcore Christian so deeply religious. I don’t have a problem with it because the type of philosophy the family claimed is very true. It’s also very true that certain lifestyles do smother people and Whitcomb showed both sides of the equation. Billy had extreme freedom while Jenny’s freedom was restricted and they both were just drowning in misery. Hating their very existence that Billy and Jenny were glad to have someone else take over their lives because they couldn’t deal with their lives. The book is sad on some level because the possessed individuals are so young.

I love the ending, it is very Titanic like. Anyways, I really liked this book. I will be on the lookout for another book by this author because I like the story she told.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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71st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Ghostly

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Review: The Faustian Host by Dave Becker

Title: The Faustian Host
Author: Dave Becker
Series: Apocalypse Signs # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: E-book
Source:  Author
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/B&N
I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:
Plymouth Rock is bleeding. Day has turned to night. Hundred-pound hailstones level buildings. The small town of Clement seems cursed, and the residents know who’s to blame: the new kid, Tony Marino.

After losing his family and his home, 14-year-old Tony is forced to move from Florida to Massachusetts to attend Kalos Academy, an unconventional school for gifted children. Strange things begin to happen the day he arrives, and soon stories of plagues, monsters, and mystical objects surround him. Refusing to believe superstitions, Tony struggles to explain the occurrences logically, until he comes face to face with a satanic cult determined to bring about the end of the world.

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Thoughts to ponder on: Close to having religious tones but vague enough to not have them.

The Faustian Host ended up being different than I expected.  I was sort of expecting a book with a semi-Christian tone (to counter the satanic cult) with monsters but it is really different. It is a lot better than my initial thoughts on it. It is much more about Tony and the freak events surrounding him.

Tony is an interesting protagonist. At the beginning, he seem to do everything wrong. He got off on the wrong foot with his foster father by talking about religion in a negative way and at school, he made himself a target by saying and doing the wrong things. It was hard to relate to him but as the novel progressed and Tony started finding his friends, it was easier to see him as a likable character. His friends are quirky and have unique personalities but there wasn’t a lot of background on them. Tony is a consistent character throughout the novel. He repeatedly stuck his foot in his mouth and screwed up his friendships. Luckily, he matured through the novel and managed to save his friendships and make new ones.

One of the quirkiest or oddest thing about the book is the town’s reaction to the plagues. It’s like “Oh, the town is covered with a very deep fog…go to school” and I’m like “What.” I like school very much but I rather stay at home than drive/walk through a creepy fog. The town was really chill with the water turning red and a swarm of flies. There was an initial panic at first but it was downplayed as Tony’s fault. He brought the plagues to town because he was cursed so people just stayed away from him. I was half-expecting a mob to go after him or people to truly panic and leave town. It is just a funny reaction from the town which makes for an interesting novel.

The villains of the story are a satanic cult and want to destroy the world. They are lead by Sinthos. He is not really charismatic. Tony is not really entice to join the cult because Sinthos is not enticing. He is not a great villain but he is good villain because he constantly interferes in the life of Tony. One of my favorite scenes of the book was when Sinthos explains why Tony is cursed. It is a unique and indirect way of explaining the curse. It was different because it leaves the reader wondering if the story was really about Tony or just a legend. I feel it is about Tony and it explains the title of the book. Goethe’s Faust is about a deal with the devil.

Being the first book in a new series, there are a couple of characters that leave me wondering. Carver and Hammon, the two teachers from the Kalos Academy, knew about what was going on with the plagues but they never brought in Tony into their confidence. There is also the question of whether Carver and Hammon are allies or not. Both teachers are wary of each other yet still worked together to protect Tony. They are an interesting pair. The biggest question is why did Hammon leave Tony and his classmates alone in the Death Valley. Hammon is either a highly irresponsible teacher, it was a test or he was setting up Tony to be taken by Sinthos and his cult. I’m not sure what his reasoning is. Carver might be more insane than Hammon because he has a creepy vibe but he is a fascinating character. I‘m looking forward to seeing what direction both men take.

In the end, The Faustian Host earns 4  butterflies from me. It has an interesting plot with very intriguing teachers. I will definitely pick up the second book in the sries.

4 BB-Ready for capture

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48th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, First In A Series, Where Are You Reading?-Massachusetts

Review: Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston

Title: Colors Like Memories
Author: Meradeth Houston
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: E-book
Source:  MuseItUp Publishing
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase:  MuseItUp Publishing
I received this novel free of charge from MuseItUp Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this ‘breath of life,’ she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It’s a job Julia enjoyed, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren’t enough, she’s now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia is not exactly the best role model for. If she can’t figure out a way to help her, Julia will lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

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Random: Honesty is really the best policy

This was an interesting novel to read.  Saries help individuals who are contemplating suicide. They are almost like guardian angels (including the wings) except they are not called that.

Julia, a Sary, was an interesting character. At the beginning, it felt like Julia wasn’t entirely devoted to her job as a protector to Marcy who is suicidal. Half of Julia was trying to do right by Marcy and help her not commit suicide but other half of Julia was distracted by her own emotional pain. Julia had to work through the pain of losing her other half, Derek. Edison, another Sary, was send to help her. When he is first introduced, I thought he was Derek reincarnated but I’m off. What happens to Derek is much more fascinating than that.

The process of working through emotional pain and the character’s finding their inner strengths is a long process. Julia spent her time with Marcy just lying about who she was because that is the rule of being a sary. Never be discovered. It helped Marcy to have a friend in Julia but Marcy needed honesty to move on. No, Marcy needed someone trust in her because that is what she was lacking. She didn’t have trust in her father, ex-boyfriend, or Julia. Maybe she just needed someone to rely on her because that is when she became strong and had a moment of realization that changed her life.

The world-building of the Sary left me wanting for more. Julia said it was her choice to become a sary but the blurb says a sary is the soul of a child that never took a breath. Doesn’t that mean that every child who died before their first breath is a sary or am I misunderstanding? I’m curious about the selection process because if the sary are chosen (and not made automatically), then what happens to those who are not selected? Plus, how are they teenagers if they died during what I assume is after childbirth? There some questions that hurt the novel because the world-building isn’t explained but overall, it is a decent novel that has logic to its world.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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40th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book

Review: Hurricane by Jenna-Lynne Duncan

Title: Hurricane
Author: Jenna-Lynne Duncan
Series: Hurricane # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: E-book
Source:  Bewitching Tours
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/B&N
I received this book for Bewitching Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:
Adriana couldn’t decide what was worse—that Hurricane Katrina was heading for New Orleans, or that she might not survive her kidnapping to see its potential effects. She had trusted Hayden, even fallen for him, and now he and his brother Luke were taking her deeper and deeper into the Bayou. Why had two of her classmates, the mysterious Boudreaux brothers, kidnapped her? Why had Adriana’s dreams started predicting the future? Most importantly, would she make it out of the Bayou alive…
Please note that a portion of the sales from ‘Hurricane’ will be going to the New Orleans Area Habitat Humanity for Humanity.

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Random Thoughts: One of the few who is giving a bad review and it pains me because the book donates to Habitat for Humanity.

I honestly really wanted to like this book because I’ve heard great things about it but maybe it was just too much. This book just left me in the dust.

Let’s talk about what is good with this novel. The writing is fantastic. It is very detailed and descriptive. The start of the novel was highly intriguing and helped maintain suspense in the beginning of the book until the kidnapping happens. After the kidnapping, the book tends to go downhill for me. There was one bit of sunray in the novel and it was the complex and failed relationship between the main character, Ana (Adriana), and her father. It was a little heartbreaking to read the strain relationship between them.

The novel had great potential. It’s a kidnapping during hurricane Katrina. There are supernatural elements that should make the novel interesting but it just collapses on itself. The brothers, Hayden and Luke, who kidnapped Ana, well, their reasoning isn’t quite clear. They have to kill her to break the curse but why her, what is so special about her? Plus, what are they really? The brothers are not vampires but they are not completely human either. The supernatural is thrown in without explanation. What makes Ana special is never revealed until one of the bad guys claims she is a “Mixer.” What that is, I have no idea but I’m a guessing a half-blood.

I liked Ana before her kidnaping. She was fascinated by Hayden and then he kidnaps her so she declares her undying love for him. It’s like ‘Oh.” Actually, I don’t think I liked Ana very much. She was a little stuck-up with her condescending attitude but I sympathize with her because she came from a broken home. After her kidnapping, she gladly accepts to live with the brother’s family (not that she has any place to go…) and never questions why Luke wanted to kill her. She does have moments of brilliance where she is strong and tries to save Luke from being killed. She is willing to sacrifice herself to protect the brothers. Her bravery in those few moments is not enough for me to think of her as an independent female but Ana, you are on your way.

I really really dislike the love triangle between Ana, Hayden, and Luke. First off, what love triangle? Luke decides he loves Ana towards the end of the novel (never mind the fact that he wanted to kill her in the first place) and has has spent the  entire length of the novel making her feel inferior. Bear in mind, this is after Hayden and Ana have been together for awhile now. I just don’t get these types of romances. Let’s be honest, Luke has no chance with Ana because he was a jerk to her and no matter what anyone says, first impressions count. There is no second chance to correct the behavior especially if the word includes “I love you even though I acted horribly to you.” There is no point to them because as readers, we tend to know Ana is going to pick Hayden (unless he dies then Luke has a real chance) because Hayden was her first love.

Besides the love triangle, the one thing that really hurt the book (in my opinion) was the villain being Madame Delphine LaLaurie. She is important to the history of New Orleans and Duncan portrayed her as Scooby-Doo villain or a villain in a bad James Bond movie. The Madame reveals everything to Ana without Ana having any interest in knowing why she was being targeted. It is a bit disappointing considering the horror Madame Delphine inflicted when she was alive. It just reduced her character to a caricature. She is not as vicious in death as she was alive. Yes, she caused damaged but not to the extent where she was a worthy antagonist.

Will I read the second novel in the series? Uh, probably. The writing is really great but the characters are lacking in character. Not really looking forward to the love triangle. However, the second novel will probably provide an in-depth look at the new world that Ana is living in and what her role is. I really want to know what a “Mixer” so yeah, I’ll probably pick it up.

2.5 BB-Look for in the library

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39th in 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First in a series, Where are you reading?-Louisiana

Review: Vala: Agenda by J.F Jenkins

Title: Vala: Agenda
Author: J.F. Jenkins
Series: Vala: Agenda # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: E-book
Source:  Author
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
I received this novel free of charge from the author.

Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.

All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.

Adjusting to a new school is difficult enough, but adding on everyone else’s hidden agendas is the icing on the cake. Cheyenne must learn to see through the lies in order to find her place — and possibly even love — in this new world.

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What I will remember: The retelling of the myth of Persephone

I have a feeling that this novel will elicit mixed responses from readers.  On the one hand, there are great secondary characters, especially on the dark side and on the other hand, there might disenchantment with the main character, Cheyenne. The plot wasn’t really interesting to me because it’s” a girl goes to a special school where she is supposed to evolve into herself but nothing really happens until the end.” The characters are what makes the novel worth reading and the ending of the novel.

Let’s talk about what is great about this novel, the secondary characters. The secondary characters are so much interesting than Cheyenne because they appear to be more complex than Cheyenne gives them credit for. Mr. Thantos is an amazing character. He is Cheyenne’s teacher and he is a fallen angel with beautiful broken wings. He is very blunt with his words and is a strong character with a special affection for cats. How awesome is that. There is Denver who is not a vampire but has blood sucking tendencies. He is fascinating in that Cheyenne would like to portrayed him as a villain yet he is sweet in a weird and dark way. Not quite sure what to make of him. The character I love is Lucian, he might be the reincarnation of Hades so I’m rooting for him (how typical of me). He is a dark and suave character who has a tale that needs to be heard.

Cheyenne’s friends are twins guys Anj and Zes, Halyn (her roommate), and her frenemy Jewl. I might be seriously misinterpreting their characters but it is hard to like them. I don’t trust the twins because there is something off with them. Too many secrets with them and Anj has already proven that he is capable of using people for his own benefit. I love nerds, I really do but Zes puts me on edge because of the weird relationship he has with Anj.  Halyn is all right. Jewl is the ex-girlfriend of Anj. She might be the only I liked because she is assertive of herself and is not afraid to fight dirty.

Cheyenne herself is what hinders the novel from being truly great. She is going to a special school for gifted children yet she never uses her powers or knows what her powers are besides talking to plants. She doesn’t use her abilities and constantly relies on others to save her. She is a very weak protagonist. She is a Divine child, meaning the child of a goddess but we never know what that entitles and that could possibly be save for the second book. Her attitude towards her adoptive mother is also troubling. Cheyenne hates her adoptive mother for not revealing she was adopted but how does a person forgot the connection they have to the person they considered “mother”? Cheyenne embraces her true parents and doesn’t really get mad at them for leaving her in the hands of a stranger. She is strangely calm in understanding and accepting what they said without fully understanding what they were trying to protect her from. There should be anger for both parties on behalf of Cheyenne yet it is one-sided. It safe to say that I strongly dislike her parents even if her mother carries my name, Persephone.

What truly saves the novel for me is the ending. That’s where the plot actually picks up and we have intrigue for the second novel. Lucian as the antagonist repeats history by kidnaping Cheyenne (since she is the reincarnation of Persephone). Cheyenne’s parents are truly mad about this which I don’t understand because Persephone and Hades are meant to be together. Why does the current Persephone resists what should be natural? What could be wrong in their unity? There is a power structure that is not reveal in this novel that could be thrown into chaos by the unity of  the reincarnated Persephone and Hades. I’m looking forward to seeing it come apart because Persephone and Hades should be together.

The myth of Persephone is important to the storyline because Cheyenne is a descendant of Persephone. Initially, I wanted to stop reading once Jenkins stated that Persephone betrayed Hades and apparently did not married him. That was a huge “No” moment. It’s not that Persephone wouldn’t have run away from Hades if she had a chance at the beginning of their courtship. It just this new addition displaces the myth itself. However, the ending of the novel reveals that the original Persephone truly loved Hades and is now trying to reunite with him. (It please me to no end to know that they are seeking each other out). It still leaves a bitter taste though. (Obviously, I’m dissatisfied with this version because of who I am).

In the end, the plot is weak and Cheyenne is not my favorite protagonist. However, the secondary characters are fantastic and the underlying politics such as the unity of Persephone and Hades causing mayhem is interesting. I will read the second book because Hades (or Lucian) need to make a stronger appearance . The storyline has great potential but it just might come in the second book. Plus, I need to see Persephone and Hades happy together so I’ll be reading the second book.

3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

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35th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: YA Mythology, First in a Series, E-book,

Review: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus

Title: Blood and Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klaus
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Purchase
Pub. Year: 1997
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?

Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.

Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really–human or beast? Which tastes sweeter–blood or chocolate?

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Cover Love: I love the red wolf there. At first, I just thought it was red paint splatter on it. Why? I have no idea, I’m just weird like that.

What I love about this book is the old perspective of werewolves and the “Old Ways.” It feels like the current werewolves have gotten demystify and declaw in favor of more attractive werewolves. The werewolves in Klaus’s novel considered themselves as different from humans, and at points, superior and feel pity towards humans because humans are not wolves. They also called themselves Humus Lupus to signify their difference. It is a different change from the werewolves that crave to be human again. They embrace what they are in life and that is wonderful because people should not hate what or who they are.

Let’s talk about Vivian. She is a wolf who is dating outside her gene pool. She was an interesting character because she was in conflict with her identity. She doesn’t like the current werewolf pack mentality because her father isn’t leading it but it also feels more aggressive than what she is used to. Vivian likes the quick romance with Aidan because it is sweet and non-aggressive.

I didn’t really like Aidan; he felt like those types of rebels that try to rebel without cause and in the end, follow his father’s footsteps. Besides when Vivian was with him, she wanted to be aggressive with him so she was hiding what she wants in order to not hurt him. It was a relationship based on secrecy and I felt that he was too weak to accept what she was.

I definitely like Gabriel as the packmaster of the werewolves. He was strong and assertive. He cares about the pack. The Five is a group of young male werewolves around Vivian’s age and they are not really differentiable. We know their names but never get to know as individuals except for the description that Vivian gives us. Still, they were a fun group; serenading Vivian when she falls ill. It’s cute.

One of the things I find odd with this book is the relationship that Vivian has with her mother, Esme. Vivian always refers to her mother as “Esme.” In very rare instances does Vivian address her as “Mom.” It makes wonder why is there such a huge tension between them.  There has to be more than her mother moving on from the death of her husband or  maybe it just that. I wonder if it just a style Klaus choose to implement but even if we are reading from the third-perspective, we are still inside Vivian’s head so why is Vivian addressing her mother by her real name. It is just odd to me. Nonetheless, it doesn’t really detract from the novel.

I’m going to give it a 4.5 because I really like the book. I understood where Vivian was coming from in terms of rebelling against the traditions of the werewolves. The werewolves and their beliefs are a breath of fresh air. I also love Gabriel’s short story at the end. It was a bit bittersweet like dark chocolate.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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31st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Where are you reading?-Virginia

Review: Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner

Title: Thoughtless
Author: Jacqueline Gardner
Series: Thoughtless # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Author
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ Smashwords
I received a copy of this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:
When Bridget finds a dead cheerleader in the janitor’s closet, she becomes the killer’s next target. High school just got worse. It’s bad enough that she can hear the shocking truths that pass through her classmate’s heads. Now she has to worry about staying alive, and all clues point to the one person whose thoughts she can’t read – her boyfriend Terrence. Someone is taunting her, threatening to expose her secret. And when Bridget tries to single out her blackmailer, she’s nearly beaten to death by a mind controlled minion with fiery eyes.

But when Bridget finally comes face-to-face with the killer, suddenly a horde of brainwashed students programmed to destroy her life doesn’t seem so bad.

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Cover Love: The platinum hair confused me…at first. But it is cool.

I enjoyed reading this novel. It was entertaining. It’s been awhile since I have read a novel about a mind-reader.

Let’s talk about Bridget. Yes, she can read minds and yes, she is interested in Terrence because she cannot read his mind. In the span of few days, she is head over hells over for him which is what a school romance usually is. Even though, Terrence is suspected of committing the murder, Bridget sticks to him but the good thing is that she at least questions it at times. Her questioning is not always successful since she does convince herself that he didn’t do it which is actually normal. No one would like to admit, even to themselves, that a person they care about could commit a murder. The importance thing is she does question his involvement.

Rory and Emma are Bridget’s friends. Rory becomes entangled with Bridget in finding who the murdered the cheerleader because the killer is after him as well. Rory does warm up to Bridget in the end. He grows to care about her and warns her about Terrence. He is a really smart guy that does come up with a good plan to catch the killer. Emma is Bridget’s cheerleader friend who doesn’t know about the mind-reading ability. She was just there to prove Bridget has social interactions but they do genuinely care for each other.

What I find interesting is the Coven. I’m not sure if they are witches or just people with special abilities but they are the antagonist of the series. They are highly organized and members have to kill in order to advance their status in the Coven. It doesn’t seem like they have a grey side that would make Bridget want to join them. But who knows? They seem bent on world domination so I really want to find out how and why the group got started.

My one issue is the hoard of the brainwashed students. They are not really there. I counted two important instances where victims of brainwashing come after Bridget (and one of them is not a student). I was picturing a zombie-like attack in my head. Instead the attacks are very specific.

In the end, I did like this book and I can’t wait to read the second book. I want an in-depth look into the Coven because they are scary. I think Bridget was realistic in her infatuation with Terrence and wanting to believe in his innoncence.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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28h in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-published, First in a Series,

Review: Intangible by J. Meyers

Title: Intangible
Author: J. Meyers
Series: Intangible # 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: E-book
Source: Author
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
I received a copy of this novel free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret–she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right.
And he can’t do anything about it.

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Cover Love: I love the purple color.

There is so much more to the book than the blurb is willing to give away. It starts with a bang, there is a little lull in the middle due to the romance addition, and it ends quite different than what I expected in a good way.

The blurb keeps things hidden so I’m going to exposed just a little bit. It blew my mind away when vampires came into the pictures. It’s a “What the hell is going on” moment because the blurb never mentions vampires and another supernatural creature that I won’t reveal. I assumed it would just be psychic siblings in a contemporary setting instead the siblings are dropped right in the middle of a paranormal world. It’s a bang to start with because there is no warning about other paranormal creatures.

Character-wise, there is ambiguity on what side the supporting characters are on. Sera and Luke are the good side; there is no doubt about that. Fey is a good friend of the twins but she knows more than she lets on. That’s always problematic. Marc certainly has his own motivations for seeking the twins but his own emotions make him a complicated character. He is a not a bad guy (entirely) because we see his reasoning but it just hard to root for him. Jonas is a vampire who is not entirely sure if he wants to kill or protect the twins. We see the interactions with the twins shake his thinking about them. The supporting cast is interesting because they are just not define by good vs. evil ideology.

The romance, for me, hit a snag early on. I think it has to do with knowing right off the bat that Marc has darker intentions for Sera. It’s not entirely romantic to root for Marc but his conflicted emotions does bring realistic qualities to him. I much prefer a Jonas and Sera romance storyline. Healer and fighter.

World-building, I did find interesting that vampires live in the Realm which is separate from the human realm or maybe they just called the supernatural society the Realm. I’m a little unsure but it is fascinating. Lilith as the mother of all vampires makes a fantastic antagonist. She is more stable in her moral guiding so she leans towards the dark side. There is some sort of peace agreement that appears to be fragile. It kept Lilith from being too extreme but it is interesting how she pushes the boundaries of the agreement.

I can’t wait to read the second book in the series. The ending was a small cliffhanger because the leading force of the novel was resolved. There is a also a minor character called Quinn that I would like to get know better. Plus, the politics of the world created by Meyers is getting interesting and I hope we meet some of the major players there.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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27th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a Series, Self-published, E-book, Where are you reading?-Vermont

Interview with Jacqueline Gardner of Thoughtless

I’m really glad to have Jacqueline Gardner here. She is the author of Thoughtless, a young adult paranormal novel.

Jacqueline Gardner works as a Story Editor for the production company, Labragirl Pictures.  Her love of storytelling began at an early age when she would make up stories with her grandmother before bedtime.  In early 2010, she completed her first novel and has been stuck on writing ever since.  She resides in Colorado and loves hiking, writing, fantasy fiction, and all things cupcake.

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The Interview

In a sentence, please tell us why readers should pick up your novel.

It’s a fun and entertaining read that lets you see what it’s like to be a high school mind-reader!

Why did you decide to have a main character that could read minds?

It was a thought I had one day, and I went with it! I write what I love and I had a lot of fun with the main character

What was one of the most difficult scenes to write in Thoughtless?

Probably the ending I wanted to leave things open for book two, but at the same time I wanted readers to feel like most of their questions had been answered.

Bridget and Terrence’s first “date” was more of a blind date, would you ever consider going on a blind date?

I’ve never been on a blind date. I was always the one who set up my friends. But first dates are awkward, blind date or not!

Bridget is going to attend Hartfield Manor in England, would you mind giving us a sneak peek into her new life?

Yeah! Bridget is about to become the “new kid” in a school with students just like her. We’ll meet new characters, see Bridget’s powers develop and learn more about the coven. Yes, they’re planning a comeback!

What advice would you give to an inspiring writer that is interested in being self-publish?

Find a solid critique group and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

What has been the most rewarding experience regarding Thoughtless?

I learn a lot about myself with every story  write. I drew on my own high school experiences when I wrote Thoughtless. Looking back, there are a few things I would have done differently. But Bridget is all about moving forward. She’s realized that dwelling in the pasts gets you nowhere. I believe that too 🙂

Quirky Information:

What is the oddest tasting cupcake you have ever had?

I haven’t come across one yet! I know some people aren’t fans of savory cupcakes but I like both sweet and savory. A cupcake is a cupcake.

If you be a goddess, which one would you be?

I love the ocean. I’ve always felt comfortable underwater. Is there a female sea goddess who could take Poseidon? I would be her.

The counterpart to Poseidon would be his wife, Amphitrite, goddess of the sea. Excellent choice.

Last quirky question, Ferret or Chinchilla?

Chinchilla. Ferrets are stinky.

Thank you so much for the interview.

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Blurb from Amazon:
When Bridget finds a dead cheerleader in the janitor’s closet, she becomes the killer’s next target. High school just got worse. It’s bad enough that she can hear the shocking truths that pass through her classmate’s heads. Now she has to worry about staying alive, and all clues point to the one person whose thoughts she can’t read – her boyfriend Terrence. Someone is taunting her, threatening to expose her secret. And when Bridget tries to single out her blackmailer, she’s nearly beaten to death by a mind controlled minion with fiery eyes.

But when Bridget finally comes face-to-face with the killer, suddenly a horde of brainwashed students programmed to destroy her life doesn’t seem so bad.

Jacqueline can be found at her  Website, Twitter, Facebook

Thoughtless can be purchased at Amazon and Smashwords

Review: Dead Girl’s Dance by Rachel Caine

Title: Dead Girl’s Dance
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires # 2
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal
Source: Personal purchase
Format: Paperback
Pub. Year: 2007
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

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What I will remember: The blurb is really misleading, it’s much more about the biker gang than the fraternity dance.

This novel continues right off where Glass Houses finishes. It gives it a weird vibe, at least to me, it just seems like the second novel is a continuation of the first novel instead of a standalone novel. It has a new plot but it still feels heavily tied to Glass Houses. It’s not a book a person can read without reading the first one because the biker gang is there, Michael’s condition is accepted and not explained, and so is the vampire-dominated town.

Morganville is a messed-up place to live in if you are human because the law is pretty much nonexistent even if police officers exist. The police can’t act against the vampires because the vampires control the paycheck. The humans don’t trust the police either. Spoiler alert: Claire is drugged and a victim of an attempted rape and she does nothing about it. Instead of reporting it, she has Sam (a vampire) threaten the man who attacked her. The law is just a dog without a bite, no way to enforce unless a vampire requests it. No one really gets punished for their crimes against humans. Only crimes against vampires will be judged.

It wan an enjoyable read but there is still something off with this novel. I think it is how much trouble Claire gets in within 48 hours and somehow manages to leave without a serious injury. She just keeps getting deeper and deeper into vampire politics; it is hurting her emotionally and physically but more importantly, I don’t think she is going to be able to leave Morganville when she is done with her two years in school. She may be too heavily invested in vampire politics.

I still like the vampires though. Amelia still has this cold and porcelain appearance that makes her interesting. Sam is the youngest vampire in the town who is attached to Amelia and they have a unique relationship. It sort of twisted but fascinating in that Sam cares deeply for Amelia but she keeps her distance as an experiment. That is wicked of her (awesome and sad at the same time).

3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

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25th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Second in a Series, Morganville Series