Friday, August 31, 2012

Wintry Words Photography (#2)

Since you guys really liked the first one, I thought a second photography post was due! As I have before stated in my About Me page, I am also an aspiring photographer. I just love to express the way I feel through pictures and often find it exhilarating. Whether I am sad or happy, I can just grab my camera and run into my safe haven, which is so very often the woods. So I thought y'all might might to see a few. Feel free to comment if you like! :)

Abandoned and forgotten place.

Diana F+

Don't deny a madwomen her eccentric things. 


"Take me home." - Daughter

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Published date: September 18, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

From: Southern Book Bloggers for Blog Tour

Pages: 304 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)

And their doom comes swiftly. 

 It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury. 

 But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. 

 Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?


There isn't much that can strike pure and utter fear into my very core. There isn't much that can scare me senseless and leave me frightened, scared for my life. I've never experience terror in any higher level. So when I picked up this book after it was sent to me, my life changed forever as I went through one of the most horrendous and scary journey of these ten kids.

I didn't have any preconceived idea of Ten before I opened the first few pages. All I knew was what the front cover says: Ten teen. Three days. One killer. Those words in themselves strike a sense of horror into me and it delights me that this book was able to make me scream like a little girl.

There wasn't a moment I wasn't left in some kind of suspense. At some points in the novel things got really quiet. Then something happens very suddenly that has me biting my nails nervously. I finished this book in less than a day. I don't do that. Ever. That's how good this book is.

The lead female character, Meg, is a quiet girl who loves to write. I can see myself so clearly in her shoes it's not even funny. The trials the ten kids are put through really shows you what kind of character Meg is and I have to say, she's pretty brave for one who think she's weak. 

Ten is laced with suspense and all clues seem to point to someone closest to her heart, but will she have the courage to find the killer and bringing justice to the dead?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blog Tour: Burn For Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Publication date: September 18 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368 (hardcover)
From: Southern Book Bloggers
Summary: (Goodreads)


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

 Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

 Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him. 

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Revenge has always been a topic I always been really interested in. I will never really know why I was so obsessed with this idea of taking back what was taken yourself or being the fell swoop of justice itself. I know I probably shouldn't think this way, but for some reason I know it will always fascinate me in a way I cannot explain.

Burn For Burn was a sort of guilty pleasure as some say. I usually don't read books that are (for lack of a better word) chicklit. With its female lead characters that know what they want and how to get it, Burn For Burn seems anything but chicklit. Though the high school setting and preppy, horrid popular girls say differently. I like to think it teeters somewhere near the edge of both, hanging on just barely to either side.

Honestly, I can say that I wasn't expecting this book to be any good. It just wasn't my normal cup of tea and I was indeed very skeptical. But Han + Vivian's writing blew me away. All doubts were blow out of the water and soon I found myself so hooked I couldn't stop! 

Burn For Burn is one of those books that you can wrap your head around. And by that I mean, it easy to see these three girl's lives actually happening. It isn't some weird notion about how the world's going to end in a few years and how it will look, which is obviously very popular right now I might add. The way the authors molded these girls into something so realistic when all they were in reality were just words. The three just stood out and suddenly are some of my favorite characters of all time. I can only hope Mary, Lillia, and Kat will remain friends long after the last page turns.

A stunning and amazingly written new young adult novel, Burn For Burn will reveal to you the real meaning behind justice's cruel hand. Dealt by the burned and burning themselves.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Seaweed by Elle Strauss

Published date: June 15, 2012

Publisher: ESB Publishing

Pages: 223 (ebook)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Dori Seward can’t wait to get out of Eastcove, a sleepy fishing village on the border of New Brunswick and Maine. She bides her time by hanging out with friends, attending swim club, and holding her biggest competition, Colby–who wants more than just friendship, at arm’s length.

Then Tor Riley comes to town and he has everything Dori dreams of in a boyfriend–looks, athleticism and mystery.

But Tor also has a tantalizing secret and Dori is determined to find out what it is. The truth is crazier than her wildest imaginations and more dangerous, too. Dori has new enemies, and they will do anything to get to her.

Her life, her dreams and her love for Tor are all weighing in the balance. Will Dori risk it all in order to have it all?

Exerpt from Seaweed:

An uncomfortable thought nagged me. I wondered what the root of Tor’s interest was in me. Did he really actually like me? Or was he just keeping track of me?
I called my mother. She was a little surprised, especially since she’d never met Tor, only knew him by reputation and of course, his nighttime swimming escapade. I told her I’d bring him over soon so she and Dad could meet him, and that I’d be home before dark.
“So, what’s for supper?” I asked with a smile. “What do merguys eat for dinner?”
I was sure it would be beneficial that I liked seafood and dulse.
“Ah, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
We spent a moment gazing at the view, watching the fishing vessels patrol. A pod of dolphins jumped playfully in the distance.
“When you dive into the ocean, you become a merboy,” I began.
Merman, not merboy. Duly noted. “Uh, sorry, you become a merman. How does it work the other way? How do you become a human man?”
“My body is more comfortable in its merman form, so transitioning that way is easier, happens in mere seconds. It’s more of a process the other way. I have to pull myself out of the water onto one of the rocks over there.”
He pointed and I saw an outcropping of smooth water-worn rocks that dotted the shoreline. “It’s easier if it’s high tide, and it’s better if it’s dark. Even though this area is well protected, we can still be spotted by satellite.”
Satellite? I’d never thought about that.
“Then I have to wait until I dry out. Once I’m dry, it just happens. My legs form.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Yeah,” he said, reluctantly. “It’s not something I’d want you to see. But, it’s worth it to me. No one forces me to do this.”
Then I asked the burning question. “Do you think you’ll ever stop?”
“I don’t know.”
I couldn’t keep the concern off my face. Tor stroked my cheek, sending little fireworks down my back. I wanted him to kiss me. Really, really wanted him to kiss me.
He gazed at me oddly, a glint in his eye, dimples forming around a grin. He leaned in slowly. I stopped breathing. This was it—my first kiss. He gently rubbed his lips against mine, and little tingles swam down my arms and chest and throughout my body.
His lips were soft and full with a delicious hint of saltiness. If this was how Tor wanted to keep track of me, I didn’t mind.

What do you guys think of that steamy scene? 

About the Author:

From Elle's blog: I write light, fun, lower Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction of the otherworldly variety. I'm a married mom of four, and live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. I'm fond of Lindt's sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather. I also write upper/mature YA (historical and science fiction) under the name Lee Strauss.

Goodreads /\ Blog /\ Facebook /\ Twitter


Want to win a signed copy of Clockwise and a whale necklace? You're nodding your head, aren't you? What about Seaweed? Yeah, you're nodding your head. Enter to win below! :)

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Other Blogs on the Tour:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Onyx (Lux, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publication date: August 14, 2012

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pages: 376 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem.
And not everyone will survive the lies…


To me, it seems as if these books continue to get better and better. Onyx brings what the first novel in the Lux series already brought to the table and so much more. The possibilities seem endless when it comes to the continuation of this amazing teen series. Jennifer plays easily on the reader’s raw emotion and attachment to each and every one of the characters. She writes in such a way that it leaves a hole in my chest whenever I finish one of her novels. Jennifer can project emotions so very well.

I was apprehensive at first when I began the second novel in the Lux series, mostly because I didn't know if it would be able to live up to my expectations. Obsidian blew me away so I knew the second one had to cross mountains and jump gorges to be able to exceed my love of the first novel. I was surprised, pleasantly so, when Onyx did just that.

We see deeper glimpses into the lives of the characters and see more pain and heartbreak along the way. Jennifer did an amazing job at continuing on the story after the way the first one ended. She delves into Daemon's past life and Katy's new one. The couple's romance also begins to flower into something bigger than the endless bickering that they usually have. 

I feel like the intrigue of the alien's society was beautifully played into the story. There wasn't a moment where I knew what was going on. Jennifer keeps you guessing with her witty story idea. 

To say I loved this novel would be an fierce understatement. The Lux series sucked me in and I know for a fact there will be no going back. 

(Read my Obsidian review for more.)

I give this book five mustaches.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

Published date: January 5, 2012

Publisher: Dial

Pages: 407 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.

Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn't expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy.


This book changed whatever I thought teen fantasy was. Totally reversing the idea of the posh lives that other fantasy heroines live, Dragonswood took me on a journey I will never forget. If I ever happen to forget, I'll just read it again and again. It captured that inner medieval nerd inside me and fed it. Dragonswood eludes the mainstream ideas of fantasy and show us a glimpse of how it might have been like had we lived in the Middle Ages. Maybe minus the dragons and fairies, of course. 

Tess is one of my favorite characters in all of literature. She wasn't brave or courageous. But she was instead witty and resourceful. Tess knew how to get from day to day and how to stay away from her father's meaty fists. She knew what had to happen to survive and I applaud her for her bravery.

I am not a fan of books about witches and tend to steer clear away from them, but Dragonswood held my attention and I found myself immersed into this world of a magical forest and soon, the lives of fugitives. The supporting characters went perfectly along with Tess and the tension that mounts between the girls was lip-chewing worthy. I found myself hating and loving along with Tess. All other witch-dealing doubts were long gone at that point. 

The romance that was sprinkled in there was exactly the right amount, but it was breathtaking all the same. It wasn't lustful or anger driven like most book's romance seem to be these day. It was a love I'll never be able to wrap my head around. 

Complete with a happy ending, Dragonswood will have you gripping the pages as lies unfold before your eyes and blood is spilled. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published date: November 29, 2011

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pages: 3361 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy Internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.


Opening the first pages (figuratively though, I bought the ebook) I wasn't expecting anything special. I'd figured it would be really mediocre and childish with a romance that'd been run into the ground by so many other teen authors. So naturally, I didn't imagine I'd fall head over heels in love with every word that is plastered onto those pages. I don't think I've stopped hyperventilating once. I cannot get this book out of my head, but that's okay because I surprisingly want it to stay there.

From the beginning I was hooked as Katy's new life in West Virginia unfolded before me. It has been a long time since I've connected on a personal level with a female lead character. Yeah, I've sympathized with other girl characters before as they stood for what the believed in or came fully into their destiny. I've never felt like a character was enough like me though. So when I learned more about her I quickly realized that Katy is so much like me it's a little scary. I absolutely love that she is a blogger and reader. That has to be one of the most amazing and witty ideas I have ever seen in a present-set book. Ever.

I think it's safe to say this series is my new obsession. It is so very easy for me to just start gushing about everything I love about, but I fear no amount of words would be able to do that. I'm also beginning to compare my life as before I read Obsidian or after I read Obsidian. I'm okay with that actually.

Jennifer's writing is so realistic. I know that doesn't really sound like a compliment, but it is. She transfers the reader-what ever age or gender-straight into Katy's life as she meets the Blacks that live next door. We experience the main protagonist's feelings, which seems to be mostly anger. At Daemon.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the most beautiful, sexy, drool-worthy teenager alive. With his dark curly hair and green eyes, it's all I can do not to jump into the book screaming at him to love me. Daemon is amazing in every way, but then when he opens his mouths all you want to do is punch him. He might have a pretty face, but he's also very arrogant and controlling. But for some reason, that makes him all the more attractive.

I just love the way the two characters play off each other. There conversations are an easy banter of sorts. Katy and Daemon are attracted to each other in a way that not many of us have experienced. Some emotions albeit are more like lust than love, but Katy admits to herself that's all that they have. A lust only relationship. But she fears it's so much more than that as she learns that her new next door neighbors are more than just human.

Obsidian was a great surprise and I will continue to eat its sequels up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#8): Sever (Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefefano

Publication date: February 12, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 384 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

I feel like I've waiting a million years for this book, yet the waiting still continues. I don't really know what's going to happen in Sever, though I feel like I'll definitely be emotional about it. I am not ready for the series to be over, yet I cannot wait to see what happens in the conclusion to the Chemical Garden trilogy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog Tour: Stitch (Stitch #1) by Samantha Durante

Published date: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Samantha Durante
From: Samantha Durante for Blog Tour
Pages: 314 (paperback)
Purchase here: Amazon, Smashwords, + B&N
Summary: (Goodreads)
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.


Stitch has to be the most interesting, well written, and deeply thoughtful book that has ever had the pleasure of existing. It reached into the deeper recesses of my mind and brought out feelings that I'd never felt before while reading a book. The way things were described was so realistic and rich that I can picture Alessa’s world as easily as my own. This novel blurred the edges of my reality with its own fantastic world of lies, intrigue, and deceit. Stitch is truly an amazing novel, a kick-off to an amazing new teen series. 

The theme for this novel is a very genius one indeed. A perfect blend of paranormal and dystopian. Durante takes the reader to these places and makes us believe that both worlds exist next to each other, the realm of ghosts and futuristic oppressive governments. Durante’s twist on the now common-place dystopian idea has blown most all of them out of the water, making me think that there is hope for the genre yet.

For me, this novel’s setting was perfect and I was quickly immersed into the college life style very quickly. I just love that the college campus played a huge part in Alessa’s world in the beginning. Alessa just seems like a normal girl living out a normal life, but the question is: is she really? There doesn't seem to be one thing I hated about this book. 

Alessa is easily one of the most fearful heroines I know, but for some reason I cannot help but to love this character because of how she find courage among it all. She is indeed strong, loving, yet after her parents died she seems to be stuck in a depression of sorts. But a mindboggling confession has her world soon spinning out of control.  

Stitch’s writing is so proper and beautiful that all I could do is gape at the amazing gift Durante has at writing prose. Words drifted beautifully into the next like a painting that had been recently finished. The characters were flawless and were so lifelike I can picture them standing before me or when I’m in line at the grocery store. The story awoke a part of me I didn’t know existed and taught me to never only look on the surface for there is always soot in the cracks of the perfect lies we’ve been told.

Gifted beyond any comprehension, Samantha Durante’s debut novel, Stitch, will have wondering if this life isn’t as perfect and coincidental as it seems. 

About the Author:

Samantha Durante lives in New York City with her fiancĂ©, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at

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/\ Samantha & Stitch on Goodreads /\
/\ Samantha & Stitch on LibraryThing /\
/\ Samantha & Stitch on Shelfari /\

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1) by Anna Banks

Published date: May 22, 2012

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 336 (hardcover)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . 

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.


Of Poseidon is probably one of the most heart-felt yet grief-stricken books and is easily the best out of all the books I've had the honor to read this summer. I proudly admit that I cried in more than one place which is a feat considering my emotions only wrap themselves around the best books. I feel like when I become attached to a book my body absentmindedly becomes addicted and it's really hard to not have said book always in my thoughts. Of Poseidon did this and more. I don't think once in the few short days it took me to read this did I once quit thinking about what was going to happen. I became addicted very fast.

I was hesitant about starting Of Poseidon because of its mixed reviews and so it sat there on my shelf for many weeks. Until a few days ago. There was no way I could go back once I opened the novel for the first time. I fell hard for each of the characters and their pain quickly became mine. So believable they were that I found myself having a personal relationship with each one.

Of Poseidon goes back and forth between the two protagonists Emma and Galen. First let me say, I love Galen's name. It's masculine, but beautiful at the same time. Anyways, I quickly fell in love with the way they interact with each other and the love that surfaces every time they are near each other. It was truly beautiful. They were drawn together and fit perfectly with each other even though they constantly fought. I will say, the fighting began to be a bit much the twelfth time.

The idea of mermaids—excuse me, Syrena—that are either of the house of Triton or of Poseidon really amazed me. Bank's ability to show us the underwater worlds of Galen's Royal family absolutely stunned me in its beauty. The Syrena's powers as residents of the sea never ceased to completely strike me with awe. Of Poseidon was my first attempt at loving a mermaid novel. It isn't the first mermaid novel I've read however, just the only one worth of the mermaid ideology and the only one that actually had some sort of substance. This book has a sense of put-togetherness that just made me love it even more. It was full of everything that should be in a teen romance novel. Though, I fear without the romance it wouldn't be much of a novel. In all honesty, that is not a bad thing at all.

Dripping with romance and the goings-on of creatures from deep places, Of Poseidon will have your heart beating faster as the great blue opens around you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: The Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Publication date: September 1, 2004

Publisher: Eos 

Pages: 311 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death -- and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

With "Sabriel," the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear -- and sometimes disappears altogether.

Publication date: September 1, 2004 

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 426 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

In this sequel to "Sabriel," winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.

Publication date: September 1, 2004 

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 368 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

The Ninth was strong and fought with might, 
 But lone Orannis was put out of the light, 
 Broken in two and buried under hill, Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.

So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.

Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions -- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget -- have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

To make matters worse, Sam's best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.

Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.

Before it is too late. . . .

While other kids relied on Harry Potter to first discover the worlds of magic and wizardry, I turned to the Abhorsen series. I can even remember the dirty feeling of the Southern rain on my skin as I chose this book out of the seemingly millions in the teen section of my bookstore. The sky was so dark the lighting in the store did nothing to shine light on all of the books there.

This series brought out an even darker side to what I’d thought of as magic. We all have our different takes on it and after reading Sabriel, I knew that while there are people who abuse this power, (in fiction, I’d rather not start on the indecency of actual magic users) there are also magic wielders who use it for good.

The Abhorsen series is filled to the brim with adventure, valiant shows of courage and strength, and battles of great power. They flow with life sometimes even more realistic than my own reality. My reading experience would not be the same had I not taken the chance that day to buy Sabriel

Lirael, the second novel in the Abhorsen series, is my favorite out of them all. Lirael and I have so much in common; I thought I was reading a book written about my personality adventuring into the bowels of fantasy. My younger self ate every word up and relished in the fact that somewhere out there in the world of books, someone was like me. Some thought like I did. It made me feel less alone after that as I realized that what I thought was a weakness was really a strength. 

It’s also been said that there’s going to be a fourth after all these years. I don’t think anyone knows how excited I am, not really. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication date: September 18 2012

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pages: 408 (hardcover)

From: Publisher via NetGalley

Summary: (Goodreads)

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” 

 It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

 Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

 His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. 

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

 For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

 From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.


Is it heathy to sit here and stare at the ground for hours on end, thinking constantly about this book? I feel like my world was placed on a shelf and the amazing world of The Raven Boys totally took control. This world of magic in places there isn't, loyalty like I've never seen, and mysteries that still make my head spin. 

The Raven Boys is one of those novels that you begin to dislike after the first several chapters because of a sudden lack of interest and the book's lack of immediate action. I sat there thinking, is this really a Maggie Stiefvater novel? This writing isn't akin to hers at all, what's happening? I am going to be very truthful; I almost put it down. In my world, putting down a Stiefvater novel is a big no-no. I love her and her writing too much to ever stop reading one of her books. The slight change in her writing seemed to drift off near the end though and Maggie's full talent came out full force in the last 30% of this incredibly amazing book.   

The Raven Boys spend a lot of time switching between the raven boys (the rich boys who go to a rich boy school called Aglionby) and Blue. This made me equal parts super happy and upset. Happy because I got to see what was going on in Gansey and Adam's heads as things unfolded throughout the story. Not many teen books switch POVs with the skill Maggie has in hers, a smooth blending of weird characters and preppy ones. Upset because I would get attached too much to one character and didn't want it to change. So both are good things in a way. 

So very unlike most teens in reality and in fiction these day, Blue is a very eccentric girl who lives among the paranormal tendencies of a group of female psychics. Her present-set world is filled with a sort of magic that none of us will ever be able to wrap our heads around. Her house if filled to the brim with women who are gifted with all sorts of otherworldly talents and they have the personalities to match them. Blue also shows that it's okay to be different and we should never try to hide our weirdness. Never. 

Gansey is a rich boy who is about as eccentric and filled with a sense of wanderlust as much as Blue. I can't help but see them together, but we shall see. Time will only tell in their case. And (I can just hear Gansey yelling at me as I say this) at times the vocabulary of Steifvater and her characters astounded me. I am not stupid nor am I the smartest teenager on the planet, but I found myself fumbling over a lot of the words she used. Mostly because I'd never seen them before, I mean who can blame me. There were instances it looked as if some words were used in incorrect places, but that could have been just my opinion on the uses of said words. But as I said before about her writing, it seemed to fade off at the end as well. Other than those few things, this book is easily one of my favorites and I cannot wait until the next installment.

An amazing and awe inspiring new series shrouded in mystery and magic and long-asleep kings, The Raven Boys will be soon at the top of the best-sellers lists and stuck in many hearts.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Tiger's Destiny (Tiger Saga #4) by Colleen Houck

Published date: September 4, 2012

Publisher: Splinter

Pages: 464 (hardcover)

From: Publisher via Edelweiss

Summary: (Goodreads)

With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. 

But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. 

 It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all. 


The end of this series is so close and my bones feel it along with my heart. The Tiger Saga novels have been a guiding star—of sorts—to me. They inspire raw emotion that can make a heart snap right in half and is the only series that I have cried openly about. As the end looms in the horizon, I don't know what I'll do when the release date of a Tiger book isn't on my calendar anymore. One more book to go seems more like a losing battle cry than a happy statement.

It seems as if a lot of people don't like the direction this series is going or has been going rather, as if it's drifting from its original plot. While I can agree in some cases, I heartily disagree in most. Kelsey, though, hasn't changed much and I agree that she is a complaining, ungrateful child most of the time. I feel that all that she's been through must have encouraged some amount of strength or bravery in the weakling. But no, she continues to get upset and shy away from her destiny until she's forced into it finally. All I could think was why is she the chosen one and not me?

Most of Kelsey’s replies to questions and statements alike always made me cringe. She isn’t very realistic in the way she interacts verbally with other characters. Everywhere Kelsey turns there is another man fawning over her and I will say that got very annoying very fast. People practically lay the whole plot at her feet yet she still has the audacity to whine about it. I’ll never understand.

The events in the book follow very closely along the lines of the others almost as if they’re on a never ending cycle. Most scenes look very similar when compared to the other books, but contain different characters and even more young adult angst.

Even in Tiger’s Curse you can tell how carefully planned out and gone over this series is. It seems that every little thing has been already decided and yet spontaneous at the same time. The words leak, falling like tears from my eyes and all I am left with is a sense of melancholy. But all in all, I absolutely loved the different tribulations my heart went through while reading this book. Oddly enough, it’s like a drug.

Tiger’s Destiny, the fourth novel in the heartbreaking, gut wrenching series The Tiger Saga, will show you plainly how much a heart can hurt and how strong one can be. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wintry Words Photography

As I have before stated in my About Me page, I am also an aspiring photographer. I just love to express the way I feel through pictures and often find it exhilarating. Whether I am sad or happy, I can just grab my camera and run into my safe haven, which is so very often the woods. So I thought y'all might might to see a few. Feel free to comment if you like! :)

"I went down among the dust and pollen to an old stone fountain in the morning after dawn." - Fleet Foxes

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things since breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland

"It was then she knew she was blind. Her eyes were her camera's." - Abby Kullman

"I asked Saint Christopher to find your sister. She went out in the woods." - Daughter

"We read to know we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis

"In the evening light, when the woman of the woods came by." - Fleet Foxes

"The tea bag is a symbol of belonging, and as long as they sat there-next to the sugar on the counter-I would know I am home." - Abby Kullman