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Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Title: Vanish (Firelight #2)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication Date: September 6th, 2011
Published By: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Source: ARC received from the Publisher for an honest review


"To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?"

Review: ***** = 5 Stars

Last year when Firelight came out, I absolutely fell in love with the story of Jacinda and Will. It was intense and romantic, full of adventure and dragons (I love dragons). Vanish is full of everything I loved about the first book, and more.

When Jacinda manifested to save Will's life, she not only showed her true self to humans, but hunters. She had no choice but to travel back to the Pride with Cassian, along with her mother and twin sister Tamra. Vanish picks up right where we left off in Firelight. It's not long after you start reading the book that you will find out exactly what is going on with the girl on the cover (I was glad that my guess was completely right hehe).

When Jacinda returns to the Pride, she is treated differently than before, and even more so when Miram, Cassian's bratty little sister, spreads it around that she fell in love with a hunter. She decides to forget about Will, and try to make life for herself in the Pride easier. Except Will shows up at the Pride, pretending to be a lost hiker, and Jacinda must decide whether to continue on as she is, like one of the Pride, or leave the Pride forever and follow her heart.

Man does Sophie Jordan know how to write a book! There is so much emotion and romance within these pages I'm surprised they didn't spark into flames while I was reading it. Not only do I still love Jacinda and Will, but now I love Cassian too. It's easy to choose who you want the main character to be with when you only like her with one of the choices, but in this case, I'm so lost! I was able to learn so much about Cassian in this one, to see how he truly feels and to see what he really wants. His character has grown from the first book to this one. He's one of my favorites to read about now.

Don't think the choice of Pride or Will is all Jacinda has to face in Vanish! There are twists and turns, some expected and some quite surprising. There isn't a dull moment, and each page you read will leave you wanting more. I don't know anything about Book #3 yet, except that I want it in my hands as soon as possible. Vanish doesn't necessarily end with a cliffhanger, but I have to know how this entire story, from page 1 of Firelight to the last page of the final book, ends. How the story comes to a close.

Firelight was one of my top 10 books of 2010, and Vanish is definitely a top 10 pick of this year. If you haven't read it yet, make sure to mark your calendars for Saturday the 6th so you snag a copy and enjoy this for yourself. And if you haven't read Firelight yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??


To learn more about Sophie Jordan and her work, check out her Webpage or follow her on Twitter.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this book! Feel free to let me know in the comment section, or to send me the link to your review!


Review: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2011
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Hardcover, 384 Pages
Source: ARC received for blog tour for an honest review


"Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king."

Review: **** 1/2 = 4.5 Stars

Possess was a stunning, page-turning debut from author Gretchen McNeil. Taking place in San Francisco, the main character Bridget, who wants nothing other than to be left alone, begins hearing the voices of Demons after the death of her father. There are many things I look for in a YA paranormal novel, and this had it all, plus some. Action, romance, horror/thrills/mystery, and Bridget's attitude made it able for us all to relax a bit (even with the creepiness).

Bridget's ability to hear, and rid others of, Demons, was certainly a unique idea which allowed me as a reader to breathe a sigh of relief that not all books in similar genres have to share concepts/creatures etc. A breath of fresh air is the simpleist way to convey what this book is as a whole.

Bridget was a wonderful character. My favorite part about her has to be that she is consistantly her own character. She never lets others influence who she is. We see it time and time again, a female character will cave to her mans wishes, or even a friends, and let's face it, it's kind of depressing. It's refreshing to have a character that stands up for themself. Another thing I love, she has three best friends, all males, and she doesn't have something going on with any of them. They are best friends, that's it. Oh if only it were always that simple in books. Why can't a girl just have guy best friends without it elevating to something more??

Did I mention this book has a serious creep factor?? I've read YA books that can sometimes be creepy-ish... but this takes the cake. If you've read other reviews, I don't doubt that they mention the dolls. *chills* You'll have to read it for yourself, but let me tell you... read this during the day, or sleep with your light on... otherwise there is a high probability that nightmares will ensue.

Overall.. this is a must read. If you're looking for something original and captivating, Possess is right for you!

Cover Love: This dark, creepy cover fits the story within perfectly. Even without very much variety in the color within it, its still very eye-catching.


To learn more about Gretchen McNeil or her books, check out her webpage or follow her on twitter.



Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 19th, 2011
Published By: MTV Books
Paperback, 243 Pages
Source: Review copy received from author for an honest review


"For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Review: ***** = 5 Stars

As a huge fan of both Going too far and Forget You, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book ever since I found out about it months ago. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait. Just as with Going too far and Forget You, Jennifer created an amazing romantic contemporary novel with great characters, an interesting storyline and of course, a love story to swoon over.

It seems that every book of Jennifer's I have read I have a connection too. With Going too far, one of the main characters is a cop, and I'm going for my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice so I can relate. In Forget You the main characters were swimmers, and I swam competitvely from the age 5 until the end of high school. Love Story was no exception. In this story, the characters are raised near a horse farm, and I could relate because my family has horses. I love being able to find those little things in novels that make it that much more relatable, and for me, more enjoyable.

The main characters in Love Story, Erin and Hunter, are one of my favorite couples in romantic contemporary fiction. For one, the chemistry between them is off the charts. I think Erin was the only one unaware of this throughout the book. Everyone else seemed to pick up on it. The relationship throughout the book, even with the problems and situations where awkwardness should be present, runs smoothly (for the most part). They remain at civil with each other, even under the worst circumstances (ummm hello Erin's Stable Boy Essay??). I loved seeing the progression of their relationship, and I couldn't get enough of their back and forth essays. That made for quite an interesting read.

But the main characters aren't the only ones who made an impact on me. This book wouldn't have worked as well as it did without all of the side characters. Erin's grandmother and her schemes, Hunter's dad, the other students in the Creative Writing class, the english teacher. All of them added something to the story.

As for the setting of a Kentucky horse farm and NYC, I really enjoyed the differences in the areas. The mellow, relaxed country, and the busy, hustling city. And of course I love horses so having them be a big part of the story was wonderful.

Overall, I love, love, LOVE this book. I will forever and always be a fan of Jennifer's work, and I look forward to everything she writes.

A must read for any contemp fans, especially those looking for a great romance read. And if you haven't already read her other books, you should definitely try them.

To learn more about Jennifer and her books, check out her webpage and follow her on Twitter.


Have you read Love Story? Feel free to share your thoughts!


Possess Blog Tour: Character Interview

For my stop on the blog tour for Gretchen McNeil's debut, Possess, I got to interview the main character, Bridget. Interviewing a character from a book is much different than interivewing an author, but I asked some questions will hopefully give you all the opportunity to get to know Bridget's character better!


Getting to know: Bridget

Describe yourself using the letters of your name (example b for beautiful etc..)?

  • Ballsty
  • Resourceful
  • Independent
  • Disinterested
  • Guarded
  • Edgy
  • Torn

Who was the last person you sent a text message to and what does it say?

I texted my best friend Hector. He sent me a photo of this barista he’s crushing on, and asked my opinion. I told him it looked suspiciously like our friend Brad.

You are stuck on a deserted island, and have three of your personal possessions with you. What are they and what is their importance?
  • My charm bracelet. I never take it off. My dad gave it to me for my first communion. It’s one of the few things I have left that remind me of him.
  • My steel-toed boots because, well let’s face it, you never know when you’re going to need to kick a little ass.
  • My copy of Dostoyevsky’s NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND. Hey, I don’t want to be bored.
What are your favorite and least favorite: movie, book, candy, song, animal & color?

  • MOVIE – Favorite: Pan’s Labyrinth. Least favorite: Hannah Montana: The Movie
  • BOOK – Favorite: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Least favorite: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • CANDY – Favorite: Peanut Butter Twix. Least favorite: black licorice.
  • SONG – Favorite: “The Fallen” by Franz Ferdinand. Least favorite: Anything by Coldplay.
  • ANIMAL – Favorite: Platypus. Least favorite: Cat.
  • COLOR – Favorite: Black. Least favorite: Pink.
If you have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be, and why?

My dad. Because I’d give just about anything to be able to say goodbye.


Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown.  Her YA horror/paranormal POSSESS debut with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins, August 23, 2011.  Her second novel, TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – is tentatively scheduled for a Fall 2012 release. Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk ( ). Gretchen is also a founding member of the vlog group YARebels ( where she can be seen as "Monday."



Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Publication Date: July 26th, 2011
Published By: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Paperback, 350 Pages
Source: Received from publishing company for honest review for blog tour


"My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . ."

Review: **** = 4 Stars

Before I started reading this I was a bit worried it would be too similar to all of the other god/goddesses/mythology books that have come out lately. I was thrilled that that wasn't the case.

Gwen Frost is a gypsy and is enrolled in Mythos Academy. Shortly after she starts, the most popular girl in school is murdered. I really enjoyed how this book wasn't just mythology, but that it also involved some mystery and Gwen is able to use her powers to investigate what happened. I loved Gwen's very original ability/power. It was great seeing something different, rather than the same paranormal type character.

It's definitely always interesting to see the different twists and directions authors take when it comes to the same genre. When it comes to Gods/Goddessess some things will always be similar, but it is also such a wide category that things can be tweaked and changed depending on which way the author chooses to write the story. You can see that in this novel. Jennifer was able to make Touch of Frost very unique and enjoyable.

As for enjoyable, let's not forget about Logan Quinn. First off, I love that name! Second, this bad boy fit right into the story. Him and Gwen had great chemistry and interactions throughout the book. The other side characters were memorable as well, especially Daphne. Jasmine's one time friend who eventually becomes Gwen's friend.

The character relationships and world building really make this an excellent novel. I would love to attend Mythos Academy. This is one of the better novels set in a school atmosphere.

Fans of the Percy Jackson series will definitely enjoy this series as well. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series(which comes out later this year!). Recommend for any fans of mythology and paranormal books!


Misfit Blog Tour: Author Jon Skovron's Tens List!

I'm thrilled to welcome author Jon Skovron to my blog today. His novel Misfit was just released August 1st from Amulet Books. You can check out my review here.

For this stop on the blog tour, I got to send some different topics to Jon and he picked ten for each. Check out Jon's Tens Lists below!


Top ten places you would like to sneak into:

-The Vatican
-The Globe Theater in Straford-on-Avon
-Marvel Studios
-Neil Gaiman's house (wait, would that be creepy?)
-Back stage at a 9:30 Club Show (preferably someone cool like tUnE-yArDs or Wye Oak, but the experience itself would be interesting, regardless of the band)
-Google Headquarters
-The new Apple headquarters
-The pyramids
-A space station
-An alternate reality

Top ten songs from your teenage years:

-Wave of Mutilation by The Pixies
-Creep by Radiohead
-Been Caught Stealing by Jane's Addiction
-Pictures of You by The Cure
-Just Like Honey by The Jesus and Mary Chain
-Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr.
-Cannonball by The Breeder
-Something In the Way by Nirvana
-If You Have to Ask by Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine

Top ten dog breeds:

-Great Dane
-Black Lab
-Cane Corso
-German Shepard
-Golden Retriever
-Standard Poodle (for my brother, Chris)
-and...uh... oh, what the hell...Skipper Key

Top ten dream vacation spots:

Not sure about vacation spots, but these are the places I'd like to go sometime soon:

-South of France


Ok I loved all of these lists! Espeically the places to sneak into and the songs list!

*To learn more about Jon, you can check out his webpage or follow him on Twitter.

**Special thanks to Teen Book Scene for organizing this blog tour, and to Jon for taking time to making the lists for this post!**