12 May 2012

Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire (4/5 Stars)

Title: Timepiece (Hourglass #2)
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

My Review:
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book MUCH more than I did HOURGLASS. Actually, considering the change-up in this book of narrators, it's NOT so surprising. My favorite, Kaleb, from HOURGLASS, is front and center in this second-installment.

And, OHMYGOODNESS, I think I love him. He, in my opinion, is SO much more interesting that Michael. I really do like Michael, and in real-life, I'd want MY daughter to date a "Michael", but he sure doesn't have the character and "spark" that Kaleb does. And through the first chapter of this book I found myself stewing over the fact that Emerson had chosen Michael and poor Kaleb, who obviously had feelings for her, was getting the short end of the stick.

All within the first few chapters, Kaleb's life looks pretty awful. His mother's still in a coma, his father is treating him differently after coming back from the dead, his friendship with Michael is strained, and he's got to sit there while the electricity goes in and out any time Michael and Emerson touch. Yeah. How can you NOT feel sorry for him?!

That's all just a part of what makes this story redeeming, however, because in the end, things don't end so badly for Kaleb. I won't say much else, but I definitely enjoyed the romance in this book. It wasn't forced, it put two very charismatic people together, and I can't wait to see where this goes!!!

As for the Jack/Cat part of the story, I think Ms. McEntire has more surprises in store for us. The first book, just skimmed the surface on what is REALLY going on with these two. But, in TIMEPIECE, we find out that Jack is not the only resistance that the Hourglass may face.

I'm so intrigued by this whole storyline now, that even without the love story in this book, I'd definitely want to read the rest of the series to figure out what happens next!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Pre-Order TIMEPIECE on Amazon.
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Check out Myra McEntire's Page.

09 May 2012

Waiting On Wednesday[6]: Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy #2)
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 23, 2012

Blurb from Goodreads:
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Why Am I Waiting?
The first installment, OPEN MINDS, was absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to see how Kira handles the consequences of doing the right and brave thing. People are going to be after her. I also can't wait to see more of Raf. I think this book will be fantastic!

08 May 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: The Glimpse
Author: Claire Merle
Publisher: Faber & Faber (UK)
Pub. Date: June 7, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

My Review:
Never having heard of this book before, I didn't really have any expectations. I think this was a good thing, because after reading some of the reviews, both positive and negative, after I finished the book, I think I may have been let down a little if I had read these before starting the book.

That being said, I really did think the whole plot of THE GLIMPSE was pretty original and because of that, there was a lot the Ms. Merle could have done (and still CAN do) with this series. But, in some ways, I feel like aspects of this book fell short. But before I talk about what I didn't like, let me talk about what I did like.

I really enjoyed getting to see both "worlds" in this story. As a reader, we get to experiece what life is like for the PURES and what life is like for the CRAZIES, who live outside a protected wall, in a rather vicious atmosphere. The Pures have their own schools, neighborhoods, etc... And most of them feel privileged and superior, while those living in the Community, labeled as "less-than", are doing their best to survive while being manipulated and mistreated by the government and each other. Not only do we get to see the Community, but we get to get a peak inside a mental-health facility where some of the ACTIVATED Crazies must live. Surprisingly, these facilities are not what they are supposed to be and the patients suffer abuse and torture at the hands of many.

Standing alone, I also really enjoyed all of the characters. I believe they all served some purpose in the telling of the story and made it richer. Whether they were there to make things harder for Ana and her friends, or whether they were written to help them. The characters were all written so well, that I can't help wanting to know a little bit more about them all, what makes them tick, what motivates them. And I believe there are many questions that are still unanswered. Hopefully, in the next installment, we'll get some of those answers.

Now, as for what I didn't like so much. The "love story". I feel like we're supposed to like and root for Cole, but we're not given enough reason why Ana would risk everything to be with him. Because there's also Jasper. And while we're left at the end, wondering how this will end for Ana, I can't help but feel like she's not making an educated decision. Don't get me wrong, I liked Cole, I'm just not sure if I can see why Ana would be so confident in their relationship. To me, a few passionate kisses doesn't justify a life-long commitment.

All that in consideration, I really do think this story is worth reading. I also can't help but think that the next installment will be stronger and better than this one.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Check out Claire Merle's Page.

07 May 2012

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub. Date: June 14, 2011
Acquired: Purchased through Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads:
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My Review:
Have you ever read a book where you couldn't decided if it was great or whether you just wanted it it be great? Yeah, that's HOURGLASS for me.

I really did enjoy this book, though. In fact, I read it in two days (which for me, with four small children to take care of, is quite an accomplishment) because I just kept wanting to find out what happened next. I think Emerson is probably one of my favorite female characters. I do think that she was flawed--I found myself, quite frequently, yelling at her to get her head together in certain parts, but I can't say that I don't find myself doing that with most of the books I read. I think Emerson is strong, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor. Buuuuuttttt, when it comes to guys, I think she has a whole lot to learn!

I had a hard time with the way she sometimes would just throw herself at Michael. I get that because of her past, she's all about 'carpe diem' and all that, but I still feel like she should have kept a little bit more of herself locked away until she was sure of Michael's feelings. I will admit, however, that this is just MY opinion. I'm sure not everyone will agree with me here. I also feel like there was a whole lot of back and forth between Emerson and Michael. It just seemed as if we were supposed to just support their relationship, no matter how "off" it seemed, because they had "chemistry". Okay, I'm done harping on that. I will say that I liked how the DTR (defining the relationship) went at the end. Okay, now I'm REALLY done.

I really appreciated the time-travel aspect of the book. I am kind of a sucker for time-travel, and I think this one was done very well. I didn't get confused and have a "oh-my-gosh-I'm-SOOO-lost" moment, like I do with some time-travel stories. Ms. McEntire kept the science part of the story simple and easy to comprehend. And I am totally excited to see where she takes the story.

All-in-all, I would definitely recommend this book to those of you who enjoy time-travel, a spunky heroine, and some mystery. I'm really looking forward to digging into TIMEPIECE.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Purchase HOURGLASS on Amazon.
Purchase HOURGLASS on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Myra McEntire's Page.

06 May 2012

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa (5/5 Stars)

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: April 24, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

My Review:
Having read Ms. Kagawa's entire IRON FEY series, I pretty much already knew I was going to love this book. Plus, there were all the other review that I got a peak at, and I can honestly say, I was thrilled when I got my copy on NetGalley!

This book had EVERYTHING that I love most about young adult/paranormal stories. There are terrifying, evil vampires; not-so-evil vampires that are trying to come to terms with their vampirism, a sweet, against-all-odds romance, and what I REALLY love; a bad-ass, tough girl, who can put even the biggest of the men in their place.

Allison, even as a human, was a fighter and also very kind. In a world where it was kill-or-be-killed, she still managed to be rise above all of that and help others when they were in need. And in New Covington, where people are starving, this is a rarity.

After Allison's transformation, she faces all different types of evil. One of these is herself. She has to fight the bloodlust when around humans, while simultaneously trying to save their lives. She sets off trying to become a stronger vampire, physically. But, I believe Allison grows in ways she never could have as a human, stuck in New Covington.

The romance in this book is slow-building and I don't feel like it's unbelievable. There's something different about Allison and Zeke, and both of them recognize this in each other.

If you've read anything by Julie Kagawa before, then you know what an amazing writer and storyteller she is. If you haven't, well, I'm telling you--Julie Kagawa is an AMAZING writer and storyteller. Pick up this book. Pick up ALL her books!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Purchase THE IMMORTAL RULES on Amazon.
Purchase THE IMMORTAL RULES on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Julie Kagawa's Page.