Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Hex Hall

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion
Page Number: 323
Series: Hex Hall Series - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS


Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

MY RATING:
Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

I don't know why, but I was having a really hard time deciding if I wanted to rate this book 4 or 5 stars. I decided on 5 because I'm not sure what would make me want to rate this as anything less than 5 stars.

The plot of this book reminds me a little of Harry Potter. Probably because of the whole "school for magical beings that the human world has no idea even exists" thing. Yea, I'm thinking that's why. In any case, the writing is funny, maybe a little predictable in some places, but still an awesome read.

Sophie is a witch, raised by her human mother because her father is MIA. She's had a few spells gone wrong. Maybe a few too many. Because of this, Sophie is sent to Hecate Hall, Hex Hall to the students, a boarding school meant to reform magical children. There are witches, shape-shifters, faeries, and vampires. Well, a vampire.

Sophie's just learning to fit into this world, but it won't be easy with Jenna, the school's only outcast and a vampire, as her roommate; Elodie and her beautiful (read: mean) coven of witches just begging her to join them; and, oh yeah, Archer Cross, Elodie's boyfriend, who Sophie is beginning to fall in love with despite her better judgement.

Sophie was an interesting character. She had a lot to face up to in this book, and I think she did fairly well. Jenna was probably my favorite character. I mean why wouldn't you love a vampire that's obsessed with pink? Jenna was a really good friend to Sophie, and she was treated badly by pretty much everyone at Hex Hall. A LOT. Elodie is like the epitome of mean girls. I mean, geez! Next character: Archer. Let's just pause for a moment. *swoon* Archer was a really complex character, and I mean really complex. I think I can safely say that you will be very surprised by the ending of this fabulous book.

Hex Hall was an awesome read! It had tons of laughs, magic and mystery that pull you in and keep the pages turning. I'd love to know what you think if you've read Hex Hall or what you think if you didn't, so please feel free to leave me a comment. I can't wait to see what the next book in the series has in store for us! I'm hooked!

PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND RACHEL HAWKINS:

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Friday, July 29, 2011

On My Wishlist (July 29)


On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City. But I deviated a little from the way it's done over there. I will post, every Friday, one to three (because I have to give myself a limit) books that I'd love to get my hands on. They can be old, new, or forthcoming releases.

So...

My Wishlist:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire ~ haven't gotten a chance to purchase
SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

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.


Supernaturally by Kiersten White ~ purchased but not in possession
SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.
But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.
So much for normal.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater ~ purchased but not in possession
SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater. In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.



Ugggghhhh! I want these books! What's on your wishlist?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Unearthly

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Number: 435
Series: Unearthly Series - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

MY RATING:
Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

So, you may be thinking "Oh, no. Not another angel book!" Let me just clarify that this is not just another angel book. For one thing, the plot is amazing. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, Cynthia Hand threw some twist into the story that kept me guessing. And not only was Hand's writing gripping and suspensful, but it was very vivid. I swear I could see and feel everything happening in Clara's unusual life.

Clara is a 16-year-old angel blood, which means she's part angel. Specifically, she's a quarter angel. She was also an amazing protagonist. She was very likeable, smart, strong, and also relateable. She takes her purpose very seriously... until Tucker shows up.

The relationship between Clara and Tucker was one of my favorite things. There was no instant love connection. In a very realistic fashion, we actually get to experience the two of them falling in love. Best part? Clara wasn't dependent on Tucker. She had her own strength and didn't immediately decide she would die without him. Tucker was a really nice character. *underexaggeration* He was very sweet and always there when Clara needed him. He's also funny, and charming, and *swoon*.

Christian, for me, wasn't really a likeable character. He seemed very cocky and rude. *bleh* I did, however, like Clara's mother. Especially the part where she existed. Oh, wait the was the whole story. That's right, no disappearing parents in this story.

The only problem with this book: it ended too soon. I want more! Next year will not be here fast enough! I can't wait to learn more about Clara's purpose, her relationship with Tucker (and Christian), and the wonderful world Cynthia Hand created. It's official, I'm hooked!

PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND CYNTHIA HAND:

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Booking Through Thursday - Night Owl


Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb. Click the picture above to visit the Booking Through Thursday site.


What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?

 I think the latest I've ever stayed up reading was 5:00 AM. That happened one night when I was determined to finish reading my book because I loved it so much. Usually, though I'll try not to read past twelve especially if I have something going on the next day. Still, late night reading is a very  usual occurance in my life.

What about you? Are you a night owl?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: City of Bones

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page Number: 485
Series: Mortal Instruments Series - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.
Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.
But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....


MY RATING:
Mostly Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

I had heard quite a bit about this series, but I was never really intrigued enough to buy it. I actually bought the first three books because the Borders near me was closing and everything was really cheap. I'm kind of happy I bought it though.

I thought the idea for this book was interesting. It's fairly unique, despite the whole angel, vampire, werewolf thing. Really, it's the world Cassandra Clare created. To me, the idea of these Shadowhunters was really cool. I mean, I've read books about nephilim (half angel/ half human) before, but never quite like this.

There's a lot of action and suspense in City of Bones, which I would totally expect from a world full of demons. Clare's take on the werewolves and vampires are pretty standard, but they definetly had some originality.

The characters are very well-developed and they have a lot of depth. Clary annoyed me slightly, and that doesn't happen very often with the protagonists. I just felt that she under reacted a lot. Like with finding out that she has the Sight and can see these creatures she never knew existed. There wasn't really any "Oh my, gosh! I'm a freak!" or "Shut up, I don't believe I'm not normal!" But then again, maybe I'm the only one that would react differently in the presented situation. Jace was a nice character. Very crush-worthy. He had a lot of layers to him that I hope will be explored more in future books. I liked Isabelle and Alec, but I didn't feel they were very central to the story at this point.

You may notice that I did knock off half a star. I know it's horrible, but I had a few things that made the book less lovable. For one thing, I felt like it was a lot to take in for a first book in a series. I think there were a lot of characters introduced. There were a lot of creatures, too that I felt we didn't ease into at all. I remember thinking when I first started reading this that I was very confused. It was very "What the heck is happening here?" Also there was Valentine. While Valentine was most definetly evil, I think I needed to see more of him. I'm a little shocked that I'm saying this, looking at everything Valentine did, but I needed more EVIL. In any case, I loved this book, I can't wait for the next in the series, and I'm hooked!


PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND CASSANDRA CLARE:
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WWW Wednesday (July 27)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions:
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

My Answers:

What are you currently reading? So, yesterday I started City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. I really want to know what happens, so I may or may not continue reading as soon as I post this. *excited*





What did you recently finish reading? The last book I finished was City of Glass also by Cassandra Clare. It was probably my favorite in the series so far for spoilerish reasons. Amazing book!





What do you think you'll read next? After City of Fallen Angels, I'll probably read The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. I loved the Darkest Powers Series so I have high hopes for this one.





I would love it if you shared your WWW Wednesday with me, too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (July 26)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser:


"It was the sort of lingering kiss that turned her insides to water. The sort of kiss that might have made her feel that nothing was wrong, that things were as they had been before, and he was only glad to see her."

~ pg. 241, "City of Fallen Angels" by Cassandra Clare




I'd love it if you shared your teaser with me, too!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Number: 335
Series: Paranormalcy Series - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE


Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

MY RATING:
Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

I feel like at some point I'm going to have to post a review with a book not rated 5 stars. That book is not this one. After reading Paranormalcy, I can honestly say I was surprised. Picking up this book, I was a little skeptical. I mean, it was filled with paranormal/ supernatural things I was tired of reading about (namly vampires and werewolves... mainly vampires). But I had heard good things about it, so I bought it anyway.

So BLEEPING happy I bought it. It is not your average story. This book has innovative and unique ideas from page one. And I mean that quite literally. This book is very well written, and it's funny. Oh, also it has clean language. Evie picked up this trait from her best friend, Lish: she bleeps out her own curse words. It's very cute and very funny. It also explains why I wrote "bleeping" if you were confused.

Evie is an awesome character. She's very strong, which I suppose is helpful in her line of work. What with neutralizing supernaturals and all. Evie can see through glamours (the things that make vampires look young, werewolves look like giant, well, wolves, etc.). Then, there's Tasey! Person or not, how can you not adore Evie's sparkly, pink taser? Lish was also an amazing character. She's a mermaid, and because she can't speak the way humans do, a computer talks for her and bleeps out her curse words. Reth is... freaky. Scary? Creepy? None of those seem to describe him well enough. Who's Reth, you ask? He would be Evie's faerie ex-boyfriend. Enough said. Then we have Lend. Ah, Lend. I also feel like I should review a book in which I'm not in love with the male lead. This book is still not it. Lend's sweet, down-to-earth, sweet, normal, and sweet. He is also the shape-shifter mentioned in the synopsis, but if I told you what he was exactly that would totally be a spoiler. Guess you don't get to know unless you read the book.

Overall, interesting, unique, funny, and very refreshing. And tomorrow just happens to be the release of Supernaturally, the second book in the series. I am bleeping excited, bleeping in love, and bleeping hooked!


PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND KIERSTEN WHITE:

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Cover Crazy: If I Die

So I decided that I want to do some weekly things here on FBH. One of these such things is Cover Crazy. Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms.

Here is how Cover Crazy works:
  1. Cover Crazy will be posted on Mondays.
  2. Each week I will show a cover that I am completely crazy about.
  3. The point of this meme is to admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, but I will also provide a synopsis along with the title, author, and of course cover picture and what I like about it.
  4. In the comments section below, please feel free to share your thoughts, feelings, inspirations, etc. about the cover (but be respectful about it).
  5. If you decide to start your own Cover Crazy, please give credit to The Book Worms.

And without further ado, my cover for this week is:

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

I've been in love with this cover since I saw it, and it felt only right to use this as my first Cover Crazy. I'm also quite literally obsessed with this series... Back to the cover! I absolutely adore the color. I also love Kaylee's dress and Nash. I find it really interesting that Nash almost blends into the background. Oh, and their hands. How they're almost touching, and... Am I getting carried away? Probably. In any case, LOVE.

SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE

NO ONE WANTS TO BE THIS TEACHER’S PET . . .


Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee—her scream is a portent of death.


But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out.


Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher is really an incubus, who feeds from the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s delinquent ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human either.


But Kaylee’s running out of time, and those who love her will do anything to save her life.
ANYTHING.

What cover are you crazy about this week?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: The Summoning

Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Number: 390
Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE


Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

MY RATING:
Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

This book was amazing! I absolutely love this series to death! Anyhoo, I've always had this thing for ghosts. I especially loved reading about them, so when I saw that this book involved ghosts I knew I would like it. But Chloe doesn't just see ghosts, and the other kids in Lyle House aren't troubled in the sense that is implied.

The story line is very gripping. With these books, it's very hard to stop reading. Another thing I loved: there was enough suspense to get my heart racing. The ghosts are spectacularly creepy, as are some of the other characters. Dr. Davidoff creeped me out from the beginning, but all will be revealed in the end.

Onto the less creepy characters. Chloe was a very relatable character, despite the fact that I've never been sent to a home for "disturbed teens." I found her interest in film to be very cool. Liz was my favorite female character, besides Chloe. She was quirky, and funny, and very welcome to someone who could have been crazy. Then, there's Tori. She's like that average mean girl that ends up completely surprising you, but revealing why she's surprising would spoil the story. Next is Simon. I really loved Simon. He was very cute. Derek was the complete opposite of Simon. He was very dark, mysterious, and brooding, but he added a lot of laughs to the story among all the creepiness. And, no surprise here, I loved him, too.

The ending KILLED me. I was so excited to see what happened, and then there was a cliffhanger. It wasn't a bad cliffhanger (trust me I've read bad cliffhangers), but it was just enough that I wanted to rush out to buy the next book. The Summoning was very well-written, with an interesting and unique storyline. It was definitely one of the books that takes you to another world, and I absolutely loved it. I'm hooked!

PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND KELLEY ARMSTRONG:

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: My Soul to Take

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Number: 279
Series: Soul Screamers Series - Book 1
SYNOPSIS VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE


SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH KAYLEE CAVANAUGH...

She doesn't see dead people, but she senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

SOUL SCREAMERS
The last thing you hear before you die...

MY RATING:
Hooked!

MY THOUGHTS:

One of the things that first drew me toward this book was the idea of bean sidhes, or banshees as they are more commonly known. I was really curious to see how someone could make an interesting story out of women in long, flowing dresses who scream for the dead. However, much like Kaylee, I learned that the lore we know is wrong.

When Kaylee senses that someone near her is going to die she must scream for the soul. A lot of the time, she can't even control her scream. That is without Nash around. I found it really interesting that in this world Rachel Vincent created, there are also male bean sidhes. I loved Nash with Kaylee. He was such a perfect counterpart. Emma was also a great character. She was kind of a polar opposite to Kaylee, but their friendship is amazing. I mean, we all need a friend, and Emma played that role perfectly. Tod was a great character. He added a lot of humor to the story, and introduced us to another side of the Netherworld. I can't wait to get to know him better in future books.

The other side characters, like Brendan, Val, and Sophie were great, too. But that ending? I didn't see that coming. So overall, the idea for this series was amazing, I loved the characters, and it was very well written! I'm really excited for the next read! I'm definitely HOOKED!

PURCHASE THIS BOOK:

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FIND RACHEL VINCENT:

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introduction and YA Crush Tournament

So I decided since this was my first post here on From Book to Hooked I should probably introduce myself. Sounds fun, right? Alright. So, my name is April and I may have a small addiction to books. Note that I use "small" loosely. Reading is very comparable to breathing for me. I prefer having a hard-copy book over an electronic book (i.e. nook, kindle, etc.). For me, nothing compares to the way it feels to hold an actual book. Sadly, though, my addiction gets less attention when school starts up again, seeing as I'm in high school...

*sigh*

Anyway, I hope to have some reviews up shortly. I'm also planning on setting up my review system at some point... That would probably be best to have before I post my first review, huh?

Oh, and I wanted to say something here about the YA Sisterhood's Crush Tournament. They're in round 2 already, but I thought it was worth a post anyway. The Crush Tourney is a lot of fun, even if you missed a few rounds. You can click here or on the icon to the right, and it will take you to the YA Sisterhood blog. Vote if you haven't already, and I hope to talk to you again soon!

-April