30 December 2012

A Final Farewell

 And so I come here to say goodbye

As you all may or may not have noticed, I haven't blogged here for a long time. A VERY LONG time. I've been neglectful towards my baby here, and I can only say I've been so caught up in my own life! I haven't even had time to read books. (ALTHOUUUGH, I do watch my anime plenty still--when I'm in bed, and it's on my phone.)

I've been talking to my lovely, dear friend, Kristin at Beneath Shining Stars, I Read, and we gradually came to the idea of co-blogging with each other--on her blog.

Honestly, I was supposed to type up my farewell address to this blog a long time ago, but I wasn't ready to face the reality of it all. I have accomplished so many things with this blog, especially with establishing many close friends through networking. My writing skills improved on this blog, and the comments I received were absolutely wonderful and delightful. <3

NEEDLESS TO SAY, a lot of this blog time went to designing this baby! I dressed her up several times, even changed her name here and there. XD ANDDD I think it's crazy to see how many followers this blog gained. Like SERIOUSLY GUYS, over 650? Never expected it to go THAT high, and looking at that always makes me proud of this blog and all of the work I put in.

GOSH SHEDDING TEARS NOW STOP TEARS PLS STOP NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

Maybe I'll come back here one day. Who knows? This blog means so much to me, words can't even explain my feelings.


So, what now?


But for now, if you want to continue following me and my ravings/rantings/ASDFGHJKL-ings about novels and bookish things and my craptastic drawings, come over here! My new bloggy with Kristin is adorable~ <3




22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Books to Infinity!


(Most people would upload pretty pictures of Thanksgiving, but I prefer my drawings just a tad more.)

Just popping in to say haaaapppy Thanksgiving!
 Missed me, darlings? ♥ 

17 November 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

This was a book that I wasn't supposed to like.  Anna Dressed in Blood, from its shadowy cover to its ghost-killing main character, had every possible turn-off possible in my eyes.  Fact is, I don't do creepy books.  My sensitive but suggestible imagination can't handle it.  Anna Dressed in Blood surpassed all expectations and returned me to a state of readership where I read it for the love of the story, and not because five million people were shoving in my face in an attempt to get me to read it.  The main character, Cas, was captivating and memorable; his friends, seemingly ordinary people who are forced to do extraordinary things; a plot that kept me glued to the pages, and a romance that I cheered for... All wrapped together in an atmosphere layered with history and topped off with a dash of humor.

I think it was the humor that did it for me.  Kendare Blake could've easily turned this story into one that left me unable to close my eyes at night by stripping it of any relief from the suspense.  Instead, Cas's narrative is peppered with quips that had me giggling one moment, before the plot turned and I was left with a screwed up expression of disgust.  Kendare Blake didn't rely on cheap tricks and overly described gory scenes to mess with the reader.  She went past that, into the realm where (we normal people) don't like to go.  Described with simple, skin-crawling details, the story made me cringe as easily as it made me laugh.

I loved Cas's narrative for more than just his wicked tendency towards gallows humor.  His sense of vulnerability made him appear alive to me; he wasn't this fearless guy who sprinted in to slay mean ghosties.  Every move to action was precipitated by a fear of losing something, like his family or his life.  I liked that.

Also, his friends developed in a way that surprised me.  For example, he makes friends with the school's queen bee, Carmel, and I thought she'd drop out of the story completely.  Instead, she becomes one of the main characters and develops a force of her own.  Each character was developed in this way, and it gave the book a unique flavor.

The plot was a straightforward adventure story, and like many of the contemporaries of its kind, it was fast and it was heart-pumping.  Kendare Blake handled it well, presenting enough mystery to sustain the reader without riddling the entire story with lose ends to be gathered up within the last fifteen pages.  The lack of hardcore mystery made it easier, I think, to slip into the world; my brain didn't have to restart itself and think back to the last thing that had happened.  The action scenes were well described, so much so that I could see it projected in my mind like a movie.  (This book would make an awesome movie.)

Even though the romance was entirely predictable and in retrospect, Anna came off as rather flat and one dimensional, I cheered for Cas and Anna all the way.  Their romance wasn't like all the other supernatural pairings that are now a dime a dozen, where the "we can't be together" speech is worthy of an epic eye roll because it seems so melodramatic.  Not here.  I understood what stood in Cas and Anna's way.  I wanted Cas to be able to make it past the obstacles, I totally cheered for him.  Anna came off a bit one dimensional sometimes, but I didn't notice until I thought back on the book.  Fact was, they worked for each other and for me.

I loved the atmosphere Kendare Blake created.  Settled in its spookiness, it was easy to get lost in the world of Thunder Bay.  It was equal parts creepy and intriguing.  It makes me want more of the world, just as much as I want more of Cas and Anna's story.

Anna Dressed in Blood is perfect for those who love a thrill, as well as for those who don't.  I'm so glad I picked it up -- a hearty "thank you" to those five million people who were dying for me to read it.  I loved every page.

Quotes


I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth, the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.

I watch him with amusement. There’s a blue light special on territorial jocks in aisle four.

"I’ve been Obeahed by an Obeahman? Is this like how the Smurfs say they smurfing smurfed all the time?"

Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 316
  • published - August 2011
  • publisher - Tor Teen
  • genre - urban fantasy/paranormal romance
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Anna
    • Anna Dressed in Blood
    • Girl of Nightmares

31 October 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu



What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors, the Colonies.  

Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy.  Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest circles. 

Born into the slums of the Republic's Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect.  Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. 

But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

When Legend first popped up on my radar, I was turned away by the amateur-style cover.  I was intrigued, however, when the hype drove me to read a sample of it.  I was impressed by how there was an immediate sense of character and that allowed the also-immediate conflict to take effect.  Paired with Marie Lu's effortless writing style and propelled by a both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking plot, I never wanted the story to end.

Legend tells the story of two awesome main characters.  June, with her Holmesian-like logic but warm heart; and Day, the guy we girls would all like to run into on the streets.  I was pleased (and impressed) with how June, the government's prodigy, didn't come off as a cold-hearted anti-hero.  She had a heart -- a big heart -- that wasn't impervious to breaks.  The criminal Day reminded me a lot of Han from Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series, only Day doesn't have silver cuffs branded to his wrists. Mentally, I connected them because they're passionate, flirty, and street smart, and they always take care of their families.

The world of Legend was magnificently displayed.  Lu doesn't fall into the trap of having to explain how everything worlds.  By letting the world affect (or not affect) her characters in certain ways, she lets the world build seamlessly.  It's this showing and not telling that is so effective in creating the swaths of color into the world around the characters.  Sometimes it has a fantasy-like feel to it, and sometimes it feels more sci-fi or dystopian, giving it a well-rounded atmosphere.

What I was most impressed with from Legend was the way Lu built the story.  I understood what was at stake, I knew the risks, and I felt each obstacle resonate within the characters.  It was a story that built stakes like kindling for a fire -- they pushed the characters; they didn't come at a conveniently inconvenient time.  At every turn, I would mutter, "What are they going to do now?" or "How are they going to get out of that?"  The plot was tightly compacted: nothing was wasted, but there are threads to be continued in other books.

So while there were predictable places, it was the moments that took me by surprise that defined my liking for Legend.  With it's fantasy/sci-fi like world and lovable characters, Legend should be a book to get on your shelf.  I'm glad it's on mine.

Quotes


I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine. (p. 45)

“I don't know if anyone's ever told you this", he begins. He doesn't blush, and his eyes don't dart away. Instead I find myself starring into a pair of oceans - one perfect, the other blemished by that tiny ripple. "You're very attractive."

I've been complimented on my appearance before. But never in his tone of voice. Of all the things he's said, I don't know why this catches me off guard. But it startles me so much that without thinking I blurt out, "I could say the same about you." I pause. "In case you didn't know."

A slow grin spreads across his face. "Oh, trust me. I know.” (p. 137)

Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 305
  • published - November 2011
  • publisher - Putnam Juvenile
  • genre - sci-fi
  • received via - Half-Price Books :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Legend
    • Legend
    • Prodigy
    • Untitled #3

30 October 2012

Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce



Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

My first experience with Jackson Pearce's work came many, many years ago with her novel, As You Wish.  As a know-it-all fourteen-year-old, I wasn't that impressed and I never finished it.  It was too short and too kiddy for the likes of me.  Now, after having read Sisters RedSweetly, and now Fathomless, I'm intensely curious about that first book I picked up.  I have had my mind blown -- yet again -- by Jackson Pearce's amazingly creative talent for capturing a breathtaking story within three hundred pages.

Like SweetlyFathomless kept me up way past my bedtime.  I couldn't let go of Celia and Lo's story, or the world of ocean girls and power triplets.  In retrospect, I'm amazed at how much atmosphere was packed in with the plot and character development.  Almost as if those aspects were fused together, and not separate things.  Short books don't generally appeal to me because they're like a single inch of a foot long idea: they don't reach their full potential.  Jackson Pearce defies this idea.  She establishes atmosphere, character and plot very compactly -- not "quickly," as if she rushes it, but "compactly."  She doesn't waste words.

My sisters love this place.

It smells like sand and cigarettes and cotton candy, like sunscreen and salt.  The scent builds up all summer, and now, at the height of tourist season, it's so thick that I think I could wave an empty bottle around and it would fill with liquid perfume.

She also doesn't fall back on the typical, well-worn templates that lazy writers use.  Jackson Pearce got deep into the characters' minds and strung out every flaw and imperfection that made them human, or inhuman, as the case may be.  I loved the psychological battles that raged between Celia and Lo, as well as Celia and her sisters.  Celia and Lo each had their own motivations -- Lo fought with being human, Celia fought with her power; Celia was one of a triplet, but the odd one out -- and their internal battles inherently affected their relationship.  Those aspects drew me in the most.  They mimicked the same kind of undercurrents that run underneath everyday conversations and interactions.  So even though Celia can read someone's past and Lo is a creature of the deep, the relationships they had with their family and friends bore the same complications and intricacies of real-life situations.

I liked how the romance both did and did not take center stage.  The romance between Celia and Jude was sweet and well-developed without being the main purpose of the story.  The romance, however, was practically the driving force of the plot.  Had there been no Jude, the ending would've fallen apart.  I liked this duality because it's not something I've seen often, and Jackson Pearce pulled it off extremely well by focusing attention on the ups and downs of the plot.

I loved how Jackson Pearce went in and owned this story.  I was pulled in from page one and I couldn't stop thinking about the story until I finally finished it.  I think this story would fit anyone's interests, whether you like contemporary fiction or paranormal romances, even if you don't like mermaid stories (because it's just enough of a mermaid story to appeal to those who loved The Little Mermaid and just unique enough to suit those who didn't.)

Quotes

When it rains, it's beautiful under the water.  It's like the sky and the ocean and the clouds are all connected as we lie on the deck of the Glasgow and stare up at the waves that rock far above us.  They look dangerous even in a small rainstorm like this.  They look beautiful.  They remind us that the ocean isn't something we've tamed, just because we're a part of it. (p. 106)

My name is Lo.  I have dozens of sisters.  I live underwater.  My feet bleed when I walk on land, but I know beauty under the waves better than any human.  I used to be a girl, but now I am this. (p. 264)

Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 304 
  • published - September 2012
  • publisher - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • genre - fantasy
  • received via - Barnes & Noble
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Fairytale Retellings
    • Sisters Red
    • Sweetly
    • Fathomless

23 October 2012

Cover Reveal: Shadow of the Mark

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! I have seen many beautiful covers in my life, but I can't compare this bad boy to anything else. In about thirty seconds (pretend you're watching TV and listening to my soothing voice) you will see the cover of your dreams. *magical fingers*

I, my friends, am going to present the cover of Carrier of the Mark's sequel, Shadow of the Mark. It's momma was beautiful, but wait 'till you this this baby. Ready? Set... GO!



AND THE LORD SAID, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" WOOOOOOOHOOOO! I don't think anyone is excited as I am on this cover reveal. Leigh has been my friend for a few years now when we first met on Inkpop.com. AND! AND! Get this: for those of you who haven't read Carrier of the Mark, the main character's name is Megan.

Ha. I win. I get the hot Irish boy, ladies. ;) Now, for the synopsis for Shadow of the Mark.

Life for Megan Rosenberg just got a lot more complicated.

While she evoked the air element, and her feelings for Adam intensified, a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal was spun around her. With the Order tightening its hold, and the reinstatement of the Mark Knights, Megan has more questions than answers as the Marked Ones grow in strength.

New people arouse suspicion, the DeRises start behaving strangely, and Megan begins to unravel a destiny shrouded in mystery. It’s a destiny the Order has struggled to hide, and a destiny someone from the past… far in the past, has already laid claim to.

Alliances will be made, and friends will be lost, as the Order’s dark secrets are revealed by the very thing they sought to destroy.


13 October 2012

Review: Path of Needles

Title & Author~ Path of Needles by Hannah Kollef

Publishing Type~ Self-published on October 12th, 2012
Reason for Reading~ Received in e-book format for review.   
Where to Purchase It~ Amazon ♦ 
Summary~ When 17-year-old Kat Finnegan is warned in a Brooklyn alleyway that her father is going to disappear, she shrugs and walks away. The next morning her father is gone--leaving behind a booby-trapped apartment and a mystery that has slept for a thousand years.

To get him back, Kat and her twin brother Roger will have to unravel the secrets behind the Rose Queen--the fairy queen who ripped apart reality and stitched it back together, transforming the Fey into the memories known as fairy tales. They will also have to come to grips with their emerging powers and discover why they are known to the magical world as "The Truth" and "The Lie."

Hunted by demons and treacherous Fey, Kat and Roger follow the Queen's trail from Manhattan to Newark. But neither the Queen nor her curse is what they expected, and more is at stake than their father's life--and theirs.

Path of Needles is the explosive first book in the Paths series: urban fantasies littered with deadly fairy tales, tangled romance, and heartbreaking betrayals.


On Characters~ Path of Needles was full of strong, well-developed characters. Take our MC, for example, Miss Kat Finnegan. She is relentless to help people--she's sarcastic, too, which many people these days can relate to (*cough* me *cough*). Jim and Roger were both equally important, too. These three characters are the type you won't forget about.

On Writing Style~ Kollef's writing style is overly descriptive. If anything, it's filled with more dialogue than description. Even if there a lot of talking between characters, she doesn't avoid painting portraits with words on things like the setting, the magical world Kat is sucked into, and more. Her words are beautiful. (It's like those creepy things from Harry Potter #3, the ones who suck up your fear--what are their names again?--only Kollef sucks away your breath because her fluid writing is astunding. Actually, that was a really bad example. And it doesn't help I can't think of those creepy things names. *headdesk*)

On Fantasy Element~ Like I said in my introduction, I'm not a super big fantasy fan because fantastical worlds never make sense to me. Either the author doesn't include enough information, or there is too much info in a few short pages. (GET YOUR WORD VOMIT AWAY FROM ME, BEAST!!) Kollef, I think, was in the not-enough section, but to be honest... I'm not certain of it because I couldn't fully wrap my head around this world Kat's brought into. I had to go back and reread. But maybe that's because I'm stupid. Heck, you'll probably understand it better than me. Don't let me dissuade you from reading it.

On Everything Else~ The ending was just asdfghjkl; THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THE MADNESS. I AM IN LOVE AND HEARTBROKEN. (*sings* When you're dreaming with a broken heart...) *cue Regina George* I just can't... whatever. (You Mean Girls lovers will understand the previous sentence.)

All in All~ Kollef created a beautiful book. Although I didn't full comprehend the fantasy world, I still adored it. You! People of earth! Go read it! I gave you the Amazon link, didn't I? *wags finger* Yes, I did. Now, go read. It's very cheap. (The price, I mean.)

4/5 stars.






11 October 2012

Feature + Follow Friday (10/12/12)

Hey y'all!  Amelia and Gianne here for Feature and Follow Friday!  

Q: What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness…




 GIANNE SAYS:

 For me, instantly the first book that comes to mind would probably Gretchen McNeil's books (Ten, Possess) or Malinda Lo's Adaptation (which is really weird and ominous-like and just WHOAzers!) :D How about you? ^^

AMELIA SAYS:

Firstly, I am such a scaredy cat. I don't do suspense, or gore, or horror. I don't do things that go bump in the night, that have previously been dead, or walk around decapitated. So my list of Halloween stories, let alone books that could be turned into movies, is highly limited. The first thing that pops to mind is The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. Not so much for the gore or horror, but because it's just so creepy. It was practically hair-raising. (Though I do admit that I read this two years ago so I may, or may not, be a little bit less of a scaredy cat now, but that point is entirely debatable.)

Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst


In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love. Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

09 October 2012

Hey y'all... Amelia here!

Hey y'all!  (Yeesssss, I do say "y'all" -- quite frequently, actually.  And if you're a country-phobe, don't do something nice to me because I will call you "darlin".)  

My name is Amelia and I'm co-blogging here with Gianne! :)

Quick Bio
I'm eighteen-years-old (so technically an adult, but don't hold me to that) and I recently graduated high school.  I'm taking a year off before heading to college, using this newly granted spare time to work on my book.  Yes, I am a writer.  Yes, I get distracted easily by shiny objects.  Be nice to me or I'll put you in my book, and kill you.

A Bit Longer Bio
I run my own blog, The Authoress: Book Reviews & More, but when Gianne put up a post saying she was looking for a co-blogger, my interest was piqued.  I've always thought co-blogging would be a super cool thing to do and, since I already knew Gianne was awesome, I applied.  Luckily, she must've thought I was pretty awesome too! :) 

In addition to being a huge reader and writer, I also do graphic design.  Focusing mostly on bloggers, I offer free graphics at my site The Graphic Files.  (That's how I met Gianne!)  Besides that, I dabble at playing the piano, reading about psychology, reorganizing my bookshelves, watching Golden Girls, Sherlock, Numb3rs, The Mentalist, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, and ultimately trying not to demolish the little shred of a social life I have left.

I'm a bit random -- my mind tends to function like a pachinko machine.  Paradoxically, I'm also incredibly organized.  I like to always have a task, and when I decide to do something, I do it -- I don't second guess often.  I love iCal and lists -- my god, I adore lists.  I wouldn't function without my Sharpie pen and butterfly-decorated pad of paper.

What I'll Be Doing Here
Gianne is swamped with AP classes -- all the power in the world to her.  I took one AP class my junior year of high school... Never again.  My one experience with the world of higher academics has given me a great sympathetic capacity for those still in the trenches.  So whatever Gianne wants me to do here, I shall do. :) Sometimes memes, sometimes reviews, sometimes giveaways, maybe a blog tip post here and there.  Keep a look out!  

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mixed Edition

Hosted at Breaking the Spine and original picture credits go to ハツ子

Hey y'all!  So why is this week's WoW mixed?  Mostly because Gianne is dying for a book about a circus and the only thing that comes to my mind to compliment that is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which came out forever and a day ago.  So this week will be mixed.

What Gianne is waiting for...

Pantomime by Laura Lam

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

It sounds absolutely enchanting and captivating! THAT, and I've had a thing lately for books with a whimsical feel about it, especially books with circuses!

What Amelia is waiting for...

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

Excited is SUCH an understatement here!  With the way Beautiful Chaos ended, I'm practically foaming at the mouth for this to release!

what are you waiting for this week?

22 September 2012

New Co-Blogger... Hello, Megan!

Hi everyone! I'm co-blogging with Gianna now. Hi. Hello. Hola. I'm Megan, and I'll be your blogger this afternoon. :)

About Me: I'm a highschooler living in America. I love to read, write, eat Nutella and Popsicles, listen to music (such as One Direction, The Fray, Florence + The Machine and a lot more). I'm also obsessed with Mean Girls. {Omigod, I love your handbag! That's so fetch!}

About My Reviews: I review only YA books. I love most YA genres, but I'd have to say dystopian/sci-fi and contemporary romance are my favorites. I'm not a super-big fantasy fan. The only exception in Peter Pan. I freaking love that guy.

What Makes My Reviews Different From Other's: I'm generally a happy person. It shows in my book reviews, too--people have mentioned how they constantly laugh whether I'm giving a book 5 stars or just 1 star. So... I guess that's a good thing. Ha.

So, to the lovely readers, hello there! I hope you're having a nice day. I sure am. I just ate seven Popsicles in 2 hours. I'm feeling fan-tas-tic.

To the authors and book publishers out there, my email address is mswwrites(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd love to review your book, as long as you either A) send me One Direction tickets or B) send me a lifetime supply of Popsicles. Just kidding. I review for free. I AM JUST THAT KIND, PEOPLE.

Well... nos vemos amigos! Looking forward to blabbing with ya. ;)

xx, Megan

22 August 2012

Review + Giveaway: Inbetween by Tara Fuller




Book: Inbetween by Tara Fuller
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 400
Source: Review copy provided for blog tour
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Inbetween is a surprising albeit regular paranormal romance with a rather refreshing twist -- reapers. While Inbetween does go above and beyond a regular, 3 starred read, it falls a little short under "ASDFGHJKL;" amazing.

Well let's start off with what was absolutely awesome with this book, yes?

WHAT MAKES INBETWEEN SO SPECIAL? 

  • Damn good world building, that is!
    • GAH. Just WOW. Inbetween really threw me in for a loop here. Most paranormal romances don't really wow me with the world building but with the romance. (After all, isn't that the point? It is a paranormal romance.) Well, except for this little book here!
    • What's so surprising about the world building is how in depth it is. The Inbetween itself, how the system works, and everything else obviously showed the work of someone who took the time and effort to come up with something unique and pretty much awesome.
  • The writing is actually GOOD.
    • Okay, I guess it's no surprise now that I expected very little of this book besides some cute/steamy romance to gnaw on for the time being. The writing, although redundant at times with the descriptions, is vivid and just easy on the eyes. I LOOOVED it.
  • EMOTIONS. 
    • There are some pretty heart wrenching scenes in here, I'm not going to lie. I don't know if it was my teenage hormones fluctuating at that very moment or something but I was near TEARS, I tell you. Books hardly make me cry, so that is an accomplishment I tell you!
  •  Romance = A-OKAY!
    • Not the best, but not the worst -- it's just really, really freaking cute. While I would have LOVED some more romance development between Finn and Emma, the back story and the time they spend together is just adorable and very well written. 

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO RAH

I was going to start my sentence with, "Okay," but that's just really awkward when I think about it since I do it so much. Like the title says, there were little things in this book that just irritated me for a bit.
  • Maeve, my dear, you are so cliche that it hurts my heart. IMMENSELY.
    • Okay, so, not just "for a bit" but Maeve irritated me throughout the entire book. She is the villain after all, but this villain was so two-dimensional she made paper look like a three-dimensional human. Her character is so predictable, it's gut wrenching. (END RANT.)


    WIN WIN WIN!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway




    19 August 2012

    Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    Book: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
    Pages: 416
    Source: ALA copy
    Links: Goodreads | Amazon

    After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.  

    Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

    Yes, folks, it's not just another pretty cover. Throne of Glass actually has some substance beneath this glossy exterior and does surprisingly well in not disappointing me. Personally, I thought I wasn't going to like this book because the universe tends to have me dislike books that everyone seems to just ADORE.

    Armed with beautiful prose as well as fantastic, in-depth world building, Throne of Glass and its future installments have the potential to be one of the best young adult fantasy novels. We have a strong yet realistically vulnerable heroine, as well as emotionally evoking scenes and heart racing action packed scenes. There's really a TON of good things going on in this book.

    While there is potential and awesome stuff galore, there are two things that fell for me: the pacing and the romance. GAH, the romance.

    WHAT THRONE OF GLASS FAILS ON FOR ME

    • The pacing -- absolutely slow at times, like "WHY ISN'T MY COMPUTER LOADING I'M GOING TO SMASH THIS TO PIECES" slow. You know, when you get infuriated when your computer just doesn't want to be fast for you? Yeah, that's what I felt for Throne of Glass.
      • Well, it's not slow the whole time. For me, it felt like it had more of an irregular pace. It would be interesting and fast paced, then dull and slow paced in the next chapter.
    • The romance -- in which certain characters can't seem to make up their minds and the love just feels WRONG.
      • The romance can have a huge impact on me when I'm reading a novel -- sizzling, well done chemistry with a suck butt heroine is much more appealing to me as opposed to rather dry and dead with a kick butt heroine.
      • Throne of Glass wasn't necessarily dead -- like I said in my title, it just didn't feel right. The main love interest and Celaena just didn't roll with me. The other left out guy of the love triangle was a MUCH better fit with Celaena.
      • Perhaps it's just me and it's more of preference why I didn't enjoy the romance in Throne of Glass. Several other readers simply ate up the romance with more enthusiasm than I did!
    Throne of Glass and its series makes a perfect potential candidate to become something really GREAT in the future, especially for me. If it works out its small flaws, I think I'll enjoy the next book much more than I did with this one.





    15 August 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday: UNIQUE AS HECK Edition

    Hosted at Breaking the Spine and original picture credits go to ハツ子

    I admit, my titling skills (Unique as HECK? Really, Gianna? REALLY?) is a bit of a fail right now, BUT these premises just sound so good and fascinating to me that it stunned me SPEECHLESS. :D


    Touched by Corrine Jackson

    Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

    Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.


    No senses? How does the romance function then? AND he has to KILL HER? FASCINATING.

     I AM VERY INTRIGUED.


    Undeadly by Michele Vail

    The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

    Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

    Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

    I love it when books are set in academies. AND WHAT IS THIS INSANITY? Necromancy galore? What may seem to be a very hot teacher? I EAT UP teacher x student relationships in novels/manga. (Wait, I don't even know if there will be a relationship between Rath and Molly. AWKWARD.)

     Think Vampire Academy series and Rose x Dimitri. (Although, I can't say that I support that in real life... Well, that's the beauty of fictional novels. It's not real!) Even though there looks like it's going to be a love triangle, I'll still check this ouuut~



    13 August 2012

    Manga Monday: Supernatural Victorian Delight

    Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read. This button edit is my own. The image credits go to the manga, Watashi ni xx Shinasai and its mangaka.

    Hello, everyone! Welcome to a new feature (albeit not entirely original) at Books to Infinity. :) 

    Manga Mondays at Books to Infinity is less of detailed manga reviews and more of manga recommendations/mini-reviews.

    Most of the manga I will recommend will probably be the kind that you can only read on websites like mangafox.me (meaning you have to read this on the computer) or on your phone through a manga app. (Manga app I use for the iPhone/iTouch would be MangaStorm)

    Manga Spotlight of the Week:

    Manga: Hana to Akuma by Hisamu Oto
    More information here: MyAnimeList

    14 Years ago Vivi, the demon, decided to leave the demon realm and come to the human world. There he found an abandoned baby and on a whim decided to keep it. Since then he lives together with Hana...but having a 14 year-old girl around you, is it really that simple?


    THIS MANGA. ZOMG. ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVES.

    Art: 9/10 -- Everything is drawn really beautifully, especially the characters themselves! Vivi is definitely hot himself. I cannot STAND reading a manga without at least a hot guy (AKA bishie/bishonen) and Vivi definitely fits that category. (And Hana! SHE IS ADORABLE.)

    Plot: 10/10 -- The pacing is normal, not too fast and not too slow. The whole story itself is really interesting, and just perfect.

    Romance: 9/10 -- Although a tad slow to my liking, it was very very very well done. The relationship between the two blossoms and deepens throughout the story, with TONS of cute, "KYAAA!" moments as well as heart pounding, blush worthy instances between them.

    Characters: 10/10 -- Hilarious and well developed. All I need to make me a happy camper.

    Ending: 10/10 -- I can't go into too much detail but it was the absolutely most perfect way to end the tale of Vivi and Hana, and all the loose ends had been tied up.

    Manga shots/art shots --






    11 August 2012

    Readathon Time! Bout of Books 5.0

    Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

    Yaaay! I'm so glad I came across this! I've been in dire need of a readathon because my TBR pile is HUGE! Maybe a couple of you are wondering what Bout of Books is? Here's the official blurb ---

    The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team


    :D Got the main gist of it, then? Well, here's my goal to read throughout the week:

    My main priority ---
    Inbetween by Tara Fuller
    The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
    Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
    Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

    If I finish those, maybe I'll squeeze a two of these in ---
    Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
    Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
    Defiance by C.J. Redwine
    First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost 
    One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost


    Are you guys participating too? This sounds so fun! I hope I can actually finish my main priority books. *-----*


    09 August 2012

    Review: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

    Book: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
    Publisher: Flux
    Pages: 408
    Source: Netgalley
    Links: Goodreads | Amazon

     Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

    Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.






    A steampunk fantasy, eh? You got me THAR!

    Yes, THAR. Okay, so it may not be a word, but it's a fun way of saying "there". (Well, at least it is for me!) Now, here's the real question: is this a damn good steampunk fantasy? YES and NO.

    WHY NO? BECAUSE INNOCENT DARKNESS IS A TEASE.

     
    Reading Innocent Darkness is like an almost kiss in a sense. It could have, would have, should have been freaking hot but it wasn't. It lures me in with its potential to have deliciously written, darn good world building and plot and all that jazz but NO. It just doesn't go in for the kill to WOW me.

    Do I even make sense? Okay, well here's the bullet point version.
    • This is called a steampunk fantasy, so I DEMAND my steampunky goodness.
      • Innocent Darkness severely lacked in terms of world building, especially with its steampunk elements.This obviously elicited thoughts such as, "RAH RAH GIMME MORE".
    • This is called a steampunk fantasy, so I DEMAND my fantasy goodness.
      • Like I've mentioned earlier, Innocent Darkness fails (for me, at least) in world building. Sure, I got to see the Otherworld and get a quick taste of it but that's all I got. A. QUICK. TASTE.
      • I really believe that this book enjoys teasing me. I see SO MUCH potential with this book to be something really unique, and quite possibly amazing but it just hasn't reached that level yet.
    • I simply need more. I NEED MORE.

     WHY YES? BECAUSE WHAT I GOT WAS ACTUALLY SATISFYING.

    •  We have Noli, Kevighn, and our very own V! (yes, V is a nickname.) They were very enjoyable characters to read about, especially Kevighn and his own mysterious past. Noli wasn't a pain in any body part of mine, so rejoice!
      • They weren't necessarily characters that really STOOD out, if you get me. They're interesting, but not keyboard mashing worthy aka ASDFJHSALJKDFHAL WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.
    • The fantasy and steampunk elements albeit given in very low doses was FASCINATING. I loved learning about the Otherworld at every chance I was given, and I ate up all of the steampunk ID gave me like a sweet tooth child would devour candy.
    • Plot plot PLOT! Not completely engrossed as I would have liked to be, I loved the pace of the story and each little twist that popped up here and there.

    Quick overview of my thoughts? I'll state it again: I need MOAR. MORE. MOOORE. There's just SO much potential for this book, there really is and even as in its underdeveloped stage, it's quite gewwd! (I'm seriously in the mood to just misspell everything on purpose, so don't mind that.)





    08 August 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday: Fantasy Goodness Edition

    Hosted at Breaking the Spine and original picture credits go to ハツ子


    Hi everyone! How's your Wednesday so far? :) I've been spending the past couple of days on a new look for my blog. I decided to ditch the galaxy theme (for now, anyways) and go for a more simple, clean (cutesy ANIME) feel. Anybody detest the changes? Love it? Feel free to send me all of your (not too mean) hate/love in the comments! ♥

    This week I'm waiting on:

    The Dark Light by Sara Walsh


    Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy. Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

    That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

    Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

    REACTION: 

    LOLWUT? Is it just me or does this cover SCREAM paranormal romance? Still, I love my fantasy anyways even if their cover looks EXTREMELY deceiving. Besides, I've yet to read some steamy fantasy so this sounds puuurrty fiiiine to me.


    -------------------------------


    Poison by Bridget Zinn


    Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

    But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart… misses.

    Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

    Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

    REACTION: 

    More fantasy YAAAY! And swooning elements, eh? I'm intrigued. I might have to bump this up on my TBR pile, even though it has yet to be published until March 2013. (SADNESS.)

     Hey, Poison, COME AT ME BRO. (But really? FRED? FRED? WHY THAT NAME WHY)





    06 August 2012

    Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress #1)

    Book: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
    Publisher: Avon
    Pages: 358
    Genre: [Adult] paranormal romance | urban fantasy
    Source: Bought
    Links: Goodreads | Amazon

    Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

    In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side... and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

    I have but ONE word for Bones this book (or more like an acronym): UNF. If you don't know what it means, Urban Dictionary explains it very well here.

    Caution: Please proceed at your own risk. Lots of GUSHING ahead.

    WHAT IS THIS BOOK FILLED WITH, EXACTLY?

    • Badassery at its FINEST.
      • Cat and Bones? These two kick ASS. Like, major booty here. The action in Halfway to the Grave bursts with intensity and is simply the epitome of the word, "engaging". (THAT is saying a LOT, if you ask me. I detest action scenes in general...very much.) 
    • What is laughing?
      • Small, amusing moments do not exist in this book. Okay? Okay. (No, I'm kidding they do.) What exists in Halfway to the Grave is nonstop HILARITY. Good gosh, I do not think I've ever laughed so much while reading a book! (And books RARELY make me laugh.)
      • Cat and Bones' dialogue... GOOD LAWDY. I'm laughing as I type about it right now. It just GETS to me. This book understands my humor. IT UNDERSTANDS ME.
    • I just love cats. I really do. And you know what? Heroine's name = CAT.
      • What I really admire about Cat is how headstrong she is (which is both good and bad). I LOVE how dedicated and determined this girl is. She's been an outcast all her life, but no, she doesn't let it get it to her head and becomes a shut out. No, she becomes a KICK ASS HEROINE. YOU GO, CAT.
      • Bones deserves his own bullet, so on to the next point...
    • BONES. No, not the "bones" in our bodies, you smart aleck.
      • This man, this man right here, is PERFECTION in the world of leading male characters. He's ridiculously charming, seductive, hilarious, a GENTLEMAN (who still manages to be completely bad boy at the same time), sexy, has a BRITISH ACCENT, and did I mention he's smexy as heck?
      • When we're first introduced to Bones, I'm like, "Ew. No. I don't like this. What. Just stop. How can I like this book now. UGH." However, it took me VERY LITTLE time to fall super UBER hard for Bones. ♥ 
      • I can't even describe how badass Bones is. Really. I'm SPEECHLESS.
    • Romance. UNF. UNF. UNFUNFUNFUNF.
      • Disappointed is FAR FAR FAR from what I felt about the romance in this book. Halfway to the Grave has everything a romance junkie can dream of -- good ol' panty melting, sexually charged TENSION.
      • The chemistry between Cat and Bones...just WHOA. Every touch and sound between these two (both conversational wise and... not so conversational wise) is just done so well. I ship these two so hard. <3 
    • And of course there IS a fast paced plot! Halfway to the Grave grabbed me like it was an obsessed kidnapper and didn't let me go until it had their way done with me.

    This book, in all, was just so much fun. REALLY. I think the only regret this book would leave any reader would be not having bought the second book in advance. (The ending? Pretty solid, not a major cliffhanger. It's the kind of ending that leaves you like, "RAH GIMME MORE DAMMIT")





    26 July 2012

    I'm a hypocrriiiiiite.

    EDIT: This post was called "Until then, my friends!" but I feel like a hypocrite! A couple of posts ago I was being all sappy about my bloggy birthday and now here I am taking another break. AAGHHHHHH.


    I am freaking out. Summer break is almost over and that means that it's nearly time to go back to school. I want to read my ALA books, my adult romance "crack", my review books, and just relax. Blogging has become a chore and it's not just what it used to be before.

    (*insert sarcasm* Racquel from The Book Barbies offered me some advice and said I should drop out of school. It's a very lovely idea and I think I shall take her up on it.)

    I'm going to take a few days to a couple of weeks off. Part of me REALLY dreads this because all of these breaks and hiatuses makes me feel like I'm losing readers and I'm not acting as dedicated to my blog as I should be.

    Hopefully you guys will be around when I come back to blog and stuff. :) Until then, bye! (Or not since I'll probably be lurking on Twitter or on Goodreads.)