Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter, #1
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: Far too many
Source: Amazon
Rating: 1 of 5 stars

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.

SPOILERS AHEAD (but do you really want to read this?)

Explain to me what happened in Hereafter. I dare you.

You’re at a loss of words trying to describe what happened, aren’t you? I’ll tell you why:


(the caps locks were extremely necessary)

Amelia is dead. She can’t remember how she died, her family, or even her last name (but she can remember how to find the order of a differential question and the fact that she doesn’t like Hemingway’s writing.) Amelia finds a boy who is driving off a bridge, and the boy dies for a short amount of time, but comes back to life, which somehow gives him the power to be able to see, hear and touch Amelia when no one else can. They fall in love.

That’s it. But if you want me to break it down further, here’s the whole book:

Review: Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange & Deadly
Susan Dennard 
Series: Something Strange & Deadly, #1
Release Date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.


Holy crap this was awesome. I don’t even want to write a review; I just want to bask in the awesomeness that is Something Strange and Deadly. (But you know, I kind of have to write a review, so here goes it.)

Eleanor Fitt is a sixteen-year-old living with her mother in Philadelphia, in the dawn of attacks from the walking Dead brought upon Philadelphia by a mysterious and unknown necromancer. To make matters worse, Eleanor receives letters from her long-lost brother, Elijah, and the content of the letters leads Eleanor to believe the necromancer has held Elijah hostage. Desperate to save her brother from the hands of the evil necromancer, Eleanor teams up with a group known as the Spirit-Hunters, all the while having to keep her strive to save her brother a secret from her overprotective mother, and everyone else.

Something Strange and Deadly was such an incredibly fun read, and I just loved it. There. That’s my review. What? I need to write more? Well, crap.

Cover Reveal: Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight
Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2
Release Date: November 6th, 2012

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a "must read" by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by, and The New York Times called it "a breath-catching romantic fantasy."

Days of Blood and Starlight is book two of the incredibly hyped Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, book one being Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet, but I have it on my Kindle and have been dying to read it. It's gotten some of the most glowing reviews I've ever read (along with Angelfall). And cover talk: I absolutely love this cover (even more so than the first one!). 

Cover Reveal: Dearly, Beloved

Dearly, Beloved
Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration, #2
Release Date: September 25th, 2012

Can the living coexist with the living dead?

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.

Dearly, Beloved is book two of the Gone With the Respiration series, book one being Dearly, Departed. I have yet to read Dearly, Departed, but I plan on reading it really soon. And this cover. Oh, I love it so much. (especially the font. The font is just amaaaaaazing.)

Title Reveal! (and more)

Today, Leigh Bardugo (author of The Grisha Trilogy) announced the names of the next two books in the trilogy (along with an international giveaway for a signed copy of Shadow and Bone. More information on this giveaway later on in this post.)

The Grisha Trilogy

Book one: Shadow and Bone AmazonGoodreads
Book two: Siege and Storm Expected publication: 2013 | Goodreads
Book three: Ruin and Rising Expected publication: 2014 | Goodreads

Ah! I absolutely love those titles! Now for more information about the giveaway of a signed copy of Shadow and Bone.

To celebrate the title reveals of the next two books in the Grisha Trilogy, and the upcoming release of Shadow and Bone in two weeks (starting tomorrow), Leigh Bardugo is hosting a giveaway in which the winner will receive a signed, personalized copy of Shadow and Bone. With the signed and personalized copy of Shadow and Bone, Bardugo is also giving away a set of Grisha buttons, including a limited edition Darkling button. To enter, just leave a comment on her blog post, and for an extra entry, tweet about the contest using #Grisha. This giveaway ends on May 28th. 

Aaaand, since it's such an excellent book, I might just host a giveaway for Shadow and Bone. This giveaway will most likely end on June 5th (Shadow and Bone's release date), and will probably only be available as an ebook (and for Kindles). If you don't own a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app (for free), and you can read the book on there. (You will also need an Amazon account, so I can buy you Shadow and Bone and then send it to your Kindle.)

Happy reading, and good luck! 

Review: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday


Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This was a really fun read. Review to come.

This is $2.99 for Kindles and Nooks!

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Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

2.5 stars

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a romance, plain and simple. It is not a paranormal book with some romance thrown in; at best it’s a romance book with paranormal qualities thrown in (very little paranormal qualities, might I add). The sad part is, this could have been really, really good if it didn't ditch the whole plot for the romance.

I had really high hopes for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, despite the many negative reviews. I thought it sounded awesome, and I’m a sucker for shocking endings, and from what I’ve heard, this had one.

As with the ending, I’ll break it down into two parts: the “I totally saw that coming and don’t understand how no one else did” part, and the “what?” part.

First, the “I totally saw that coming and don’t understand how no one else did” part. People, how did you not see that coming? (view spoiler)[Were you asleep during the first chapter? Hellooooooo? Rachel asks “What will be the cause of my death?” and the Ouija board spells out “Mara”… (hide spoiler)] I mean, come on.

Then there’s the “what?” part.

(Yes, the extra question marks and exclamation points were completely necessary). I want the next book, and I want it now.

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock


Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

Hemlock is quite possibly the best werewolf book that I’ve read. It’s not like I’ve read that many, but this was still amazing.

Hemlock follows Mackenzie (Mac), and her longing to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of her best friend, Amy. Of course, things get in the way of her journey to uncover the truth, one of those things being a group of werewolf hunters known as The Trackers. As more secrets of the seemingly quiet and peaceful town of Hemlock unfold, Mackenzie realizes she may have gotten herself into a dangerous situation, and now, there’s no turning back.

Right from the beginning, I knew Hemlock and I were going to get along well. There’s not much action for the first half of the novel, but that doesn’t mean it was boring at all. I couldn’t have turned the pages faster, and with each chapter, more and more is revealed about the mystery of Amy Walsh’s death, all the way to a boiling conclusion that I did not see coming.

The characters in Hemlock, especially Mackenzie, were handled expertly, and had so much depth to them it felt like I could reach out and hug them. Mackenzie is an amazing heroine, and didn’t take no for an answer. There’s also Kyle and Jason, who are great characters as well, although I wanted Jason to die desperately throughout most of the book. Hell, maybe I still do. But, given that’s what I assume Peacock’s intention was, I suppose that’s a good thing that she made me feel such strong feelings towards a character. I also really liked the character of Mackenzie’s cousin, Tess, because she provided somewhat of a comic relief.

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Okay, so I really loved this book. My only problem with it is the ending... What's going to happen to Puck? He better get a happy ending in Iron's Prophecy, Kagawa. Please? But hey, I read it in two sittings. That's a good thing, isn't it?

Review to come later, or just a review of the whole series.

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Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum


Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Die for Me by Amy Plum
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

So, apparently zombies are sexy now?

Okay, so the young-adult genre sexualized vampires, werewolves, and other monsters that should be ripping your throat out, but seriously? Zombies? That seems to be going a bit too far.

Now, I’ll just say this because it’s the only thing positive I have to say about this book: Die for Me’s concept is extremely original. Unfortunately, it’s executed horribly. And the sad part is, this could have actually been really good, if it hadn’t taken every single cliché in young adult paranormal romances and just jumbled them all together. I blame Twilight for this book.

Cover & Title Reveal!


Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Today, author Jodi Meadows unveiled the title and cover for the sequel to Incarnate on her blog. How gorgeous is that cover? Love it! (And the title? Asunder. *sigh* love it, too!) 

Showcase Sunday

Due to the recent actions of The Story Siren, I will no longer be using the weekly meme In My Mailbox, which is hosted by The Story Siren. Instead of In My Mailbox, I will now be using Showcase Sunday, hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea.

Showcase Sunday (3)


Hi, everyone! I didn't get as lucky with galleys this week as last week (I only got one), but I did get five books gifted to me for my birthday yesterday, and I bought three books (no library books this week). Let's get this Showcase Sunday started!


The one galley I got this week I was actually not expecting to get, because the publisher is Bloomsbury, and they haven't accepted me once (from what I've heard they're very selective). That book is... 

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman. Sorry, but the cover isn't released yet! It's about (more or less) two identical twins, and when one of them mysteriously disappears, the other twin tries to find her and uncover the truth based on her intense bond with her sister. The twin (that isn't gone) starts experiencing extreme physical trauma, although no one touched her, etc. I don't know, it seems like it could be pretty good... 

Books Bought

This week I bought three books at special prices for Kindles and Nooks. Those books are Die for MeStarcrossed and Deadly Cool

Die for Me (with Bonus Material) is now $1.99 for both Kindles and Nooks. You can snatch it up here. Starcrossed (with Bonus Material) is now .99 cents for both Kindles and Nooks. This version is set to release on May 15th. You can pre-order it here. Deadly Cool is now $2.99 for both Kindles and Nooks. This is most likely a special price, and won't last long, so you can snatch it up (quickly) here. (Those links should all take you to Amazon. For the Nook users reading this, I will post the links below).

If you're a Nook user, you can buy Die for Me (with Bonus Material) here
You can also pre-order Starcrossed (with Bonus Material) here, as well as Deadly Cool here

Books Gifted to Me
This week I had five books gifted to me (yesterday was my birthday). I can't wait to start them all, I've been waiting a while to read them!

Those books are Sweet VenomParanormalcyThe Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Selection, and Insurgent. Once again, I'm extremely excited to read all of these (though I think I'm going to reread Divergent before I jump into Insurgent). 

That's it for week three of Showcase Sunday, thanks for reading! What did you get this week? Leave a link to your Showcase Sunday (or Book Haul, or Stacking the Shelves) in the comment section below. I hope everyone has a great week!

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa


The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

I cry at everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything. When I read the reviews for The Iron Queen, it was on shelves such as “cried my eyes out” and “made me cry”, so I was really expecting a tear-jerker ending. I can see why others cried at the ending, but, shockingly, I didn’t cry. I did tear up during the epilogue, but that’s it. More often than not, I was actually smiling during the ending, which makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me. That doesn’t mean the ending of The Iron Queen isn’t sad, because I suppose it is. It’s just not as sad as I thought it would be, based on everyone saying they cried.

Despite that, the Iron Queen was extremely awesome, and so much better than its predecessor, The Iron Daughter. Meghan grew a lot as a character from The Iron Daughter to The Iron Queen, and I actually really liked her. She took responsibility for her actions and wasn’t anywhere near as whiny as she was in The Iron Daughter. As well as liking Meghan a lot more in this book as opposed to The Iron Daughter, I also really liked Ash more in The Iron Queen. Throughout the first book, and the first half of the second book, I didn’t like Ash too much. Then Kagawa gave his character more depth with the backstory of Ariella, and I liked him a lot more. My like for him only grew from the middle of the second book on, and I can say with total honesty that Meghan and Ash are perfect for each other. If you would have asked me if I thought that when reading The Iron Daughter, I would’ve laughed in your face, but they truly make a really good couple, and that shows in this book. That still doesn’t mean I’m on Team Ash, though.

As usual, I loved Puck and his wit and sarcasm in this book. My only complaint is that there wasn’t really a lot of his wit and sarcasm, and that he really was serious throughout most of the book. Of course, I also love Grimalkin for the same reasons I love Puck, but he wasn’t in the book much, and when he was in the book, he wasn’t as sarcastic or witty as he was in the other two books. That was a bit of a disappointment, but it didn’t phase my rating of The Iron Queen at all, because the other characters were awesome. (Come on, how cute was Razor?) I was hoping there would be some growth in Oberon and Meghan’s relationship, but I do like how Meghan is trying to make her relationship with Paul grow.

As well as the awesome characters, Kagawa’s writing is, like usual, breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the way she described the Nevernever slowly fading into the hands of the Iron Realm, and let me tell you, this lady knows how to write a fight scene.

Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to go start reading The Iron Knight.

*happy dance*

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Waiting on Wednesday (May 2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa.

The Lost Prince is set several years after the events of the Iron Fey series. This trilogy will star an older Ethan Chase, Meghan's brother. 

Sorry! That's all I could find as a summary! I'm really excited to read this, because I'm currently reading The Iron Queen, which is the third book in the Iron Fey series by her. I really like this series so far, despite how annoying Meghan was in the second book. I can't wait to see how Kagawa makes Ethan's story. It should be pretty awesome.

Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama


Monstrous BeautyMonstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Wow. I can’t even begin to explain how thoroughly excellent Monstrous Beauty is. It’s to the point where I don’t even want to write a review, because, and I’ve said this before, it’s not going to come close to truly showing how amazing this book is.

Monstrous Beauty has everything that would make a book awesome: mermaids, ghosts, a curse, an awesome mystery, and an absolutely excellent plot.

The plot…. Oh my, that plot was… Wow. It took me some time to get used to the transitioning time periods, but when I did get used to it, I realized how awesome it was. Have you ever seen the movie Memento? If you haven’t, the main thing about it is that it’s presented as two different sequences of scenes: one in black-and-white sequences that’s shown chronologically, and one in color sequences that’s shown in reverse order. The two sequences eventually meet in the end, forming one story.

Monstrous Beauty is like that. There’s one set of sequences set in the late 1800’s that follows the main mermaid, Syrenka, and then there’s another set of sequences set in the present day that follows the main character, Hester. I really can’t say a lot about them, because so much in this book could be a spoiler, and I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone.