Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 15th, 2012
Source: Purchased

My Rating: 5/5

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

This review is going to be hard to write. Why, you may ask? Well, even months
after I read it, my brain is still frazzled from the awesome-ness of it. I decided to pick up Shatter Me after all the buzz it was getting in the book world. The book itself sounded fantastic, and I was really getting excited to read it. I had exams and research essays due at that time so I knew I couldn't read it right away, but I figured I could start it at least. was literally impossible to stop. I would put it down thinking that "Hey, maybe you should, I don't know, actually work on that essay worth 30% of your grade?" but then my arm would just reach out, without an conscious thought of my own, and I would be reading again. It was definitely a midnight read, keeping me up well into the wee hours of the morning. It was worth every minute of it.

I want to start off by gushing about the writing. Tahereh Mafi is so ridiculously talented. The writing in this book was some of the best I've read in any book...ever. Yeah, I'm serious. The words flowed so beautifully, lyrically, it was like the story just lifted off the page. I felt so connected to this book because Mafi's writing made it real. She brought to life these characters, made me completely invested in every aspect of the story, made me feel every emotion the characters felt, and made me unable to do anything else until I read every last word. I wanted to read everything, take in everything, because her writing was just simply amazing. 

Now, Shatter Me itself was reminiscent of X-Men, and I loved it. Juliette was a girl to root for, and one to feel pride in. I found myself just hoping and praying it would all work out, because she didn't deserve what happened to her. I can't wait to see how she progresses in the next installment! I have a feeling she's going to make us all cheer. Then, there's Adam. Oh, Adam. Like, way to write my perfect guy, Tahereh Mafi! If the physical description wasn't enough, he has to go and be such a sweet, yet strong guy! The interaction between Juliette and Adam was heart-wrenching, and uplifting. The two of them are simply fantastic characters.

Everything (the writing, characters, storyline, etc.) comes together to create a fantastic, thrill-ride and an impossible to put down book. You will be swept away into a dark and twisted world, with hope in the form of a broken girl who's determination will have you cheering. Read this book. If you only read one book this year, make it Shatter Me.

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

P.S. I gave my friend Jeannine this book for her birthday as the start of her book collection so, if you're reading this Jeannine I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (6): Fear by Michael Grant

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

This week's pick: Fear by Michael Grant
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012

It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

Despite the hunger and the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear. Within the FAYZ, life breaks down while the Darkness takes over, literally—turning the dome-world of the FAYZ entirely black. In darkness, the worst fears of all emerge, and the cruelest of intentions are carried out. But even in their darkest moments, the inhabitants of the FAYZ maintain a will to survive and a desire to take care of the others in their ravaged band that endures, no matter what the cost. (Summary from Harper Teen's website)
How many days until this book comes out again? I've been waiting almost a year to get the next installment in one of the best most terrifying series out there: Gone by Michael Grant. I don't think I've ever been more disturbed by a book than I have been reading this series. It's not for the faint of heart, let me tell you! But, if you can look past the gore and scares, this book is filled with so much heart and the characters with so much determination, it's amazing to read about.

I'm kind of terrified to read this book. I mean, it's called Fear, and considering how scary the last four books have been, I can only imagine what horror's await the kids of Perdido Beach. And I only have to wait just one more short week! I highly recommend this series, if you can handle terrifying monsters, vicious people, and more fear than you can imagine. Grant's frightful world will leave you gasping for breath and cowering under the covers all the while keeping your eyes glued to the page. It's wonderful.

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Source: Purchased

My Rating: 5/5

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future. (Summary from MacMillan's website)

If you haven't heard about Cinder, I'm not sure where you've been for the past few months. The buzz this book has gotten has been insane! I haven't heard a negative word about it. How could I, considering how amazing this book is? After reading all the rave reviews, I knew I had to pick up a copy of Cinder. I mean, a re-imagined version of Cinderella as a cyborg? What's not to love?

I'm a huge fan of fairy tales; I have been since I was a kid. Combine that with my serious love of science fiction, and Cinder had me from the first page. Meyer's creativity breathes new life into this magnificent fairy tale, and the characters she's created are fantastic: Cinder, the over-worked mechanic, Prince Kai, the reluctant leader, Iko, the robot with tons of personality, and what would a fairy tale be without an evil queen, this one from the moon! The story, although slightly predictable, was a page-turner. I found myself unable to think about anything else until I found out what happened next. The chemistry between Kai and Cinder was endearing, and watching Cinder gather her strength and face her own fears made me cheer. I loved the futuristic world in which it all took place, and found myself completely invested in the fate of these characters. The story wove together beautifully, already establishing a base for the next three novels in the series. The Lunar Chronicles is going to be a fantastic series. I can tell already!

Another thing I love about Cinder is that it was started as a NaNoWriMo novel. If you haven't heard of National Novel Writing Month (website here) it's in November and each participant tries to write a 50,000 word novel in that month. It's crazy, intense, and makes November my favorite month of the year. I have participated for the past three years, and have been successful each time. To know that this amazing novel started off from one of my favorite things in the world is inspiring. And very encouraging. If she could do it maybe, just maybe, I could too (maybe). 

Check out this book, if you haven't already. Marissa Meyer's debut novel has instantly launched her onto my auto-buy list! I expected a great story, but it was even better. I cannot wait to read Scarlet, Meyer's take on Little Red Riding Hood. Also, check out Cinder's trailer below!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | MacMillan's website

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Source: Borrowed from library

My Rating: 3/5  

Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever
. (Summary from Goodreads)

I don't really know how I feel about this book. Disappointed, I guess. Matched wasn't my favorite book, but I thought the storyline had a lot of potential. The ideas of choice and freedom over happiness and safety was one I thought fascinating, and a great concept. One of the scenes in the novel has haunted me to this very day. The book itself I didn't find overly interesting, the characters much to flat for me. But, I finished with the feeling that the second book could be very well done. Unfortunately, I didn't agree with this once I read Crossed.

Now, that's not to say I didn't enjoy parts of this book because I most definitely did. I found myself wrapped up in the story, flipping the pages quickly in hopes of getting to the climax. I really liked the new characters that were brought it, and Xander finally grew on me. But, I found myself unable to connect with Cassia and Ky once again, and felt my investment in their relationship waning by the end. I felt like the plot of this book really didn't have much substance. There was a lot of walking around in a canyon and talking, but not much else. I was waiting for a big surprise, or action even and found myself disappointed when there really wasn't much of one. There was a secret in the book that I loved, and was so glad was put in the story. In all though, I just didn't find this book very interesting, and the problems I had with the first novel (aka the characters) I still had in Crossed. Looking back on it, I think my biggest issue with Crossed was that it was all about character development. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE character development. I will read entire books just with interesting characters. My problem was that I wasn't invested in the characters to begin with, so diving deep into their thoughts was not something I found interesting. If you have read and really enjoyed Matched, this book will probably be great to you. I just didn't feel so impressed with it.

I will be reading Reached though, without a doubt. As I said, I love the concept of these books. I even wrote a paper on it in high school. Crossed seems to be a set-up book, that is, the book that lays the foundation for the finale. I just hope this finale finally lives up to the potential these books have.

As a end note: I do really like the covers of these books. Really simple, but gorgeous. And something I did love about Crossed (and Matched for that matter) was the poetry. I loved hearing new ones, reading old favorites, and watching the words being woven into the plot line. Very well done, in my opinion. 

Reached is out November 2012! And if you're interested in reading Crossed, here's the book trailer!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games Midnight Opening Re-Cap

Hey, guys!

Posing with my Mockingjay shirt
Last night, I was lucky enough to attend The Hunger Games midnight opening at my local movie theater. Having been a fan of THG for years, I was over-joyed to be seeing it right when it came out. I convinced my seriously skeptical friend (who loved the books but wasn't so sure about the movie) to accompany me, and I got up early to reserve the tickets last month. I've been looking forward to it everyday since, and when the night finally came I was a bouncing, fan-girling ball of energy.

Since we had reserved seating, we decided to head to the theater at 10pm. Once we got there, and once I realized I was actually going to see The Hunger Games in just a FEW HOURS my excitement increased tenfold. Until we got to the theater and they told us they weren't doing a line-up or taking tickets for another hour and a half. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go sit in the theater that very minute, but that was okay. My friend and I sat around talking about tattoos, next year, and every nerdy thing you can think of (I also was so jealous of the girls with the mockingjay pins. My well-loved pin was sadly lost just last week. I'm still heartbroken over it). Finally the time came and we headed into the theater.

View of the packed crowd from our seats!

In the theater!
Once in our fantastic seats (middle-middle for the win!), the movie theater employees made the three-fingered salute to the theater and it began. Commercials for a certain movie entitled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter had my friend and I practically jumping out of our seats (that movie looks amazing). The movie itself I could spend hours talking about (The guys behind us who thought it was fun to laugh at the seriously important parts I could also go on about) but I won't. I will say this though, it was awesome. The actors were great (I still can't get over how much I loved Cato), the storyline very similar to the books, and the visuals were fantastic. There were, of course, a few things that irked me, but it was easy to look past them. I was a little saddened to hear the people around me. A lot of them seemed to take it as a joke, and completely overlook the message of the story. But, that wasn't the movie's fault. That was more of the commercialization of it. Overall though, I recommend everyone to go see it.

Just read the book first :D

Have you seen it yet? Going this weekend? Let me know your thoughts! And may the odds be ever in your favor!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

P.S. Since I didn't dress up in full Katniss costume last night, I decided to include a picture of me at the Mockingjay Midnight Release Party, all decked out. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (5): I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

This week's pick: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Doesn't that description just sound so intriguing? As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to read it. It looks to be a combination of thriller and heart, and I'm sure I'm going to love Jazz! Recently, I've been hearing a lot of praise from authors and bloggers about I Hunt Killers which is making me anticipate it more and more! It happens to be released on one of my most anticipated release days of the year: April 3rd (some other releases that day include Holly Black's Black Heart, and Fear by Michael Grant). I'm definitely going to pick up a copy the day it comes out! Hopefully it's as great as it looks to be!

What do you think? What are your picks this week?

-Ciara who is lost at midnight 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Kiss Me, I'm Irish!" Giveaway Winner!

Hi all!

First off, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone that entered! You guys made my first giveaway awesome! And now, to the winner! I went to to choose and, due to Blogger, had a bit of a kerfluffle (aka mess-up) but managed to fix it and get the winner's name! And the winner is....


Congratulations Ash! You're the winner of one paperback copy of Shade, and one paperback copy of My Soul to Take! Please email me at within 24hrs with your full mailing address, or else I'll have to choose a new winner. The reason for such a time press is because of your other prize! A chance to win the final ARC of Shine! I'll be passing along your email to Jeri Smith-Ready who will announce the winner. Congrats again!

And THANKS once again to everyone who entered! It was great to hear about all your comments on Ireland. I hope you guys all get to go one day. And, who knows, maybe I'll have a giveaway once I get back from Ireland! Hope to hear from you again!

-Ciara who is lost at midnight.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Kiss Me, I'm Irish" Giveaway Hop!

Hello, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I'm going to be participating in the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" Giveaway hop, held by Kilt and Keeley, the fansite dedicated to the fantastic-awesome-sauce Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready. Basically, in honor of Saint Patrick's Day, and the Keeley Brothers' heritage, their asking blogs to host a giveaway hop, talking about either something Irish, or kissing! I chose to go the Irish route, because of my lovely family.  

I don't know if I can adequately express how I feel about Ireland. I have never been there, although I've always wanted to go. I grew up surrounded by Irish music, and feel a tug in my heart every time I hear it. I've always felt that I know so much about my heritage, but have only recently seen how much more there is to learn. It's a part of me I love and cherish, and will be proud of for all my life. I decided to talk about some of my favorite Irish things including:

My Favorite Irish Songs
1. Ciara by Luka Bloom (I think that was a given)
2. The Parting Glass by Shaun Davey
3. Rip the Calico by the Bothy Band

My Favorite Irish Movies
1. The Commitments (Contains a serious amount of swearing...but fantastic music)
2. Waking Ned Devine
3. The Secret of Ronan Inish 

My Favorite Books with Irish Heritage
1. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (OBVIOUSLY)
2. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
3. Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready (Main character and I share the same name!)

I also decided to thrown in a bit of random facts that pertain to me and my Irish-ness! 

Some Random Irish Facts about Myself and My Family
1. My mother and I often Irish dance around in our dining room.
2. Both my mother and my grandparents were born (the latter raised) in Dublin, Ireland.
3. I'm visiting Ireland (hopefully) this coming September. Planning on taking a trip to Newgrange!
4. My grandparents were friends of The Clancy Brothers. They still have a picture of my uncle, as a baby, being held by Liam Clancy.
5. My grandfather wrote a book on Irish churches and monasteries, and has a thesis bound at Trinity College.
6. I know all of two words in Gaelic. One of them is cheers, the other is a swear word.
7. My name, Ciara, is translated to "black" in Gaelic. (So, I guess I know three words!)
8. The basketball team The Boston Celtics say their name wrong (okay, not a fact about me, but something that bothers me deeply).
9. When I was younger, when ever my aunts would come to Canada from Ireland they would bring me something with my name on it because that was the only place where there were things monogrammed with "Ciara".
10. Last year was the first year I ever did something for Saint Patrick's Day.

(Actually, though)
Okay, time for the giveaway! Now, I've never held a giveaway here on the blog (or ever, actually) so I'm going to keep this very simple. The winner (who will be chosen by will receive a paperback copy of Shade, the novel that started it all, AND a copy of My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent, another awesome book that features Celtic mythology! Here are some rules!
  • Up for grabs: paperback copies of Shade (Shade #1) and My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)!
  • This giveaway is open from now until Monday, March 19th at 11:59EST
  • Open where ever the Book Depository ships to
  • Must be over 13 years of age to enter
  • To enter, comment on the blog, and you MUST check back here on Tuesday! 
  • *optional* In your comment, tell me something you love about Ireland!
  • Please DON'T write your email in the comments!
  • The winner will have 24hrs to respond, otherwise I will be forced to choose another winner!
  • You don't need to be a blog follower to participate (although, if you are YOU'RE AWESOME) just make a comment!
Want to hear one of the best parts of this giveaway? If you win, you'll be entered to win the LAST SHINE ARC. Yeppers! You heard right! Jeri Smith-Ready, author extraordinaire and fellow Irish gal, is giving away her last ARC copy of Shine, the final book in the Shade trilogy. So, enter away! Good luck! And be sure to check out all the other blogs on the giveaway hop, and their awesome prizes!

"I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all." 

Slainte. Erin Go Braugh. And Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

-Ciara who is lost at midnight 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4): The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

This week's pick: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 12th 2012

(Summary from Goodreads): Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?
Oh, Richelle Mead. She has been one of my favorite authors since I first read Vampire Academy when I was 15. Although that series has ended (cue the tears) I'm so happy to still be able to read about the intriguing world of vampires, forbidden love, and kick-butt characters. When Mead announced the Bloodlines series I was crazy excited, especially because it featured some of the characters I loved. I actually threw a Bloodlines party, although it was not a great success. (My Last Sacrifice release party, on the other hand, was a roaring success, including a Vampire Academy trivia quiz, a VA themed scavenger hunt, and costumes).  I was up early the next day to pick up Bloodlines and I loved every page of it! Very different from her Vampire Academy series, but fantastic in its own right. I had always liked Sydney, but seeing things through her perspective made me adore her! What a girl. I can't wait to how she grows and changes over the series. It's going to be great to read about!

The Golden Lily is going to be fantastic. I haven't read the summary yet, but I'm sure the book is going to be filled with sarcasm, suspense, and budding romance (hopefully between a certain Alchemist and a pretty boy Moroi)! If you haven't checked out the Bloodlines series (or Vampire Academy series) I HIGHLY recommend them. There's something in each book for everyone! And don't be fooled by the cheesy titles, or covers, these books are filled with heart, passion, and break-your-heart-in-half moments. You will not be disappointed!

The Golden Lily, one of my most anticipated books of the entire year, is out June 12th, 2012! A week earlier than originally!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Richelle Mead's website

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 1st, 2009
Source: Purchased

My Rating: 4/5

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.

This was actually the second time I've read My Soul to Take. I decided to take part in The Soul Screamers Reading Challenge hosted by Fitkshun over at Fiktshun's Blog because I thought it would be a great way to get back into the series before the much anticipated release of Before I Wake. I hadn't read MSTT since August of 2009, the day it came out. I was a huge fan (and still am) of Rachel Vincent's adult series, and was eagerly awaiting the release of her first YA book. And I was not disappointed. I spent one summer afternoon on my basement couch just reading, without stopping. It was addicting. 

It was really odd to re-read this book. After everything that has happened over the last five books (and trust me, a LOT has happened), it was really cool to go back and see how it all started. The characters have grown so much throughout the series, and it was a shock to see them back before everything happened. I found myself slipping into the story once again and, even though I knew what would happen, I couldn't stop reading it. The characters called me back every time, and the interesting and original storyline made this book completely unique. Over the series, I've come to really love Kaylee, but going back to the start I remembered my early irritations with her, and my misguided love of Nash. I kept trying to shove the characters back into the boxes of my opinion, but found it impossible. These are not the same characters they are in the later books, and my opinions of them grew as they did. I can't hate Nash because he really hasn't done anything to make me feel that way, just like I can't love Kaylee because my pride in her doesn't exist yet. I have re-read tons of books before, but this experience was new to me. Usually, characters grow but, in this case, it was like the characters weren't even the same people. And I loved it.

I really adored the concept of this book even more the second time. As I mentioned before, I'm Irish, and I have studied Irish mythology more than once (not extensively, mind you) and it was great to read about Vincent's spin on bean sidhe. The added element of the Netherworld (a world apart from our own filled with grotesque creatures and soul-stealing hellions who feed on chaos and pain) was a great addition to the story. As were the reapers! I thought it was a very creative and well-thought out world, one that has so much potential built into it.

And speaking of reapers...time for some Tod gushing! This adorable, sarcastic, and cunning reaper who stole my heart from his first scene. I am a very proud member of Team Tod, and love him more and more each book. It was so great to go back and see Kaylee's first impression of the angelic-haired soul snatcher, and notice a few things I didn't before! (Since what I noticed is a bit of a spoiler, I'm going to save that for a later review!) I can't wait to watch as his role increases, and as his wit and heart capture my love all over again.

Overall, I'm so happy to have read this book again. Looking at the old story through new eyes was both jarring and enlightening. I think I'm going to love this series more the second time!

Check out the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge if you're interested in these books! And, you can buy the first two books (and novella) in an omnibus!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Rachel Vincent's Website

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

Hello, book-a-lovin' people!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, in which bloggers post about the books they got during the week!

So, I failed. I made a promise that I would not buy any books in March. I totally failed. I blame Chapters and their very enticing "buy 3 get the 4th free sale"! It was too tempting. And I received my tuition rebate, so I felt like I had money to spare. Also, eleven - count 'em ELEVEN - books came in at the library. Normally, I don't have that many on hold, but a slip-up on my part had them all coming in at the same time. So, I have another massive mailbox. Here it is!


Library Books:


- Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) by Andrea Cremer (Amazon | Goodreads)

- The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa (Amazon | Goodreads)  

- Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder (Amazon | Goodreads)
(Thanks to Liz over at Midnight Bloom Reads for telling me to pick up this book!)

- Rot & Ruin (Ben Imura #1) by Johnathan Maeberry (Amazon | Goodreads)
(Thanks to Emilie over at Emilie's Book World for convincing me to pick this one up! The cover still terrifies me.)

- Terrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper #1) by Tamora Pierce (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Inside (Inside Out/Outside In Omnibus) by Maria V. Snyder (Amazon | Goodreads

- Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers (Amazon | Goodreads)
(I read this book a few years ago and realized I didn't own a copy! Now my Courtney Summers collection is complete.) 

Library Books:

- Angelfire by Courtney Moulton (Amazon | Goodreads)

- BZRK by Michael Grant (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Eve by Anna Carey (Amazon | Goodreads)

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Kady Cross (Amazon | Goodreads)

- The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Wired by Robin Wasserman (Amazon | Goodreads)

- Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz (Note: This is an ADULT novel) (Amazon | Goodreads)

Well, that's it for this week! How was your mailbox this week?

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Post Does NOT Contain Spoilers

Hi, everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about something that drives me crazy: spoilers. I know I'm not the only one that wants to pull their hair out when the ending of a book is spoiled for you. It could be just a friend talking about it, or a reviewer forgetting to write *spoiler alert* on their post, anyway it happens, its aggravating.

I'm what apparently is called a 'purist'. Which makes a lot of sense. Why is that? Well, I don't read spoilers. Ever. I never read the last page of a book first. I don't look at quotes of the day (usually). I don't read chapter excerpts or teasers. I don't watch book trailers. I don't even read cover summaries most of the time. I don't read anything that could contain any sort of spoiler. I'm a very extreme case, and I understand that. But, I hate spoilers. Too many times I've read the back of the book, only to have it tell me something that doesn't happen until 100 pages in. It's maddening! I also get frustrated when people say things such as "OMG the ending!", because that is a spoiler to me. Now I know something crazy happens at the end, so I'm not shocked. That can ruin a book for me. And it's happened to me countless times (particularly with a certain YA author of a popular series who happens to tweet spoilers ALL THE TIME). If I buy I sequel, or the next book in the series I NEVER read the summary. (Seriously. To name a few examples I currently own Pandemonium, Clockwork Prince, Unbroken, and Silence and I don't have a clue what they are about. Just that they'll continue the story of the previous novels) That's just who I am.

A lot of people think I'm odd for the extent I go to to avoid spoilers (see a post later in the week for how far I went for The Fault in Our Stars), but it doesn't bother me. I love getting shocked. I love reading a story and having no clue where it's going to go. I love picking up a book, without the knowledge of what it contains. It's wonderful. On this blog, I'll do my best to avoid spoilers. No review will end with a "And the ending!" paragraph. But if I see that a book trailer is out, I'll post it. I won't watch it, but that doesn't mean you can't! Same goes with summaries. This blog will be as much as of a spoiler-free zone as I can make it!

I really want this blog to be a great place to visit, and place to keep you informed. I'm still getting the hang of everything, but I'm loving it so far! I hope you guys are too!

How about you? Don't mind spoilers? Hate them? I would love to know your opinion!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3) - Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers talk about the books they are most eager for!

This week's pick: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 7th, 2012

In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. (Summary from Goodreads)

Since I posted my Anna Dressed in Blood review yesterday, I thought it was fitting to make my WoW pick it's sequel: Girl of Nightmares! Let's start off with the cover cause it is stunning! According to Kendare Blake, the cover might change slightly, but I'm sure it'll still be as gorgeous. I love that the girls match up, and the cover keeps with the theme of the first book. The hands reaching up towards Anna, and her hand beckoning the reader towards hell is stunning. Such great work!

The story itself is sure to be as captivating as Anna Dressed in Blood! I can't wait to jump back into the ghostly world Kendare Blake created, and wrap up this fabulous two book series. Cas stole my heart with his passion and sarcastic attitude in the first novel, and I'm sure he's going to make me fall in love with him more in the second. I'm going to be sad to see this series end, but it's sure to be a heart-stopper. 

Girl of Nightmares is out August 7th, 2012! Just in time for my nineteenth birthday!

-Ciara who is lost at midnight

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Source: Won a trivia contest at my book club

My Rating: 4.5/5 
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

I want to start of this review by gushing about the cover. It's GORGEOUS. I love the greyscale background with the punches of blood red on her dress and in the wind. The atmosphere it creates is fantastic, and I can't help but stare at it! And I love that the font on the pages is crimson as well. It really adds to the story, and looks fantastic!

Now, on to the story. I heard about Anna Dressed in Blood when it first came out, and thought it sounded really interesting. It was getting a lot of high praise, particularly from Chandra at Indigo Teen Blog, and I knew I had to read it. I'm part of a teen book club at my local Chapters store, and during one of our meetings we had a trivia contest. The prize was an YA book of our choosing, and the quiz was on White Cat by Holly Black. I won, (it was a landslide I might add. No one messes with my Cassel Sharpe knowledge) and chose to get Anna.

The book kept calling me, and when I finally read it, I knew why. It was one of those stories that just grabs you. Filled with action, and so much heart, I just loved it. The ghost hunting element was very unique. I hadn't read anything like it! The only reason it got 4.5 stars was that I felt Cas wasn't completely developed at first. I felt I had to fill in the blanks for some parts, but I don't think it lessened the story. I might even felt that way simply because I was so wrapped up in the story I couldn't put it down. By the end though, I adored Cas. Seriously, loved him. He has gone through so much trauma in his life, but he still keeps fighting. It was great watching Cas evolve from this distant fighter, to a strong-willed leader. His passion and drive was heart-warming, and his relationship with Anna was a delight to read about. And Anna! Oh, Anna. She was my favorite. She was unlike any character I've read before: a murderous, unforgiving ghost, dressed in a bloody dress, and killing anyone who comes in her house. And I loved her. She made me love her. Because while she was all those things, she was also so much more. She had the soft, broken side to her, and it was such a treat to see it come out. Her fierce attitude was great as well, and the witty, adorable banter between her and Cas was fantastic. The two people touched by death, brought light into this dark tale.

What an intriguing and interesting story, Anna Dressed in Blood was! Kendare Blake is on my auto-buy list from now on and Anna and Cas have won a place in my heart. Read this book. You'll love it!

Be sure to check out Anna's sequel, Girl of Nightmares this summer! It's going to be fantastic!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Kendare Blake's Website

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

Hey guys and gals!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, in which bloggers post about the books they got during the week!

So, I didn't think I'd have an In My Mailbox this week. I'm trying my best not to buy any books in the month of March, because I'm running out of spending money and April is going to bankrupt me. I didn't purchase any books this week, but I did receive a few, and that's all thanks to the super awesome Emilie at Emilie's Book World. In my previous IMM I mentioned how Emilie let me borrow her ARC of Fever, which was fantastic of her. We made a plan to meet up and she told me she had a few books that I could borrow. And here they are!


- (ARC) Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Amazon | Goodreads)

- (ARC) Purity by Jackson Pearce (Amazon | Goodreads)

- (ARC) Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Amazon | Goodreads)

- (ARC) Black Heart by Holly Black (Amazon | Goodreads)
Last week my Waiting on Wednesday pick was Black Heart, and I can't believe I'm lucky enough to get to read it early. (Cue the jumping up and down and cheering!)


- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Amazon | Goodreads)
This was also from Emilie, who's contest I won about a month ago! Thanks! I'm so excited to read it!

What did everyone else get in their mailbox this week?

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Challenge: Women of the Otherworld

Hi, everyone!

March 1st not only marks the start of a new month, but a start of a brand new book challenge! This one is for Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. The final novel, 13, is out in August, and Lucy over at Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf decided to celebrate with a year long read-a-thon (or re-read-a-thon) of the series! A bit of information:

  • The challenge lasts from March 1st, 2012 to March 31st 2013.
  • Each month, participants are asked to read or re-read the title of that month, and make a post about it.
  • These posts can be reviews, imaginary casting, playlist, whatever you feel like writing about!
  • Participants can join the challenge for a month, or for all thirteen months. Read as little or as much as you like!
  • There will be giveaways and bonus challenges every month!
  • If participants don't have a blog, they can use their Goodreads account to link up each month.
  • It's going to be tons of fun, and is run by a fantastic gal, so participants are sure to have an awesome time!

As someone who is a huge fan of the Women of the Otherworld series, I was ecstatic when Lucy told me her idea! It's going to be great to dive into the series again, one that really opened my eyes to adult books. Although I mainly review YA here, I am making an exception for one of my all time favorite series. I will be trying to do something every month and hope some of you decide to participate as well! If you haven't read the series, this is the perfect opportunity to start. It is an ADULT book, though, which means explicit content, and violence. But, it is a fantastic series, so if you're willing to read adult books then I would highly recommend these ones! If you've already read them, take this as an opportunity to remember all that has happened before it all comes to an end!

Does that sound good? If so, sign up here! It's going to be lots of no-pressure fun, with a great series. 

First up is the novel that not only launched the series, but launched the career of one of the best paranormal writers around: Bitten.

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.
So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really. (Summary from Kelley Armstrong's Website)

I cannot wait to be reintroduced into the enchanting world, beginning with my favorite characters, Elena and Clay. It's gonna be a wild ride, all leading up to what is sure to be a stunning conclusion. I'm going to miss this series, but I can't wait to see what Armstrong has in store for us.

- Ciara who is lost at midnight