Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (42): Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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: Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #2) by Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: June 11th, 2013

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

Rebellion is contagious. Oh man, that tag line! It gets me every time. 

I really enjoyed Masque of the Red Death although I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. I thought it had a very interesting concept, and was a fresh retelling. I don't read a ton of gothic horror but Masque made me want to find lots more! I loved Araby and I really can't wait to see where she goes in Dance of the Red Death. And to see if I can choose between Elliot and Will!

I will for sure need a refresher for the first one before diving into Dance of the Red Death because I can scarcely remember what happened in the first!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

17 & Gone Week: GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone!

The day has come! It's the Canadian release day of 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma! *cue all the cheers* I'm so hoping you guys will pick up a copy and give this amazing book a chance. I want to say a huge thank you to all the bloggers that participated this week, and everyone that has stopped by!

Now, to end off 17 & GONE week with a bang, the fabulous author Nova Ren Suma has offered up a SIGNED FINISHED COPY for a giveaway! And, guys, it's INTERNATIONAL!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and comment about why you want to read 17 & GONE! Good luck all! (And thank you once again, Nova, for being such a crazy awesome person!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you missed any of the previous posts, here they all are!

NOTE: Be sure to keep an eye on the blog tomorrow because I just may have an extra post going up for 17 & GONE week! 
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

17 & Gone Week: Q&A with Nova Ren Suma!

Hello, you wonderful people!

I am so insanely excited about the post today. I've been looking forward to this for a couple months now, and can't believe the day has come! Today I have a fantastic interview with the awesome author of 17 & GONE, Nova Ren Suma! Check it out!

Ciara (Lost at Midnight): Hi, Nova! First I want to say a huge THANK YOU for taking the time to stop by my blog! And, I gotta ask, how much do you love your book cover?

Nova Ren Suma: Thank YOU so much for having me, and for being so enthusiastic and supportive about my new book. It means the world to me. I’m so happy to be here that I’m offering up a signed hardcover of 17 & Gone to one of your readers! So however and whenever you choose the giveaway winner, just let me know. :)

As for the book cover of 17 & Gone, I was thrilled and, must admit, a tiny bit frightened by it. When I first saw the image of the girl’s silhouette in what appears to be an abandoned building, I was chilled. It was like the cover designer had taken a peek into my brain and could see what I see when I’m writing. It felt too close to real, you know? Then when the red, fiery effects and the text from the Missing poster were added to the cover image it was even more connected to the book. It’s the kind of cover that makes me want to take my time and look and soak in every detail… and it says so much about the story. So much.

C: Was there a lot of research involved in the writing of 17 & Gone?

NRS: I don’t want to give anything away about the twists and turns in the story—because I will tell you, there are surprises… some of which surprised me while writing!—but there is one element in the plot that did take a lot of research. I wanted very badly to get it right and to be respectful to anyone who has experienced it. I did a lot of reading, and I also had the help of a professional*, who read the manuscript and gave me notes. And there was one moment during the research that inspired a specific plot point in the story: Lauren’s mom’s beauty mark. You’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about once you’ve read the book. 

* Want to know a secret? The professional I mention above was my own mother! She’s an amazing woman—I am very lucky to have her. She also knows her stuff and really helped me with the research for this novel.

C: What would you say is your favorite characteristic about Lauren? And what's something the reader should know about her?

NRS: I admire Lauren’s bravery and her tenacity. She just does not give up. When she believes something is true, she cannot be talked out of it. She must find out the truth, no matter the cost or the danger to herself. She’s far braver than I could ever be. I’d want a reader to know that Lauren’s heart is in the right place, even if she makes a mess of things. I hope that comes through.

C: Lauren is haunted by the ghosts of missing girls in 17 & Gone. Do you believe in ghosts?

NRS: Oh… Should I admit this? I will. Okay, listen: I have no proof. No evidence or anything close to it. I have never actually seen a ghost in my life, though I’ve had a couple shivery experiences I can’t explain. But yes. I believe in ghosts. I believe they’re possible. And nothing you can say will talk me out of it. Believe me… people have tried!

C: Lauren's mom has some pretty creative tattoos. Do you have a favorite? And do you personally have any tattoos?

NRS: I think of Lauren’s mom’s tattoos as a beautiful living design all over her skin. My favorite of her pieces is the flock of birds on her neck, taking flight behind her ear. Lauren finds herself comforted by that tattoo, counting the birds in panicked moments to reassure herself that everything is as it should be. Of course it’s not.

I never ever thought I’d get a tattoo myself, only because I couldn’t decide on what I’d want inked on my body for the rest of my life, but recently I did get one. It’s small and simple. Those of you who’ve read my other novel Imaginary Girls will understand this without too much explanation: The tattoo is for my little sister. We both got the same thing on our arms, to be connected to each other forever.

C: 17 & Gone deals with some pretty heavy subject matter. Was there ever a time while you were writing that it became overwhelming?

NRS: This novel sent me spiraling. Maybe it was the subject matter—and maybe part of it was the pressure of the deadlines—but altogether, it was not always a pretty sight, me writing this book. I probably scared everyone who knows me, and strangers in caf├ęs, too.

C: How did you create such a spooky atmosphere in 17 & Gone? And how important a role do you think it plays in the story?

NRS: The fantastical, ghostly elements and places in my books always stem from somewhere real. Something I’ve witnessed. Somewhere I’ve been. There are two places in 17 & Gone that were inspired by real places: the burned-out building in Lauren’s dreamworld comes from a block of abandoned rowhouses in Philadelphia, on a street where my sister used to live. The buildings across the street from her apartment always scared me. (I’m relieved to say she doesn’t live there anymore.) And the closed summer camp in the novel is based on a place much like that in the Hudson Valley, where I grew up. It used to be down the road from one of the houses where I lived. I like taking real things—places, even people—and twisting and reimagining and spookifying them. And I can’t imagine this particular story without those two specific places that shaped it.

C: Without giving away any plot spoilers, was there a scene that you found difficult to write?

NRS: There is a big sequence of events in the final part of the book that confounded me. I wrote at least four different versions of what might happen there, a couple that were more disturbing and heartless than others, and one very explosive and Hollywood that embarrassed me and that I had to tone down. It was like a choose-your-own adventure story there for a while. I just wanted someone to come in the room and choose one for me. But when I finally made the choice myself and found the sequence that felt good to me, that felt perfect, I was so relieved. I remember emailing it in to my editor and then collapsing in the deepest, most dreamless sleep of my life. Nothing and no one could have woken me.

C: I have to say, one of my favorite parts of this book is the beautiful writing. Do you have any writing quirks?

NRS: Thank you so much! I will admit to you that I am a terribly quirky writer. I have weird rules for myself that I have a difficult time breaking. One of my rules is that I must find the “right” first paragraph—not just for the first page… for every single chapter opening and every scene change—before I can move on and write what comes next. It’s about momentum, and it also has to do with this belief I have that everything comes from what came before, which is why I can’t skip ahead or write out of order. I hate this about myself, because sometimes I can be stalled on a single page for weeks at a time. But when I find that perfect opening I get this delicious thrill up my spine and a little hum jittering in my brain. I just know it’s right. Finally. Then I plunge forward.

C: What's one thing you hope people will take away from 17 & Gone?

NRS: That feeling of being immersed in something intense and vivid and gripping and so worth reading you need to stay with it and see what happens. I know my books aren’t for everyone, but I can’t help but have my fingers crossed this happens for some of you.

Thank you so so so much Nova for taking the time to stop by the blog! And for offering up a giveaway!

Nova Ren Suma is an easily distracted YA writer living in New York City. She wrote Imaginary Girls and Dani Noir (aka Fade Out in paperback). Her newest novel, 17 & Gone, is coming from Dutton/Penguin on March 21.

Find her online at her blog or her website

Speaking of a giveaway, be sure to stop by TOMORROW for all the giveaway information! (And yes, it's going to be international!)

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Title: 17 & Gone
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: March 21st 2013
Source: Borrowed ARC (Thank you, Kathy!)

My Rating: 5/5

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

Okay, let's just start with the obvious. Look at this cover. I mean, um, how many shades of awesome is it? It absolutely fits the book perfectly. I love that they incorporated the missing posters used in the book, as well as the shadowy girl and the decrepit house. It's the perfect cover to clutch the pages of this dark tale.

I was grabbed from the get-go with that absolutely gorgeous prologue. It was so well done, so captivating and such a perfect opening to this novel. Nova Ren Suma has a serious talent for writing and I couldn't help but be awed by it throughout the novel. The detailed description, the foreboding atmosphere, and the powerful characters had me amazed. The writing was just insanely gorgeous and brilliantly excecuted. It made the novel that much more impacting.

I could feel this slow tug pulling me through the story, almost like the girls were urging me to stick with it, that I would find out soon enough. Because that was the only thing that bugged me about this book: I didn't know what was going on. And that's exactly the point. Lauren isn't sure what's happening either. All she knows is that these girls are 17, they're gone, they need her help, and that it's very possible she could be next. I was driving myself bonkers trying to figure out what was happening. I just had to know and know as soon as humanly possible. I also kept having this little squeeze in my chest while reading. I knew this book could be fantastic, and I really truly wanted it to be. I had been looking forward to reading it for a long time and I was hoping I didn't hype it up too much in my head. And once everything came to light I knew this book had solidified a place on my "awesome sauce reads" list. And okay, I had an inkling to where this book was going. I really hoped I was right because I thought it would just be such a fantastic idea. And although I guessed it right, it was executed more beautifully than I could have imagined. More stunning, more gut-wrenching, and more gorgeous then I could have imagined. Nova Ren Suma hit it out of the park.

One of the most brilliant and powerful components of this book is one I'm going to have to dance around. Why? Well, it would be a spoiler and we all know I hate those! I will say though that Nova Ren Suma effortlessly weaves a stunning story and explores how young girls become lost in every way possible. We slowly watch her main character Lauren descend a dangerous and broken path walked by countless girls before her. And it's honestly moving. I could see the cracks in Lauren from the start, and it was heart-wrenching seeing them spread. I felt completely connected to the story but also like I was looking through a window. I could see what was happening, but all I could do was bang on the window, shout, and never be heard. It was hard to watch Lauren walk down the path she was on. It was an absolutely stunning story though, and Lauren, quiet, docile Lauren was such an impacting narrator.

On another note: this book utterly terrified me. I mean seriously, Lauren is followed around by ghosts! And not always happy ghosts but disturbed, angry, and forceful ghosts. It haunted me long after I'd turned the last page. I found myself staying up late, looking over my shoulder, fearing I would find one of these ghostly girls waiting for me in the shadows. Nova Ren Suma created such a spooky atmosphere that seemed to transcend the page. Besides being scared, I also felt myself overwhelmed at points. There was so much reality in this book, so much terrible truth it was hard to handle. The sheer amount of young girls that go missing, that are never found is staggering. I'm one of those people who constantly strives for reason, for logic, and to know that there's a why out there that will never be found is hard to deal with.

With all I've said though, it boils down to the simple truth that this is a fantastic book. I know it's not going to be a book everyone loves, but if you let it, 17 & Gone will affect you. It will be a story you won't forget. And Nova Ren Suma will be an author you constantly watch out for. 

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Nova Ren Suma's Website 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What Is So Awesome About 17 & Gone?

Hello you fantastic person you!

It's day two of 17 & GONE week! Yesterday, I had bloggers talking about why they want to read 17 & GONE. Today, I'm going to have bloggers who have already read the book talking about why they love 17 & GONE! Want to find out what is so awesome about 17 & GONE? Well, read on!

"17 & Gone is absolutely the best and most moving book I have read in months. Nova Ren Suma is has an incredible talent with words that makes you fall under her spell completely and willingly. The language is stirring and the story is not only incredibly powerful, but it tests your mind and your sense of true versus false. I was taken in by Lauren and her story. Trust me, just read this novel. You won't regret it." - Jessica @ Read My Breath Away

"There are many things I could discuss about 17 & Gone. Ultimately I decided to focus on the aspect that impacted me the most - the tone. Nova Ren Suma manages to capture a whispy, ghost like quality through out the entire novel with the words she uses. It keeps the gripping, and eerie tone flowing through the entire novel. This is never more evident than when introducing the lost girls in the story. She describes their last moments before simply being gone in such a way that allows your imagination to run wild. Our imagination is almost scarier than anything that can be described so the overall result is chilling, and heartbreaking. It this that writing style that makes this story exactly what it's suppose to be - unforgettable and haunting." - Kathy @ A Glass of Wine

"Tomorrow you'll get my full review of 17 & Gone but for today you'll get this: it's brilliant. That's the simplest way to put it. It's a book to captivate your imagination, chill you to your bones, and break you heart over and over again. It's the book I've been waiting for. And I hope you guys love it as much as I do." - Me

Stay tuned for more 17 & GONE week stuff!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Nova Ren Suma's Website

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why Bloggers Want to Read 17 & Gone!

Hello, all!

Welcome to 17 & GONE week! From now until it's (Canadian) release on March 26th, Lost at Midnight Reviews will be celebrating all things 17 & GONE! They'll be guest blurbs, reviews and a special Q&A with the author herself! 

Haven't heard of 17 & GONE by Nova Ren Suma? Maybe on the fence about reading it? Well, stay tuned this week and read about all the reasons to look forward to and love this book! Here's the summary (and b-e-a-utiful cover) to start you off!

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

I figured, what better way to spread the word, and get everyone hyped up to read the book then have bloggers talk about why they're excited about 17 & Gone! Here's what they had to say!

I absolutely loved Imaginary Girls and thought 17 & Gone was an automatic yes to add to my TBR list I think the storyline is extremely intriguing.  IMO there isn’t enough of the suspense side in YA and books like this don’t come along as often as I would like. . .can’t wait to read it! - Kristina @ Gone Pecan

I read the first sentence of IMAGINARY GIRLS and knew I had discovered a really special author. Someone who can interweave a certain spark so otherworldly into a story so real. Who can write characters so strange and compelling and so fundamentally human. Who distorts reality to reveal the truths beneath it. And 17 & GONE sounds like a book right up my alley; a psychological thriller, haunting and creepy and dark and beautiful. When I look for books, I look for books, for writing, that inspires me to do better with my own. 17 & GONE did that just with the premise. And that is why I cannot wait to read this book.  - Crimson @ Moonlight Gleams' Bookshelf

"As my sister says: "This totally reminds me of Criminal Minds or Virals by Kathy Reichs!"

This books just seems suspenseful, full of mystery, and is the type of book that will keep you up at night until you see the whole picture. I love books that makes me scared for the characters, panics when something happens, and loses my breath when things go wrong. Just by seeing "a shocking truth emerges" makes me want to rip open the book and dig out the right now! Doesn't it make you tingle from head to toes because you want to know what this mystery is? It is like when you over hear someone planning something for you, you get this rush of excitement and wonder, making your body uncontrollable. Maybe it is human instinct to be curious, but this curiosity makes me want to read this book, and I approve! (And it totally helps when this whole mystery revolves around some creepy crime...or is it a crime?....)" - Ashley @ FireStarBooks

“I heard about Nova Ren Suma’s new novel, 17 & Gone, a while ago and was immediately intrigued by the synopsis and the book cover.

I borrowed her first book, Imaginary Girls, from the library earlier this year.  I fell in love with the writing, with its dreamy atmosphere, and the way the story was told, with no easy answers given.  

Having skimmed reviews of 17 & Gone (I’m wary of spoilers!), it sounds like a story that explores dark subject matter, which definitely appeals to me, with the same kind of story-telling and fantastic writing that I enjoyed in Imaginary Girls. I’ve also seen it described as either a psychological or paranormal read (sometimes both!) and not only do I love psychological thrillers and paranormal fiction, I’m intrigued that this book may straddle both genres.

This is one my most-anticipated books of 2013, and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on it!” - Kim @ Pingwing's Bookshelf

"There are a number of reasons why I want to read 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. One, because I LIKE BOOKS. Two, because I've heard a lot of good things about it, most of which has to do with the lovely, fantastic writing. I've discovered that some of my favorite books have eloquent writing--and writing can make or break a book for me--so this book sounds right up my ally! Third, but simply not least, is the story itself. The concept of missing people draws me in, kind of like a crime-show thriller. I don't think there are many YAs like this out there, and I am definitely looking forward to sticking my nose in this book and being nineteen and gone to the words." - Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

Thanks, bloggers! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more reasons to read 17 & GONE!

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Nova Ren Suma's Website 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beautiful Creatures Series Challenge Extra Month!

Hi guys!

Sorry this is coming so late but I completely forgot to post the link! As I said, I'm extending the Beautiful Creatures Challenge an extra month so we can hopefully get caught up with the books So, link any of your reviews that you've written this month here! 

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Title: Asunder (Newsoul #2)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
Source: Purchased

My Rating: 5/5

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 Newsoul 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.

Where do I start with this book? All my thoughts are clamoring to be discussed and I can't seem to pick just one. Everything about this book was beautiful. Every. Single. Part. Even the dark and horrific points were tinged with hope, with conviction. Jodi Meadows is a pure talent, and Asunder was more than I could have ever expected.

I would love to study this book. To dissect the characters, explore the themes, and talk about the prose. The English major in me is just itching to dive deeper into this story. There is just simply so much depth to Asunder and I can't get enough of it. I want to read it again and again just so I can soak it all up.

In Incarnate we saw the image of a butterfly being used to tie the story together. In Asunder roses were a central theme and by gosh, was it done well. It added an extra layer to the story and Ana's character. The fleeting life of a rose, its undeniably beauty, and its fierce will to live describe Ana and her situation perfectly. She doesn't want to just be a blip on the map. She wants to make a difference. She wants to break past the barriers set before her. As I said in my original review of Incarnate, the cruelty that marred this beautiful world is striking. These apparent "pure souls" are sullied by their hatred and bigotry. And in Asunder, this is taken to an entirely new level. I was horrified by what the People of Heart did, both to these New Souls and to the people they considered "friends". It was painful to read about and made me beyond livid. There was so much injustice and lies that I wanted to shake the book and those awful characters in it. But, while there was so much darkness there was also many moments that had my heart soaring.

Now, let me gush about Sam and Ana. Individually, they are two moving characters with so much heart and strength. The musical Sam makes my heart melt because he is just such a good and loving guy. I loved his passion and dedication, his kind heart and his never ending love. He's the kind of guy I wish I knew simply because he would bring such joy to my life. And the protagonist Ana is such as kind and beautiful as her love. She is such a strong, passionate person dealing with many difficult obstacles. Ana is dealing with past and present abuse. She was raised by a cruel and vicious woman who told her time and again that she was less than a person. And now, Ana has to face the same hatred, mental and physical abuse at the hands of a community. Asunder really addresses the painful and damaging affects of that abuse, and how it alters her relationship with Sam. And that, despite all the hatred, Ana sends back out love. Together, her and Sam are such a realistic couple. They clearing care for each other, but they're both human. They make mistakes. They're scared. But, despite everything, they work together to create a strong relationship.

I love how Jodi Meadows weaves music into the story. I felt like I can hear Dossam on the piano and Ana on her flute. The music just wraps around me, and gave me this inherent feeling for hope. Music plays such an important and powerful role in the story, and I could totally relate to that. It made me want to run out and listen to my favorite songs and just revel in the magic of them.

Asunder sees a lot of plot progression as well. Lots of questions were answered, and lots of craziness ensued. Putting this book down was not an option. I was so entranced by the characters and the need to know exactly what was going to happen next! I was blind-sided by some of the twist and turns, and my heart swelled with pride every time the characters faced these challenges with determination.

Asunder was one of the best sequels I have ever read. I was completely blown away. Jodi Meadows knows how to write, how to create a gorgeous and original story, and how to create characters that will become a part of you. Asunder, you were no fleeting rose. Your beauty will remain with me for years and years to come.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Jodi Meadows' website  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (41): Taken by Erin Bowman

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: Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 16th, 2013

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Okay, I love the concept of this book. I feel like I haven't heard of or read anything quite like it. I'm anxious to find out the mystery surrounding Claysoot, and see what Gray is like. I'm just really excited about this book!

I also really adore the cover. It's so colourful and detailed! I want to dive right in between the pages and see what it all means. I'm really happy that I'll get to find out so soon!

What are you waiting on this week?

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 23rd 2011
Source: Purchased

My Rating: 4/5

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Oh, man. I resisted this book for so long but I was no match for it. I was sucked in from the start and soon found myself frantically flipping pages to get to the end. I was told this book would be addicting but I didn't get it until I was at work wonder what Daemon and Katy were up to and decided to sneak in a few pages during the downtime. Obsidian pulled me under and I don't think I'll ever find my way out.

I have to give Jennifer L. Armentrout her kudos. She wrote not only a highly addicting book but created a ridiculously creative concept. You don't see a lot of alien books in YA, but I would totally love lots more! I was hooked for page one and I couldn't wait to figure everything out. I was completely immersed in the story line and nothing could get it out of my head. I adored the idea, was falling pretty hard for the characters, and found the dialogue to be superb.

Katy was such an awesome protagonist. I loved her quick wit, and that she never backed down. She wasn't going to let people walk all over her, and she always had something to say. Her little quips had me in stitches and wanting to give her a high-five. She was the perfect person for this story and narrator I couldn't get enough of. And then there was Daemon. My emotions for this boy were all over the place. On one hand, I was ready to punch him clear across the face for being such a mean guy. But, there were moments when I was practically melting from his swoon-worthy-ness. I knew that all the jabs and barbs he threw out had reason behind them. I wanted to find out more and to see what was behind the egotistical, angry Daemon Black. The tension and banter between him and Katy was captivating and adorable. I loved that they were able to just trade hilarious insults back and forth. As much as they both tried to deny it, their chemistry was undeniable.

And this is the part of the review in which I confuse you. Because there were a bunch of things I didn't like. Katy's narration was awesome. She is a firecracker with tons of sarcasm and hilarity. As I said, the dialogue was awesome but I had a lot of issues with the description and the writing as a whole. It needed some work, and brought me out of the story at parts. There were also a few minor plot holes that had me going "wait a second" and messed with the flow of the book. Another part that had me head-desking was Katy constantly calling Daemon some variation of "jerk". I get it. He's a jerk. I'm reading the dialogue too. I get that you two don't get along but is it necessary for you to tell me every other page? No, it really isn't. It was getting very repetitive and frustrating. I know it's a part of the story and character development but it was overdone. I also felt parts of Katy's personality were forced. There would be little bits of it thrown in randomly, then never mentioned again. I felt like there were just thrown in there to appeal to the audience when, really, they had nothing to do with her. Just like her "progression". Katy kept talking about become this "new" person, but she was the same the entire book. Her apparently change in personality was simply talked about, never really shown, which didn't make it believable. It was just another part thrown in there to appeal to the audience. Also, the end scene had me thrown for a loop. It felt like everything got turned on it's head for no apparent reason.

Overall, Obsidian was exactly what everyone said it would be: insanely addicting. I literally went out an bought Oynx midway through reading and have already devoured it. Although the series had some low points for me, I really enjoyed it. These characters are so great, and this concept is awesome. You can't go wrong with aliens!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Jennifer L. Armentrout's Website 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (22)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which bloggers share the books they stacked their shelves with during the week!

Well, my stack this week is huge. I've been trying my best not to buy books (since I lack this thing called money) and have been doing an okay job of it. Well, up until my mom told me about a book sale over at our local Salvation Army. My mom nearly had a heart attack when I came home with 15 books! But hey, the whole thing only cost a mere $10! I couldn't resist. So, here's my lovely stack of books for the last little while!

- Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

- Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter - (Huge thanks to Chandra for getting my copy signed and personalized for me!)
- The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen (Thanks a ton, Avery!)

- Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
- Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

- Rise (Eve #3) by Anna Carey (Thank you HarperTeen and Goodreads!)

Received for Review:
- Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness #1) by Lili St. Crow (HUGE thank you to the awesome Razorbill Canada for sending me this book! I'll be reading this one ASAP)
- Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons

Purchased (Book sale!):
- Bite Me (A Love Story #3) by Christopher Moore
- Before I Die by Jenny Downham
- Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning
- Bloodfever (Fever #2) by Karen Marie Moning
- Faefever (Fever #3) by Karen Marie Moning
- Dreamfever (Fever #4) by Karen Marie Moning
- Shadowfever (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning
- Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs
- Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3) by Patricia Briggs
- Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4) by Patricia Briggs
- River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) by Patricia Briggs
- Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs
- Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs

Well, that's it for this week!

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)