Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Blogging Break

[insert big ol' guilty puppy eyes here]

So, some of you may have noticed I've kinda vanished since the end of May. Turns out, right when I thought I was getting things under control, my life gets totally insane. So, regretfully, I'm going to be taking a little bit of a break.

Work is INSANE. If you have a local library that participates, then you know the Summer Reading Program has just started. Kids are out of school, and people are coming in just to get out of the heat. We're swamped, and we're down two staff positions. Not to mention, we're going a very fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants teen reading program. So, yeah. By the time I get home, even after my shorter days, I just want to pass out on the couch and snooze the afternoon away. 

I'm going to have to admit this is more work than I thought. When I started the blog, I was under the impression that this was easy peasy. And it's not. It's really hard work maintaining a blog, and it's a little draining. I've given up a couple of things I enjoy because I was so honed in on this site. I think I'll enjoy it more if I just take a step back, and still try to fit in all the things I love to do. Like being a total nerd and watching anime and playing video games. I think a more casual pace, and a casual vibe, will make me a much more responsible and enjoyable blogger.

Reading was starting to become work and not fun. But don't worry. This whole summer break thing? I'll still be reading and writing reviews, just not posting them here right now. That way, when I do come back, I'm going to have a MASSIVE stock pile of reviews I can pull from. Maybe that way, if I'm busy or overwhelmed, I won't feel it because I already have so many posts ready.

I'm also going to be spending this time thinking up my own special feature or two. Also, working on a new layout, and maybe even coming back with a new name once I settle on something I like. ;D

So I won't be gone entirely. I'll keep updating my Goodreads, reading my Google Reader, commenting, and trying to keep up with everyone on Twitter. I just need to step back for a little bit, and summer is definitely the perfect time to relax and take things slow.

So I'm going to be reading and writing, and coming back better than ever. <3

{image is from - best collection of pictures out there}

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hop, Follow, & TGIF { 15 }

This week, I'm participating in three different Friday memes! Crazy for Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop. Parajunkee's View hosts Follow Friday. And a new Friday question to the block, TGIF at Greads! These are all wonderful opportunities for bloggers to get to know each other.

Today's question from the Hop...
What book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked? Which have you disliked?
Honestly, probably the Lord of the Rings. I saw the movies before I ever read the books in high school, and I was so impressed with how much they actually fit into those movies from such gigantic books. I do have a lot of respect for Peter Jackson as a director, and I can't tell you how excited I a to see his adaptation of The Hobbit. For least favorite...I'd probably have to go with the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It's just so bad. So, so, so bad. I can barely stand to watch it when I'm going through the whole series again. My boyfriend hasn't ever read the books, and he doesn't like the fourth movie. :-P

Today's question from Follow Friday...
How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?
I actually have to admit I'm being really slow recently. I'm maybe getting a book a week. Usually, when my life is a little more in order, I can manage 2 - 3 in a week. I'm hoping to get back to that soon! And as for format, I'm a real book junkie all the way, though I may be bending soon and purchasing a Nook.

Today's question from TGIF...
Author Love: In 2011, which new/old authors have you discovered and loved?
OMG, SO MANY! I really just started my blog this year, and I started really focusing on YA fiction this year. Stephanie Perkins, Lisa Bergren, Beth Revis, Cynthia Hand, Rachel Hawkins, Andrea Cremer...the list could go on and on and on. And I have discovered a couple of older adult authors that I never expected to like so much: Charlaine Harris, Karen Marie Moning, and J. R. Ward. Honestly, it's just been an amazing first (almost) half of the year. I've found so many authors, and rediscovered even more.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Forgive My Fins

Title: Forgive My Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 293
Release Date: May 19, 2010
Series: n/a
Source: Library
Challenge: n/a 
Quick Rating: 4/5
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid - she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, lands has its problems - like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher - but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type - the instant they “bond”, its for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

I have a confession to make. I love mermaids. So anything that has mermaids in it, I want to read, and I’ll probably love. Even if the writing is horrible, I’m still going to squeal like a little kid because there are mermaids in it. Blame Disney and The Little Mermaid.

And now you can also blame Forgive My Fins, because it was amazing. My first instinct when I finished this was to fan girl squeak and just give it a five-star rating, but I’m going to try to be a little more objective, and not let my undying love for anything under the sea to get in the way.

One thing I appreciated about Fins was that every question I had was eventually answered. While I know this is going to be a series (or at least one sequel), it felt like a complete novel. There were no dangling loose ends between the main characters. I had no lingering doubts or questions. And I loved it. I hate when a book just has so many threads flapping in the wind, waiting to be tied up in more installments. The intricacies of Child’s mermaids were explained to the fullest, such as how they transform, how they hide their mermaid-ness, etc. (My only lingering curiosity was how exactly her parents managed to have a kid without “bonding”? No kissing? Seems suspicious…Or, at least, very unromantic.)

And speaking of the mermaids, how awesome are they? The can transform from mermaid, to finkini (scaly bikini), to human with no problem.  They love sushi and eat with underwater chopsticks, called seasticks. And the slang. I laughed so hard at the swear word replacement. Carp for crap. Frogging for, well…you know.

As for the story and the characters themselves, it was all just so cute. I quickly became addicted to the conflict between Lily and Quince, and I stayed up way too late to enjoy their bantering. Quince’s feelings were painfully obvious to me, even from the very first few pages. I spent a lot of time swooning over him, and wanting to smack Lily at the same time for being so completely oblivious. My only true problems were with elements of the story itself…

*Beware - spoilers ahead!*

I did think that Lily’s father delaying their separation three times was a little much. Two was funny, but by the third time, I was just rolling my eyes. I also wish Lily had found out Brody was a scumbag in a much more dramatic way. Not just a light bulb clicking on because he was, well, fascinated about her being a mermaid. I wanted it to be a kiss with no sparks, or his “player” tendencies to come out right in front of her.

As for her reuniting with Quince at the end, I think it also needed a little spice. “Woohoo!” I mean, really? Who says “Woohoo?” I wanted drama, and romance, and tears, and confessions of undying love, and passionate kissing. And all I got was a ’woohoo’ and some twirling. So maybe there was a kiss, but it wasn’t the fireworks of realized love that I was hoping for.

And what was with the overly sinister ending with Doe? It just felt…really weird and out of place. I know it’s probably setting up for the sequel, but it was really jarring, and totally threw me out of the happy Quince and Lily mode.

Regardless, I cannot wait for the sequel. I’m picking it up as soon as it comes out!

The Final Word: A cute, light romance that’s a quick read, and even more quickly addicting. If you like mermaids at all, it’s a must-read.


Cover Thoughts: While it’s definitely pretty, I kind of wish the “mermaid” on the cover was blonde, like Lily. But the makeup is to die for, and I love the swirly font like crazy.

Tea: So I’m choosing something I’ve never tasted before, so I have no clue whether it’s completely disgusting or not, but it’s just so perfect for a mermaid book. Kinjyo Jirushi Konbu Cha is a Japanese powdered seaweed tea. You know mermaids would totally drink this stuff!

Memorable Quotes: 
(Featuring a couple of funny quotes. Honestly, this book made me laugh so much, it’s ridiculous.)

“The last thing I need right now is Shannen telling me one more time that -
“You’re a coward, Lily Sanderson.”
- I’m a coward.
Son of a swordfish.” (pgs. 3 & 4)

“There are no straight lines or geometric shapes to give away the fact that all the structures are actually mermade. (Get it? Mermade. Like mermaid, but…oh, never mind.)” (pg. 89)

“Swoon? Ha! I don’t swoon. Get anxious and tongue-tied? Yes. But I got over the whole swooning-at-the-sight-of-him thing ages ago. Last month I think.” pg. 159

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 17 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


 Renegade Magic
by Stephanie Burgis
(April 2012 -- Antheum Books for Young Readers)
Kat Stephenson is back to cause more chaos! Stepmama drags the family to Bath to find Kat's sister a new suitor. But, unknown to most of its gossipy visitors, Bath is full of wild magic. When Kat uncovers a plot to harness this magic in the Roman Baths, she finds her brother Charles is unwittingly involved. Kat must risk her newfound magical powers as she defies the Order of the Guardians to foil the plot and clear her brother's name.

Okay, so that may not be much of a description so far, but it already has me salivating. I absolutely loved the first book, Kat, Incorrigible (see my review here), and I can't believe I have to wait a whole year for it to come out. I don't normally pick books so far in advance for WoW, but I saw the cover this week and just...gah! It's magical and sparkly and amazing, and I couldn't resist. I'm so ridiculously jealous of all you U.K.-ers - you get it in August of this year! I might have to be doing some serious bribing come August...

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alice Marvels Spring Into Books Giveaway

(banner from

So today, I got a random e-mail. Happens all the time, but this was a little different. Mostly because it was full of awesome. I have never heard of Alice Marvels before, and part of that might be because it seems to be relatively new. But it is amazing.
Alice Marvels is a daily newsletter, all about the latest in teen fiction. I immediately took the hint and signed up - and the best part is that it's absolutely free! And there are amazing giveaways. And the newsletter isn't strictly books either - it stays on top of the latest trends in the movie and television world (all based on teen books of course ;D). 

Right now, there is a fabulous contest going on that you should definitely run over and enter right now! It's the Sprint into Books Giveaway, and it's open until June 20th! Not only are they offering up a bunch of signed books, but the grand prize winner gets an Amazon Kindle! The only restriction is that it's US only this time around.

All you have to do is fill out the form, and facebook/tweet/blog about it for extra entires. Super easy, right? There's also a promo code you need, and I would recommend just taking a peak at some previous newsletters to find it. Plus, that way, you can get a taste of just how cool the newsletters are.

Check out Alice Marvels now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Ruby Red

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 324 
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Series: Edelstein-Trilogie #1
Source: ARC from publisher
Challenge: 2011 DAC 
Quick Rating: 5/5

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended - and eccentric - family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors’ peculiar history, she’s had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen. So it comes as a surprise when she starts taking sudden leaps into the past.

She’s totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: the fancy clothes, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, who’s obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she’s seen in any century…

Secret societies, amazingly beautiful clothes, and a very swoon-worthy boy: what more could a girl want from a book?

From the very beginning, Ruby Red dishes out the mystique and intrigue, and has you dying to read more. I had serious problems putting this book down to either sleep or go to work. I am definitely a sucker for time-travel novels, and I really love the unique premise Kerstin Gier created. Time-traveling is limited to only a very few people - women from one ancestry, men from another. They are all connected to a complicated riddle about precious gems and special magical abilities. There is a special chronograph used to control the time and place of time-travel, and it requires the blood of all twelve travelers throughout history to be “complete”. What happens when it is complete is still a mystery, though I think I’m siding with Gwen that it seems a little sinister.

Gwen herself is a delightful main character. She is very much so a normal girl. Her and her best friend are amazingly close, and they do what most girlfriends do. They watch movies and drool over hot guys. I also appreciated the fact that Gwen was not a secretly brilliant student, bubbling over with a wealth of knowledge. In fact, she doesn’t pay attention in history, and she easily forgets important dates. Not the best trait for time-traveling safety. You feel almost as overwhelmed as Gwen in those first moments of uncontrolled travel. Not knowing where you are, totally unprepared to be thrust back into time? Pretty scary. Gwen also has the ability to see and talk to ghosts - she’s particular friends with a young gentleman who used to live at her school. And along with ghosts, she can also see gargoyles. Gargoyles weren’t necessarily explained very well in this one, but I hope we see some sort of development in this area. Having your own cute gargoyles following you around seems absolutely wonderful! (Not to mention she apparently has Hello Kitty pj’s, which totally makes her awesome in my book.)

And the love interest? Serious swoonage! Gideon is cocky and condescending, and is totally used to everyone doing exactly what he says. Gwen totally throws him for a loop when she blatantly disregards his orders, and won’t take his snarky comments standing down. But of course, as irritating as Gwen finds him to be, she can’t help but notice his stunning good looks, and the glimmers of a really sweet, caring nature hidden under the know-it-all, oh-so-serious façade. He definitely has a touch of adventure in his blood, and I think he’ll easily develop into a rebel right along with Gwen.

The secondary cast of characters isn’t too shabby either. Grace, Gwen’s mother, definitely knows something she isn’t telling anyone. Great-aunt Maddy is a hoot, and her visions are oddly creepy. Lesley, the best friend, is probably one of the best girlfriends to ever have, since she believes all the outlandish things Gwen tells her without skipping a beat. There’s something strange about Mr. Whitman, the English teacher. He’s part of the secret society dealing with all the time-traveling, but it hasn’t been revealed in what capacity. Falk de Villiers and Dr. Jacob White of the society definitely give me the creeps, and little Mr. George is just adorable! Count Saint-Germain probably takes the cake as creepster of the novel, with Rakoczy taking a firm second. I also loved seeing some of Gwen’s ancestors, particularly Paul and Lucy. I really believe not everything has been revealed about Gwen’s parentage. There’s a sneaking suspicion she may not be who she thinks she is.

There really were no true flaws with this book, other than the fact that the language took a little while to get used to. However, since this book is originally German, I’m chalking it up to the fact that some things may not translate to English perfectly. However, the characters really feel British, and you end up getting so absorbed in the story, you don’t even notice! Besides that, there was an almost overwhelming amount of characters and names to keep track of, though there is a handy little index in the back of the book.

Truly, I was very, very impressed with Ruby Red. While the ending was a total cliffhanger (and might I add a little frustrating!), nothing was really thoroughly wrapped up. There are still a lot of loose threads, and plenty of mysteries to be solved in the next installments. While I would have liked one or two things figured out for certain at the end, it definitely makes me eager for Sapphire Blue to hurry up and get here!

The Final Word: A wonderful, fast-paced novel that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It has time-travel, secret societies, cute boys, ghosts, and mysteries galore. While nothing is wrapped up or solved at the end, there are still two more books to come, and Ruby Red will definitely make you want them!


Cover Thoughts: I love this cover! The silver foil filigree is stunning, especially with all the little “rubies” all over it. The red and silver just looks so elegant together - I love it!

Tea: Since Gwen is the “ruby” of the chronograph, I chose a lovely Ruby Chai from Numi Organic Teas.


Win an ARC of Ruby Red!

So I happen to have gotten my hands on another ARC edition of Ruby Red, and since I loved it so much, I absolutely have to give it away! 

  • U. S. entries only please! I'd love to do international, but I can't afford the shipping right now.
  • You must be 13 years of age or older to enter.
  • No emails or addresses will be sold or given away to third parties. I will always respect your privacy.
  • Winners will be chosen using
  • The giveaway will run from May 23rd, 2011, to midnight (EST) May 30th, 2011.
  • Following is not required for this giveaway, but it will earn you one extra entry.
  • Reblogging or tweeting is not required, but it will earn you one extra entry as well.
  • I am also not responsible for any packages lost in the mail - anything that does not arrive, or goes missing, I am under no obligation to replace.

Click here to enter!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 16 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


 Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
by Andrew Bolton, Harold Koda
(May 31, 2011 -- Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) was one of the most influential, imaginative, and inspirational designers at the turn of the millennium. His fashions both challenged and expanded the conventional parameters of clothing beyond utility to a compelling expression of culture, politics, and identity. Focusing on the most iconic and acclaimed designs of his prolific career, this stunning book examines McQueen's inimitable technical virtuosity and its subversion of traditional tailoring and dressmaking practices.
The book also focuses on the highly sophisticated narrative structures found in McQueen's collections and in his astonishing and extravagant runway presentations, which suggested the most avant-garde installation and performance art. Intended as an assessment of Alexander McQueen's entire career, the book includes in-depth studies of six collections that illustrate and encapsulate thematic chapters as well as an interview with Sarah Burton, the new creative director of Alexander McQueen who had been the designer's right-hand design aide since 1996.

(Sorry for the lateness - I swear I had this scheduled, but it never posted!)
So this week's choice is a little different, since it's not fiction. Or, at least, it's not written fiction, though there are stories inside. I've always loved fashion and clothes and models and runways and photography, and no one had that fantastic element that Alexander McQueen had. His runway shows were inspiring, and his clothes didn't seem to belong in our world. They belonged in some amazing, fantastical world far, far away from here. I remember being devastated when I heard about his passing, and while the line may not retain that magical touch without him, I definitely have faith that the name brand will not vanish anytime soon. I'm definitely excited to get my hands on this book and peruse through the gorgeous photography on the inside. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox { 14 }

Better late than never! (I really swear I had this uploaded and ready to go - but maybe I dreamed it all. :-P)



{ WON }

{ R.A.K. }


So that's what I got this week. What's in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Hex Hall

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion
Category: young adult
Page Count: 323
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Series: Hex Hall #1
Source: Library
Challenge: 2011 A-Z Challenge 
Quick Rating: 5/5

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
I should be kicking myself right now for not picking up Hex Hall sooner. But, I’m kind of glad I did, because now I don’t have to wait to read the sequel.

Hex Hall is one of those magical books where every page has me giggling, and it’s so irresistible, I can’t put it down. I literally read this in one day, it was just that good.

Rachel Hawkins has created an amazing world, full of witches, shapeshifters, and beautiful faeries. And not only is the world very well developed (though there is still obviously a lot for the readers to learn), the characters are just flat out amazing. Sophie Mercer is such a likable heroine! Her dry humor had me laughing on every page, and she felt so relatable. When she was happy, I felt happy. When she was feeling stressed and overwhelmed, all I wanted to do was comfort her. It’s rare for me to feel so heavily connected to a character, but with Sophie, it was instantaneous.

The rich cast of other characters weren’t so shabby either. Jenna, the vampire best friend, is adorable with her pink-striped hair, and I definitely liked the inclusion of a gay female best friend, instead of the typical gay male best friend. Archer Cross was also incredibly swoon-worthy. The cellar scene? Um, yes please! *fans self* I cannot wait to see what’s left to discover about him, especially after the ending. And I’m definitely liking the groundsman, Cal - he sounds like a veritable Prince Charming, and I’m hoping we see more of him as well.

I was reminded a little bit of The Craft, that wonderful witchy movie from the 90’s, and that is definitely a good thing. Elodie, queen of the school, and her two henchwomen, Chaston, and Anna were just the right amount of snob and sinister rolled into one. I was absolutely shocked when the truth came out about them in the end.

And speaking of the end - wow! The first part of the book was entertaining and humorous, but the end kicked it up a couple notches with some steamy scenes, some extremely creepy scenes, and some amazing butt-kicking action. I was absolutely racing through the pages to find out what happened, only to be left with more questions at the end. Guess I better run to the bookstore soon and pick up the sequel.

The Final Word:
If you love boarding schools and anything paranormal or supernatural, pick up Hex Hall immediately. It’s so good, I can hardly find the words to describe it. It’ll have you laughing one second, and then have your heart racing the next. Definitely a must-read.


Cover Thoughts: Eh. It’s nothing special, really. It’s almost a little juvenile in my opinion. And what is up with that black cat?!

Tea: This week, I’m taking a cue from Mrs. Casnoff and suggesting you drink whatever kind of drink most comforts you, or is your favorite. Any drink that makes you happy can only add to the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when reading Hex Hall!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 424
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #4
Source: Bought
Challenge: n/a 
Quick Rating: n/a
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilites before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - not important of all - Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t helpt her. His mother just found out that he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solutions reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Thoughts on City of Fallen Angels…

For City of Fallen Angels I’ve decided to do a very informal review. One that’s not even really a review at all! I am so biased towards this series, and it means so much to me, I really don’t know if I can be entirely fair with rating it. I could hate it, and I’d still give it five stars, just because of what it is. The first three Mortal Instruments books are very near and dear to my heart, but how did the fourth installment measure up? I figure by now everyone who is going to read it has read it maybe, but be forewarned - there may be spoilers ahead!

To start with, I was beyond excited for this book. I’d randomly check my order history, just to be sure it was still preordered and hadn’t disappeared into cyberspace somewhere. I contemplated going out to a store on the day it was released and buying a copy, because I didn’t want to wait until my special Barnes & Noble edition showed up. And speaking of the B&N special addition, it was so worth it. Having a book signed by Cassandra Clare herself is amazing, but that letter from Jace to Clary. Oh, my heart broke for them.

But the actual book, the juicy bits inside? It hurts to think this, much less type it, but I was actually…disappointed. That feeling wasn’t there, not like the previous installments. I read the first three books back to back to back within a couple of days. This one actually took me over a week to finish it. It just didn’t engage me like before, and it didn’t draw me in.

One of the reasons I think this happened is the constantly skipping point of view. Every couple of pages we were in a different character’s head. I’ve never had a problem connecting with multiple POV’s before, but this time, they were so abrupt, I just couldn’t really sink into the story. It almost felt like a television series or something, or a movie even, constantly skipping to a different scene with a different cast. Each segment ended with a cliffhanger as well, almost making the novel read like a script rather than a true novel.

But, then again, I loved seeing Simon more prominently featured. The dialogue is flawless, as always, and laugh out loud hilarious when it comes to the boys (Simon, Jace, and Kyle/Jordan) interacting with one another, and playing off one another. In fact, those scenes with those three, and all the snappy comebacks dripping in sarcasm were probably my favorite scenes from the whole book.

And Simon’s love life? I love that the nerdy boy who never got any attentions has two hot girls interested in him, but I just didn’t feel a spark with either of them. While I do prefer Simon with Isabel if I had to pick, there’s no real spark to me. There’s no chemistry, no draw. We see a bit of emotion from Isabel at the end, but I think I’ll need a lot more to really get behind this couple. The same with Simon and Maia. I didn’t feel it, despite how much I loved the characters individually. I do prefer Maia with Kyle/Jordan, but again, it just fell flat for me.

And of course, the star couple, Clary and Jace. I was always a Clary and Jace fan, even when it felt so wrong to want them together. I feel like they were still just as steamy as ever, but it almost seemed like they were going through drama for the sake of drama. This couple has already been through hell and back together, why not just leave them alone? Let this be the couple who is happy, and maybe a little more in the background. Let the secondary characters from the previous books take center stage, and just let Jace and Clary be sappy and romantic and crazy in love. This new obstacle for them just feels almost unnecessary, and honestly, I’m a little tired of them not just being able to be together. We suffered and cried and pined with them through three whole books of torment, why add more?

Needless to say, though, I love the characters and I love the world. I will never get truly tired of any of it, even if 100 more books come out. Did I feel the way this book went was almost unnecessary? Yes. Did I feel the writing wasn’t quite as up to par? Yes. Am I actually way more excited about the next Infernal Devices book now? Yes. Was I disappointed and under whelmed? Yes. Am I still giving it five stars because I love this world so much? Yes. But I will read City of Fallen Angels again and again, and I will be a squealing fan girl when the next one comes out. Cassandra Clare has a devout fan for life, no matter what she does.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 15 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


 The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
(September 13, 2011 -- Doubleday)
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

So maybe I'm just lusting after circuses since seeing the film adaptation of Water for Elephants this past weekend, but I cannot wait for this book! Forbidden love, magic, a mysterious circus. What isn't to love? Oh, and that description of the connection between the two characters? Um, I'm predicting some serious swoonage happening in this book. It's going to be a long wait until September...

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness: May Edition

Book Soulmates

So I'm a little behind getting this up, but here it is! I'm going in for another month of R.A.K., and I'm so freakin' excited to be participating again. R.A.K. is probably one of the most fun things I've joined in on, and it's so awesome to just randomly send books to someone. Seriously, if you haven't joined up yet, do it now!

If you're interested in signing up, here's the rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

My wishlist is here, over at Goodreads!


In April I received...
I sent out...

Monday, May 9, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway Winners!

I've finally got email confirmations from all my winners for my blog's 100 Follower Giveaway, so now I can officially announce the winners! This was so much fun to do, and I just want to thank all of my followers. I can't believe I hit 100 so fast, and that I'm almost to 200. Looks like I might have to start planning another big giveaway soon. ;D But without further ado, here are the winners!

Grand Prize

2010 Top Picks
Lindsay H.!

Girls That Don't Fit In
Lisa S.!

Edgy Girls

2011 Releases
Rie C.!

Edgy, Dark, & Possibly Violent

*Note: All winners have already been notified, and have sent confirmation within the allotted 48 hour time period! Prizes should be going out soon, hopefully!
Like I said, this was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do it again! Since this was my very first giveaway, I've kind of learned what I like and what I don't like. Here's hoping I'll be hosting a 200 follower giveaway soon. ;D

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In My Mailbox { 13 }

I'm finally doing another IMM! It's been a while - I've received some really cool stuff over the last couple of weeks. 




{ WON }


So that's what I got this week. What's in your mailbox?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Today!

So, in case you didn't know, today is the annual celebration of Free Comic Book Day! Free Comic Book Day is an amazing event held the first Saturday in May of every year - and it's been going on since 2002. Every year, comic book shops in North America (and even some around the world) participate by offering at least one free comic to every person that happens to walk into their shop today.

One of my biggest loves when I was a teen were Japanese graphic novels, or manga. Since then, my tastes have grown to include all kinds of illustrated works. Buffy Season 8 anyone?

To check and see if your local comic book shop is participating, hit up and use their store locator in the sidebar. I'm so excited that my local store is actually participating. Hopefully I can swing my after work and peruse a little.

And in honor of comic books, here's the trailer of "Thor" for you to drool over, since it comes out this weekend. ;D

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hop, Follow, & TGIF { 14 }

This week, I'm participating in three different Friday memes! Crazy for Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop. Parajunkee's View hosts Follow Friday. And a new Friday question to the block, TGIF at Greads! These are all wonderful opportunities for bloggers to get to know each other.

Today's question from the Hop...
Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?
How can I pick just one of you guys? There are so many of my fellow book bloggers I'd love to meet in real life, there's no way I could pick just one!

Today's question from Follow Friday...
Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?
Wow, there are billions. So I'm totally going with the most obvious two. I'd love to be Hermione from Harry Potter, and have Won-Won all to myself. But I'd also love to trade places with Claire from the Outlander series, and have the gorgeous Jamie Fraser as my hubby. [insert dreamy sigh]

Today's question from TGIF...
Book Blogger Identity: What occupies your time when you are not reading and/or blogging?
Well, work-wise, I work part-time at a library and that occupies half of the week (plus a couple hours de-stressing). If I'm not on the computer, I'm usually snuggled up on the couch with my dogs and/or boyfriend watching movies, or tv, or watching him play video games. The gym gets about 3 - 5 hours a week, and we're always going out with friends it seems like. I also love shopping, so I spend quite a lot of time doing that too. :-P Really, I'm just a normal girl outside of blogging. I work, I go to the gym, I hang out with friends, I enjoy my time with my family, and when I'm nose is stuck in a book. ;D

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 14 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


 Sisterhood Everlasting
by Ann Brashares
(June 14, 2011 -- Random House)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one. (from Goodreads)

How come I didn't know about this ages ago?! I found out about this one maybe a week or so ago, and I swear, my jaw hit the floor. Another Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book? With the twist of them all being adults? My inner tween and young woman can finally party together comfortably. 

Seriously though, I love these books. The stories are all about friendships and hardships, and that's what made me connect to them so well when I was a just a girl. I'll even admit to loving the movies as one of my guilty pleasures. ;D I cannot get enough of these girls, and I can't wait to reunite with them again in June.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Finding my balance...

So some of your may or may not have noticed that I kind of fell off the face of the planet for almost two weeks. I really wish it hadn't happened, but I kind of lost all my inspiration for a little while, and I feel into a pretty bad reading slump. Luckily I had a few reviews stocked up to carry me through for a little while, but it wouldn't last forever.

Basically, I'm struggling with finding the balance in my life right now. I kind of just threw myself into the whole blogging world thinking it would be easy peasy, but it is a lot of work. It's almost like a second job, and while I love it, it was kind of taking over my life.

My real job is kind of crazy at the moment, and maybe just a little bit stressful. I tend to not want to look at a computer anymore when I get home, and that's kind of what blogging is all about! But I think if I pick a day and just get all my posts lined up then, and I don't have to worry about posting the rest of the week, I might not feel so burnt out.

I'm also just trying to balance my real life right now. I've taken some steps to trying to be healthier by joining a fabulous gym, and trying to get gym time in, but still hang out with friends and socialize is taking some getting used to. Though the awesome yogurt place a block from my gym kind of makes up for it, lol! I'm also starting to plan some house-y stuff, which is really fun, and one of my passions, so I've been spending all my time researching color palettes and room inspirations. Not to mention I may or may not be working on getting my creative writing spark back, and spending some time researching various subjects. ;D

And, seriously, the weather has been all over the place. After the absolutely terrible tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast, Mother Nature did a 180 and is giving us the most beautiful spring weather I've ever seen. I want to be outside allllll day. I can't wait for summer.

So, basically, I'm trying to find my balance, and if I fall off the wagon every now and then, don't hurt me, kay? ;D But, here's what you can look forward to soon on the blog:

  • 100 follower contest winners!
  • Review for Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
  • Review for Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  • Review for Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Review for BBC mini-series of Wuthering Heights
  • Thoughts on City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  • Monthly R.A.K. wrap up post
  • And, of course, the weekly memes we all love!

And also a little other thing that's been bothering me. You see, I thought up the most perfect blog name a couple of weeks ago. The problem is I already have a blog name I like, but this one has been eating away at me. It's (drum roll) "The Noveltea Shelf", or some variant thereof. Basically, "noveltea" was the word I thought up, and it's perfect, because I do books and tea on the blog. And now I'm torn. So, that's where you guys come in. Vote in the poll below and set my mind at ease!

Should the blog name change?
(The lovely pictures I used are from

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 13 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


 The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature
by Jeff VanderMeer
(May 1, 2011 -- Abrams Image)
Steampunk—a grafting of Victorian aesthetic and punk rock attitude onto various forms of science-fiction culture—is a phenomenon that has come to influence film, literature, art, music, fashion, and more. The Steampunk Bible is the first compendium about the movement, tracing its roots in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells through its most recent expression in movies such as Sherlock Holmes. Its adherents celebrate the inventor as an artist and hero, re-envisioning and crafting retro technologies including antiquated airships and robots. A burgeoning DIY community has brought a distinctive Victorian-fantasy style to their crafts and art. Steampunk evokes a sense of adventure and discovery, and embraces extinct technologies as a way of talking about the future. This ultimate manual will appeal to aficionados and novices alike as author Jeff VanderMeer takes the reader on a wild ride through the clockwork corridors of Steampunk history.

How have I not known about this?! There are few things in the world I love more than steampunk, so this is probably going to be a must-buy for me. I'm already salivating over the pictures and illustrations that must be inside, and I haven't even seen them yet. Luckily, I only have to wait until May 1st!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox { 12 }

It feels like I haven't done one of these in forever! But I got some really, really awesome things this week in the mail, so there was no way I wasn't going to share. But it seems to be a reoccurring theme right now that I just don't have enough time in the day, so there is no editing done to this video at all. I'm a little bummed, because I love playing around with it, but with only a limited amount of time at home this morning, what are ya gonna do? Oh, and I apologize for my uber frizzy just-washed hair. ;D

  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (coming out May 10, 2011)  




And if you haven't checked out R.A.K. yet, head over to Book Soulmates and sign up immediately! It's so much fun, and you definitely won't regret it. Again, thank you so much to the people who have sent me books! You guys are totally awesome. ;D

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hop, Follow, & TGIF { 13 }

This week, I'm participating in three different Friday memes! Crazy for Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop. Parajunkee's View hosts Follow Friday. And a new Friday question to the block, TGIF at Greads! These are all wonderful opportunities for bloggers to get to know each other.

Today's question from the Hop...
Coming soon...

Today's question from Follow Friday...
Do you have anyone you can discuss books with in real life? Tell us about him.her.
Total in depth discussions? Nah. But I can always have a casual conversation about my latest read with either one of my coworkers or my mom.My coworker, if you can believe it, is really the only other person that reads, and we work in a library! My mom is the whole reason I'm such an avid reader to begin with. :D

Today's question from TGIF...
If you could visit any fictional setting in a story, where would you go?
So, somehow, I think Harry Potter has to be an answer in some sort of question on Friday no matter what. He just keeps popping up at least once a week, lol! My top places would definitely be anywhere from the Wizarding World. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade - whatever. I'd go anywhere in that world.

But, really, there are a bunch of settings in various books that would be fun to visit. Fairy tales, fantasy worlds...everyone has its appeal. But HP will always take the top spot in my heart. ;D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday { 12 }

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

  •  Head on over to Breaking the Spine.
  • Grab the logo, or make your own!
  • Post your WoW entry on your blog.
  • Sign the Mr. Linky.
  • Visit all the other linked blogs, and watch your TBR pile grow to ginormous proportions!


by Meg Cabot
(April 26, 2011 -- Scholastic Inc.)
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
Really, who isn't waiting for this book to come out? I'm just so freakin' excited it's finally coming out this month that I couldn't resist picking it this week! I am definitely loving this new trend of Greek mythology influencing YA, and who better to do it than Meg Cabot. This is a must-have for me this month.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: The Iron Witch

Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Publisher: Flux
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 290 
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Series: The Iron Witch #1
Source: Library
Challenge: 2011 DAC 
Quick Rating: 3/5
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed Donna Underwood’s father and drove her mother mad. Her own nearly fatal injuries were fixed by alchemy - the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. Now seventeen, Donna feels like a freak, doomed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. Only her relationship with her best friend, Navin, is keeping her sane.

But when vicious wood elves abduct Navin, Donna is forced to accept her role in the centuries-old war between human alchemists and these darkest outcasts of Faerie. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous guy with faery blood running through his veins and secrets of his own, Donna races to save Navin - even if it means betraying everything her parents fought to the death to protect.
I really thought I would love this one. From the gorgeous covers, to hot faery boys, to alchemy, I thought this would be the book for me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it either. It was just…incredibly average.

Really, I think my main problem with The Iron Witch was that it was too short. It felt underdeveloped. And as much as I’ve been lamenting the fact that everything is a series now, I was actually glad to hear that there would be more. The world is very interesting, and I’d definitely like a more in-depth look into it all.

I loved the use of alchemy - probably my favorite feature of the entire book. While it’s made it appearances in other books, it’s still not commonly used, and I absolutely love the subject. The little tidbits scattered throughout were really intriguing, and it actually had to googling things to see what all the instruments Donna mentions actually were and what they looked like. I only wish we had seen more of it - but I’m hoping it will be a little more prevalent in later books.

I also found the Faerie realm fantastic too. The queen? Creeeepy. The wood elves were very twisted and dark, and not to mention the Skriker. The scene at the end with the Skriker, though short, was pretty B.A.  But again, I just felt like we didn’t see enough of it. There’s no scope on the Faerie.

But if I’m being perfectly honest, the reason I didn’t like the book so much was actually the main character, Miss Donna Underwood. I just…couldn’t like her. Her voice wasn’t particularly irritating or anything, but she just felt so blank. I mean, her arms are covered in iron/silver tattoos, she has super strength, her father died defending her, her mother’s crazy, and she’s been taken out of school for “the Incident”. I was expecting feisty, angry, and maybe a little bent on vengeance. I mean, I’d want to learn everything I could about battling the dark fey that tore my family apart and almost killed me, wouldn’t you? But no, she mopes and whines about not having a normal life, and only occasionally visits her mentally addled mom. The only spark we get from her is when confronted the high school queen bee, and at the very end.

And while Xan, her main love interest, is definitely a swoon-worthy half-faerie with a dark past the scars to prove it, I didn’t really understand their draw. Donna is an alchemists, and alchemists do not like anything from Faerie is how I took it. Yet she just instantly trusts this boy above her own people, and says nothing to her superiors, or even her remaining family member. While I can see that there is maybe something a little shady going on with the alchemists, I didn’t understand her choice to not tell them anything when she finds out that (spoiler here!) the wood elves have been snatching people and taking their places all over town. Even taking the place of their best inventor! This means powerful wood elf magic - something the alchemists definitely should know about.

And seriously, can we give Donna the worst friend award? Navin (who is so obviously in love with her it’s ridiculous) is kidnapped by the elves, and on their way to go rescue him, she can’t stop daydreaming about Xan. Her best friend for most of her entire life has been kidnapped by nasty elves, held hostage, and may be undergoing unspeakable torture. But she’s daydreaming about kissing Xan, and has to snap herself back into concentrating on the emergency at hand. I’m not exactly sure if I’d like Donna watching my back in a crisis…

The Final Word: Overall, it was really the lack of depth and some silly choices on the main character’s behalf that really turned this book into an average read for me. While I’m not going to be rushing to read the sequel, I do plan to read it at some point. The premise is unique, but I’d just like to see a little more development.


Cover Thoughts: The first thing that drew me in, to be honest! It’s so dark and dramatic, and those silver spirals on her arms are beautiful.

Tea: I couldn’t resist once I found this one. Faerie Tea from White Magick Alchemy is beyond perfect for this. It’s a faerie tea, made by alchemists. Ha! (Ok, so maybe a little cliché and/or corny, but it was just too good to pass up when I found it. ;D)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Timeless

Title: Timeless
Author: Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 304 
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Series:  Timeless #1
Source: Library
Challenge: 2011 DAC 
Quick Rating: 3/5
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s family, she is forced to move from Los Angeles to New York City to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she has never met. In their historic Fifth Avenue mansion, filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers the biggest family secret of all - an ancestor’s diary that, amazingly, has the power to send her back in time to 1910, the year it was written. There, at a glamorous high-society masquerade ball, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life. And she finds herself falling for him, and into an otherworldly romance.

Soon Michele is leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves - and to complete a quest that will determine their fate.
Where do I begin with Timeless? It was like a mountainous hike you get talked into going on, but really didn’t want to go on, but were kind of excited about it. At first, I was pumped and ready to go. A little ways in, I started rolling my eyes and wondering exactly why I was doing this. Halfway through, I was begging for mercy. But, you know, by the very end, with the goal in site, it was actually a pretty satisfying accomplishment.

What I’m trying to say is, the last 60 pages or so are the best part of the book. It was an absolute struggle for me to get to those 60 pages, but it made this book go from a 2 to a 3 for me. It even made me consider maybe picking up the sequel - mostly because there are a lot of questions I still have, and it’s going to bug me if I don’t figure them out. But then again, I could always hire someone to read it for me and give me details afterwards…

My problem with Timeless was mainly my lack of connection. Michele kind of bugged me, her friends (besides maybe Caissie - though how exactly are you even supposed to pronounce that?) annoyed me, her grandparents were overly mysterious, and Philip, the love interest, felt flat. To be honest, the snippets involving Michele’s ancestors were way more entertaining than Michele herself.

First off, the romance. Oh geeze. Usually, the romance is the best part in a, well, time-travel romance. Not so here. I actually dropped the book in the middle of their first kiss to go check on something in the kitchen. The first kiss, guys. The scene that’s supposed to make me squee. Nothing. I felt absolutely nothing. The romance between them felt forced and emotionless - like it was only a plot device. I get that he composes, and she write lyrics, and she’s dreamt about him all her life, so they’re perfect for each other, but there was no passion, no sense of an epic love story. Just boring. Even their initial breakup was boring.

The time traveling was also a little weird to me. It was never explained exactly what makes her time travel, besides the mysterious key and the revelation about her parentage at the end. But maybe that will be solved in the sequel. Not to mention it’s never explained why Philip is the only non-blood relative that can see her.

I also have a constant problem with specific brand names being mentioned a lot in novels. It dates the book like crazy. I also do not like detailed outfit descriptions most of the time. Unless you are Anna Godbersen and describing epically beautiful dresses from the 19th century, I do not care that you are wearing a tank top, Aeropostle jeans, and black ballet flats. However, these pet peeves of mine thankfully tapered off and vanished entirely by halfway through the book. I don’t think I could have dealt with a whole book of it.

And all that sounds really negative, I know. But really, the whole worth of this book is in the last 60 pages. Things shift from being so focused on Philip to helping her ancestors. Sure, Michele is trying to send a message to Philip through her yet-to-be-famous ancestor, Lily Windsor, but he’s not physically there. And, honestly, when he does appear again, their interaction behind the stage of Lily’s performance is more emotionally wrought than anything throughout the rest of the book. And then the discoveries -  one after the other about her father, and about why she time travels, and the surprising appearance of two important people right in the last 4 pages…it all left me wondering what’s going to happen. Though, with just a couple more details, this really could have been a decent standalone, and not a series. I don’t think Timeless necessarily needs a sequel. I don’t see how it’ll be interesting, unless more time-traveling is involved. Otherwise, it might just morph into a plain ole high school romance. 

The Final Word: While definitely slow going, and difficult to get through, the last 60 pages are a huge redeeming factor. If I could, I’d probably rate it 2 ½ stars rather than 3. While there are a lot of cool concepts, it felt a little amateur. Maybe the writing will improve with the next installment.


Cover Thoughts: I hate to say it, by probably my favorite part of the novel! The cover is stunning. The model is gorgeous, and the key around her neck is absolutely perfect.

Tea: I would chose Teavana’s Tranquil Dream Herbal Tea. Not only is chamomile mentioned in the book, but I figured something called ‘Tranquil Dream’ is definitely appropriate, since Michele has dreamt about Philip her whole life.

I’d also like to note, in case you’re interested, the two songs composed and written by Philip and Michele in the novel are real songs! Visit iTunes to listen to the songs, sung by the author herself!