Category Archives: Supernatural

REVIEW {37} The Diviners by Libba Bray

THE DIVINERS
SERIES: The Diviners #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Lair of Dreams #2 (Releases August 5th 2014)
AUTHOR: Libba Bray
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: September 18th 2012 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
EDITION: Hardcover, 578 pages
ACQUISITION: Own
CATEGORIES: Young adult, Review, 4 Stars, Libba Bray, The Diviners, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror, Supernatural, Ghosts
RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.98/5.00
WHAT THE COVER SAYS: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.


As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

MY THOUGHTS: Horror is not a genre that I typically read, and when this book came out, it was the setting – 1920’s New York City – that drew me in. Whatever I expected this book to be, it wasn’t. Immediately I was absorbed in Evie’s story from her small town life in Zenith, Ohio to her adventures in New York City and new friends Mabel, Theta, and Henry, while appeasing her guardian, uncle Will, and his assistant Jericho.
What I didn’t expect, were the multiple story lines. We followed Evie as well as Memphis Campbell, and even got other little side stories of the murders. There were tons of characters, but it was pretty easy to keep everyone and everything straight.
I am not the type to really read books that delve into the horror of murders. This book doesn’t spare too many gory details. 
I enjoyed the writing style, but felt the book was overly long. While it didn’t feel like it dragged too bad, I did find myself rushing through pages at some points.
The romance of the book doesn’t even occur until the end, and I didn’t feel it was very believable. Throughout the whole book Evie didn’t have any feelings whatsoever about Jericho, and even wondered what Mabel saw in him. But then suddenly she’s daydreaming about his sweaty muscles and kisses on her lips.

Overall, I will definitely be picking up the sequel because I am curious and interested enough and invested in the characters to see where the future takes them.

SIMILAR READS: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron | The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Ask the Passengers by A.S. King | Fathomless by Jackson Pearce | Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride | Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama | Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys | The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan | Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Happy Reading!
Laura
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Review {36} HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins

HEX HALL

SERIES: Hex Hall | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Hex Hall #1 Demonglass #2 Spell Bound #3

AUTHOR: Rachel Hawkins

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: March 2nd 2010 by Hyperion Books

EDITION: Paperback, 323 pages

ACQUISITION: Own

CATEGORIES: Hex Hall Series, Young Adult, Review, 4 Stars, Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, Vampires, Witches, Faeries, Shapeshifters, Supernatural, Demons, Rachel Hawkins, 2014 Read

RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.99/5.00


WHAT THE COVER SAYS: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive, consulting Sophie’s estranged father – a 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 exiles her to “Hex Hall”, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fairies, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day, Sophie has three new enemies, a futile crush on a warlock, a tag-along ghost, and a vampire roommate. Worse, Sophie soon learns that an unknown predator has been attacking students. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries converges, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: An ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this book more than I expected to! I first picked this book up from the library when it first released, and had trouble getting into it, and ultimately didn’t finish it. But then the reviews started pouring in, and some of my favorite fellow bloggers really enjoyed it and were saying great things about it. So, I bought it when it released in paperback. 

Sophie was a likable character because it was easy to sympathize with her when she starts learning all of the secrets that have been kept from her all of her life – important secrets that probably could’ve really been useful to know! When she attempts to help a girl at the prom get her dream date, the spell goes horribly wrong – landing Sophie at Hecate ‘Hex’ Hall as punishment. 

There weren’t many elements of the story that I didn’t like. I really enjoy that there are many different paranormal creatures – Prodigium – at Hex Hall, but I feel like there were too many to really get to know any one group more than just on a superficial level. I am really hoping that in the next two books we get to know more about the workings of the faeries, shifters and witches. We get a main story on how they were “Created” from angels/fallen angels, but I did want more background.

The pacing of the story moved quickly, and there was always some type of action or event occurring on each page. I liked the dynamics of all of the characters, each was different and individual and held their own. I really enjoyed Jenna’s character, and how she and Sophie work together as roommates-turned-friends. 

I didn’t like how secretive everyone was; however. It wasn’t just Sophie’s parents (including her Warlock father whom she’s never met) but Ms. Casnoff, the head of Hex Hall as well. Nobody wanted to tell Sophie who she truly is, her family lineage, or the dangers that face her now and in the future. I feel like keeping everything a secret was even more detrimental, than had everyone been open with her. I cannot imagine the feeling of finding out these secrets about yourself and your family from other students, especially when you’re already new and feel out of place.

The aspect of the book that I really liked, was the ghost of Sophie’s great-grandmother, Alice, who takes it upon herself to teach Sophie how to protect herself. But things aren’t always as they seem, and when things start to get a little weird, Sophie starts to piece everything together and we are left with a pretty crazy cliffhanger. I do like that Hawkins isn’t afraid to kill off characters and not give them happy endings, but I’m curious to see how the series proceeds now without a few key players.

SIMILAR READS: AWAKE AT DAWN (Shadow Falls #2) by C.C. Hunter | THE GHOST AND THE GOTH (The Ghost and the Goth #1) by Stacey Kade | Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White | SHADE (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready | ONCE A WITCH (Once a Witch #1) by Carolyn MacCullough | FIRESPELL (Dark Elite #1) by Chloe Neill

Happy Reading!
Laura

REVIEW {31} RETRO REVIEW {5} Frostbite by Richelle Mead

FROSTBITE
SERIES: Vampire Academy #2 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Vampire Academy #1; Shadow Kiss #3; Blood Promise #4; Spirit Bound #5; and Last Sacrifice #6; SPIN-OFF SERIES: Bloodlines | BOOKS IN THE SERIES:Bloodlines #1; The Golden Lily #2; The Indigo Spell #3; The Fiery Heart #4
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHED: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
EDITION: Paperback, 327 pages
ACQUISITION: Library; Need to Own/Wishlist
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Supernatural, Richelle Mead, Book 2 in Series, Vampire Academy Series, Razorbill, 4 Star Rating, Wishlist, Review, Retro Review
RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.37/5.00

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose… 

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed Vampire Academy, and when people started telling me that Frostbite was even better, I was psyched to read it… which I did, immediately after finishing book one. The most appealing aspects of these novels are the incredibly abundant amounts of action, and the insane emotions you feel from Rose. Rose is such a complex character, even though you seem to get her at face value, and you think there’s just maybe two sides to Rose, you then finish book two, and you are like, nope! Rose is Rose, regardless of who she’s interacting with; but she handles situations so differently. Every reaction that Rose has is so emotionally charged, and when she’s put to the test she always manages to kick butt! Everything about this book was addicting and delicious, and I can see myself adding the entire series to my personal library, and will be rereading these too, because the re-readability is very high.
The story line as well is so captivating, it literally grabs you and doesn’t let go. I would literally find myself doing things with the book clutched in my hands – cooking dinner, cleaning the house, etc. I did not want to put it down. There are momens where I was literally shocked at what Rose was put through, and awed at how amazingly she handles things. If you haven’t read this series, and you love vampires – you need to go get it right now. Like. Right. Now. Immediately. Go.
SIMILAR READS: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine | Jealousy by Lili St. Crow | Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowen | Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz | Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Happy Reading!

Review {28} Boundless by Cynthia Hand

BOUNDLESS
SERIES: Unearthly #3 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Unearthly #1; Hallowed #2
AUTHOR: Cynthia Hand
ACQUIRED: Borrowed | Library
EDITION: Hardcover, 438 pages
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: January 22nd 2013 by HarperTeen
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Romance, 3 Stars, Cynthia Hand, HarperTeen, 2013 Release, 2013 Read, Review
RATING: 3.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.18/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.


As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.


In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the first two books in this series – didn’t love them, definitely didn’t hate them; so I guess I just plain liked them. I picked up the third book in the trilogy when I saw it at the library the last time I was there, since I hadn’t purchased either of the other two books (and didn’t need to purchase #3 to complete my set) I decided to grab it. 
I was immediately transported back to Wyoming, and into the life of Clara Gardner, her brother Jeffrey, her “aunt” Billy, her friend Angela, and her two love interests, Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott. I had remembered pretty much everything from Unearthly and Hallowed (Which is a miracle!) and what I had forgotten about was triggered when mentioned or referred to in Boundless.
I felt that this final installment in the series was slow paced, and a little boring at times. I remember in writing my review for Hallowed, saying how I felt that time went by too quickly. It did again in Boundless, each chapter sometimes being weeks or months in the future, yet still dealing with the actions of the previous chapter. I found that it felt a little disjointed to me. Also, the characters seemed to accomplish little in these large gaps of time. I think that the characters themselves remained true to who they were in the previous books, but each has grown and changed in their own ways – which I enjoyed reading about.
One thing that I absolutely hate when a series ends, is when it feels too “Happily Ever After” at the end. Sure, the characters suffered over the course of the three books, but I feel like when I closed Boundless, I was like, “Oh, okay. So that’s how it ends.” I wasn’t happy, or sad, I really didn’t feel anything. It just is what it is. Which kind of disappoints me just a bit. I love endings where you feel these crazy rush of emotions, but this one just didn’t do it for me. 
I believe that Hand has interesting concepts of angels, Hell, the hierarchy of the angels, and basically her  ideals of what the contrast between Heaven/Hell, God and Fallen Angels are. Religion is one of those topics for me that is so touchy and so easily boundaries can be overstepped and turn either preachy or overly-religious to just unbelievable. I think that Hand did a good job keeping a decent balance to where I think the book is enjoyable by those looking for the angel/religion theme and those that enjoy reading about Good/Evil and angels without the religious aspect, like me.
Overall, I think the series told a good story with likable characters and creative themes and ideas that added up to three decent books that I would definitely recommend for it’s enjoyment factor. It may not have wowed me, but I still enjoyed the ride.
SIMILAR READS: Everbound by Brodi Ashton | Asunder by Jodi Meadows | If I Should Die by Amy Plum | Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton | Goddess by Josephine Angelini
HAPPY READING!

Save the Date {16} Hidden by Marianne Curley

TITLE: Hidden
SERIES: Avena #1
AUTHOR: Marianne Curley
RELEASE DATE: June 25th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, June 2013 Release, Hidden, Avena Series, Marianne Curley
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: For as long as Ebony can remember, she’s been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It’s as if she’s being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can’t be concealed. She’s growing more beautiful by the day, she’s freakishly strong, and then there’s the fact that she’s glowing

On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she’s intensely drawn to him. It’s as if something explodes inside of her–something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn’t know that she’s a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

WHY YOU SHOULD SAVE THE DATE: This one looks so good, and Curley is no newbie to the YA World. Her newest book promises to deliver tons of awesomeness as the reviews pour in on Goodreads – it’s already got a 3.44 out of 5.00 rating! I adore books having to do with angels, so this one is just a given for me; plus that cover is so pretty!
What do you think? Will you give Hidden a try? Let me know why or why not in the comments 🙂
Happy Reading!

Review {23} Obsidian

AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Armentrout
SERIES: Lux #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Shadows #0.5; Onyx #2; Opal #3; Origin #4; Untitled #5
PUBLISHED: May 8th 2012 by Entangled Teen
ACQUIRED: Own
EDITION: Paperback, 361 pages
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Romance, Aliens, Supernatural, 5 Stars, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Obsidian, Lux Series
RATING: 5.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.37/5.00
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: 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.

MY THOUGHTS:  Holy cow! I don’t even know where to begin with how much this book rocked my world right now! And how badly I wish that I had book #2 because I have a wicked case of book hangover. I want more Daemon! I NEED more Daemon! And Katy – how much more awesome can a main character get?! Okay, let me take a second and attempt to compose myself  *makes several minutes worth of squee and eeek noises*
Let’s try this again.
Oh. My. God. Who knew aliens could be so sexy?! And so bad ass?!
I absolutely loved Katy’s character. The only way I can think to describe her is… Feisty! She is one sarcastic, funny girl and definitely a top fave of mine now. All of the characters were fabulous. The sexy, smoldering Daemon, sensitive and lovable Dee; and even Katy’s other new friends Carissa and Lesa offer up tons of funny dialogue. The intense sexual tension and chemistry between Katy and Daemon is insane, and I am craving MORE!
I really enjoyed how well plotted out the story line is too. From the first page to the last, the story never slowed down or hit speed bumps. I was happily cruising along at a constant pace the entire time. There were no parts that felt awkward or forced, and I simply did not want to put the book down to eat, sleep, and go to work! It is easy to see what all the fuss was about when Armentrout hit the YA scene. I find her to be a fabulous author, and I will happily read anything that she puts out.
SIMILAR READS: AWRY by Chelsea Fine | SPARK by Brigid Kemmerer | ACCORDANCE by Shelly Crane | TOUCH by Jus Accardo | PREDESTINED by Abbi Glines
WHO I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO: Anyone who loves a good sci-fi story with hot aliens and one heck of a feisty, not-afraid-of-anything heroine!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends time reading, working out, watching really zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories … which explains her dismal math grades. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion, and Harlequin Teen.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published with Entangled and HarperCollins.

Save the Date {11} Touched by Corrine Jackson

Touched
AUTHOR: Corrine Jackson
SERIES: Sense Thieves #1
EDITION: Paperback, 343 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: November 27th 2012 by Kensington Teen
CATEGORIES: Young adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Sci-Fi
ADD TO GOODREADS (Enter to win a copy until 11/27/12)

WHAT THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS: Remy O’Malley heals people with touch – but ever injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive father, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns, and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

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

This is book one in the Touched trilogy.

MY THOUGHTS: A pretty unique concept, and not one overburdening the YA market right now. I’m really curious to see how the relationship between Remy and Asher is going to play out — sounds like it could get pretty messy!!

What are your thoughts?

Happy Reading!

Review {12} Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Publication Information: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Edition: Kobo ebook, 384 pages
Acquisition: Own
Categories: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Rating: 4.00/5.00 |  Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5.00
Add to Goodreads

What the Back of the Book Says

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.

She could save the world—or destroy it.


Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.


But she can’t do either alone.


With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?


Who can Evie trust?


As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….


My Thoughts

I have been impatiently waiting for this book to release since earlier this year. I love anything to do with tarot cards, and have several decks myself. As a student of the tarot, I’ve always loved the stories that each card has to tell, and when I found out that Kresley Cole – whom I’ve never read before – was releasing a book based on the major arcana cards, I was beyond stoked! 


I found Cole to be an exceptional storyteller, however there were times that I found myself a bit lost. There is tons going on in this story between the apocalypse, Evie’s visions and voices in her head, as well as the interactions between the characters in the book. I’ve read quite a few of the reviews up on Goodreads and some people complained that Evie’s visions made some parts of the story confusing. I can easily see how this happened, however I was able to still follow the story line easily. The issue that I had with Evie’s visions is that they were VERY cryptic. There were times I would read a scene, reread it, and still not fully understand. With tarot, this happens. Each and every person will read or interpret a card a different way, so I am just going to assume that these visions were Cole’s own personal images and interpretations of the cards and how they wove into her story and characters. 

The characters were wonderful, each with their own voices and personalities. I wouldn’t say that I loved Evie’s character. I liked her well enough, there were times where I thought she was a whiny, irrational brat, but they were few and fleeting. By the end of the book I thought she was pretty kick ass with her powers, able to finally protect herself, and fight for her life. I’m curious to see how she develops in the remainder of the series. Jackson pissed me off a lot with how he tended to let his male parts think for him instead of his brain. Selena was cool in the supernatural, embracing her super powers kind of way, but other than that she seemed vindictive and conniving. Matthew annoyed the piss out of me with his awkwardness and cryptic ways of talking. His psychic abilities were pretty cool though. And Finn was okay, I really didn’t like or dislike him. He’s super cocky and like Jackson wants a girl in his bed. Arthur is also a very interesting character. He plays a small yet HUGE part. I do like how Cole interprets each card and developed them into characters. I had fun trying to guess which card each character was, and how Jackson will fit into all of this!

The world building was pretty incredible. I know I’m really into a book and that the author is amazing at world building when as I am reading the book, it’s almost playing like a movie in my mind’s eye. This happened for me through most of the book. To go from everyday life to a post apocalyptic landscape would be a huge shock for anyone – especially when most all of the women in the world perished, and Bagmen – aka Zombies – are swarming as are Slavers – aka men who enslave people and use women as “toys” – as well as militias that are forming. To deal with this along with lack of food, water, shelter, and gasoline add up to one incredible story.

As with any book that you end up really liking, Cole leaves us hanging at the end – wondering what’s in store for the characters after Evie makes some realizations – including remembering bits of what her Grandmother told her as a girl (Spoiler:(highlight over to read) Including that only ONE card can survive. Therefore Evie has to kill ALL of the other major arcana cards/characters including those she’s already met: Finn, Selena, and Matthew. Each kill earns her that cards “mark” tattooed on her arm. Cool!) that will make things incredibly different for book two!!

My Recommendation: If you love action packed, post apocalyptic tales woven with romantic tension, zombies, tarot and incredibly developed characters fighting to survive across a barren, danger filled landscape, then this one is for you!

If You Liked This Try: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter | Black City by Elizabeth Richards | Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson | Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Happy Reading!

Review {9} Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures
By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Additional Books in the Series: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, Dream Dark, Beautiful Redemption
Edition: Hardcover, 563 pages | Published: December 1st, 2009 by Little, Brown and Co.
Obtained: Own | Recommend: Borrow/Buy Used
Categories: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural, Witches, Urban Fantasy
Read From: September 20th – October 3rd, 2012
Rating: 3 Stars

What the Back of the Book Says: There were no surprises in Gatlin County. 

We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.

Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

There was a curse.

There was a girl.

And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.


Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.


In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


My Thoughts: I’ve had this book on my To Be Read list since I purchased it way back in December 2009 when it was first released. With the release date for the upcoming Beautiful Creatures movie getting closer, I decided it was time to finally read it.

I was sucked into the story pretty quickly, and must admit this is the first male-narrated story I’ve read in quite awhile. Ethan Wate is a decent enough character, one who wants nothing more than to get out of the tiny town he’s lived in his whole life – and who’s ancestry goes back to Civil War days. The entire southern town is stuck in a vicious cycle of reliving history but Ethan’s so over it. So just when he is at his lowest, in steps Lena Duchannes, niece to the town recluse, Macon Ravenwood, and the girl who jump starts his heart.
The world building is impressive, and I was easily able to visualize Gatlin, with it’s rich history and vibrant characters. I found the high school characters, namely Savannah, Emily, Eden, and the basketball team to be vicious, nasty people who taunted and tortured poor Lena. They were nasty, vindictive and conniving and not in the entertaining, Gossip Girl way. Each time I would read a scene taking place in the halls of Jackson High I would cringe. It’s sad that these close-knit small towns treat outsiders, but I can see that happening. I grew up in a very small town, my graduating class being under one hundred students, it wasn’t often that we had a new kid in town, and it may have taken them a bit to feel out the students and choose where they best fit, they were never outwardly shunned. To see this happening in a book was shocking and left me hoping that it was exaggerated for the story’s sake – and that this doesn’t happen in real life!
I devoured the book rather quickly, however the last hundred pages were slow for me. I felt that there were too many secrets kept that were continuously brought up in almost a taunting way to the reader – like, ‘ha ha we know what’s going to happen and we are going to keep telling you that secrets are being kept but you can’t know them! – it didn’t make me dislike the story at all, but it did drive me nuts occasionally. Also, Lena’s family is voluminous in number, each with their own special powers which got to be a little confusing. They were almost lost on me, trying to keep track of who was who and could do what, etc. Again, it didn’t pull from the overall enjoyment of the story, but did feel jumbled at some parts.
The magical aspect and the different types of magic (Light vs Dark; and what each family member/Caster can do) is very intriguing and I was fully engaged in learning more. I’m hoping to get more individualized and detailed pictures of what Casters can do in the remaining books to come in the series.
There weren’t very many surprises that blew me away, but there was enough suspense and small twists to keep me fully engaged from page one through the end. I absolutely adore Lena, and look forward to continuing her story in the second book in the series (which I’ve already gotten from the library!) since there are lots of loose ends left for her (and Ethan… and Gatlin, for that matter) to deal with, which I’m very curious to see how they tie up.
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