Blog Tour: Fairy Tale (Cyn Balog) Review

3472820Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers (June 23, 2009)
Hardcover: 248 Pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Part of The Cyn Balog Tour (hosted by: The Teen Book Scene) [Click link for guest posts, interviews, and more!]

From Goodreads. Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam’s cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what’s going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.

Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan’s no longer sure what’s best for everyone, or whether her and Cam’s love can weather an uncertain future.

Review
FAIRY TALE, by Cyn Balog, is a bittersweet ‘fairy’ tale about a teenage girl trying to hold onto the guy of her dreams. Morgan and Cam have been girlfriend and boyfriend since they were little. Morgan thought she was the only supernatural in their relationship (she is psychic) but as it turns out Cam is a fairy changeling. He was never supposed to survive but the Fairy world wants him back and they send along a dangerous and gorgeous fairy girl to do it. Morgan fights for the love of her life, but soon finds herself dreaming of another…

Cyn Balog seems to have the uncanny ability to create stories that weave themselves into my heart right from the beginning. I loved the realtionship between Morgan and Cam. They have been together so long, they were practically the same person. And at the end of the day, they still adored each other. But, the apperance of Pip and Dawn change both of their lives forever.

The characters in this book were really great. I found myself attached to all of them in different ways and I wanted them all to be happy in the end. Pip was odd at first but after Morgan gave him a ‘makeover’ his confidence and charm really stood out. Since these characters were so great, I found myself disappointed in just getting Morgan’s POV. I would have loved to see Pip’s previous life and also Cam’s training with Dawn.

Overall, this was a great book and a different take on a fairy tale where ‘happily ever after’ is in the eye of the beholder.

Book Review: Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz

516+GVG7z7LPublisher: Hyperion Book (CH)
Hardcover: 160 Pages
Series: Blue Bloods novella
Genre: YA Fantasy
Book from Publisher*

From Goodreads Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz offers readers a new story about the love lives of their favorite vamps – the passion and heartache, the hope and devastation, the lust and longing. Combined with all the glitz, glamour, and mystery fans have come to expect, this is sure to be another huge hit in the Blue Bloods series.

Review
BLOODY VALENTINE, by Melissa de la Cruz, is the highly anticipated novella about the romances in this series. I love this series anyways so I planned on reading it the second I heard about it, but another plus was the cover. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? It follows the same theme of the other covers, but I think the flower sealed the deal to make it my favorite so far!

This novella is split into three short stories. The first being about Oliver meeting a lady friend in NYC. This was the shortest of the three. It definitely had a bittersweet ending but it definitely gave me some closure. The second story is about Allegra when she was in school and how she met Schuyler’s father. I really enjoyed this story. So far in the seriess Allegra hasn’t given us much info about her life before being in the hospital. It was exciting to read about Cordelia again (I missed her!) and a younger (and somewhat bratty) Charles.

The last story was the longest, and most anticipated. Jack and Schuyler were preparing for their bonding. If you didn’t think these two were meant to be together before, now is the time to give it up! I love how their relationship has grown. They are more attuned to each other now then ever and both would stop at nothing to protect the other. Their relationship is beautiful and magnificent to read about. There was a little action in this piece but the main focus was their bonding. Melissa pulled out all the stops on making their ceremony breathtaking.

Fans of this series will want to pick this up as soon as they can. It is a lovely little treat and gives a little more insight to this amazing vampire series.

Blue Bloods 1-3 (Melissa de la Cruz) Audiobook Review

Publisher: Recorded Books (2009)
Format: Audio CD (7 Hours)
Read by Christina Moore

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries.

But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think.

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the heady backdrop of the rich, young, and powerful in the heart of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans. (Source)

Format: Audio CD (7 Hours)
Read by Christina Moore

Schuyler Van Alen is starting to get more comfortable with her newfound vampire powers, but she still has many unanswered questions. A trip to Italy in search of her grandfather only serves to make things more confusing. What secrets are the leaders of The Committee hiding?

Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the famous Four Hundred Ball. In true Blue Blood fashion, the ball is totally fab, complete with masks, and hidden behind this masquerade is a revelation that will change the course of a young vampire’s destiny. (Source)

Format: Audio CD (6 Hours)
Read by Christina Moore

Melissa de la Cruz has authored numerous bestselling books for teens and has amassed a fanatical following for her Blue Bloods series. The third book in the series, Revelations continues the romantically charged tale of vampire intrigue. As friction increases between undead adversaries, one question demands an answer: Is Schuyler Van Alen a Blue Blood, or can her lineage be traced to the wicked Silver Bloods?

 

Review
The BLUE BLOODS series, by Melissa De La Cruz, is a fresh idea of vampires living as high society around the world. I really loved the history of the Blue Bloods that Melissa created for this series. I liked how each of the teenagers were coming into the age of figuring out their past lives and where their relationships lie. During the drama between teens, there was the mysterious and dangerous Silver Bloods that were wrecking havoc and draining Blue Bloods just coming into their transformation.

Right from the start I loved this series. Melissa’s way of writing gives gradual snippets of backstory that keeps you reading to figure out the mystery and history of each character. Her great taste in fashion and all things high society New York was intriguing.

At first I got a little lost in the characters but now I absolutely love them all. The switch between multiple point of views really gives an amazing look into this world. Schuyler is my favorite character. I love how she does not fall into the typical category of the Blue Bloods and that is alluring to two very handsome men in her life. The triangle with Oliver and Jack tended to leave me dizzy with indecision.

In terms of the audiobook, Christina Moore does a fantastic job of narrating. Her pacing is perfect and the voices she creates are very distinct so that I don’t find myself getting lost between characters.

These books build on top of each other the fight against the Silver Bloods. But along with suspense, there is intrigue and romance that will leave you wanting more. I am looking forward to the continuation of the series with The Van Alen Legacy.

Audiobook Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

51K1M2q3sXL__SL175_Publisher: Recorded Books (June 22, 2010)
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by Emily Gray
Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Supernatural
Series: The Parasol Protectorate #1

From Goodreads. Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS, by Gail Carriger, is fantastic, hilarious, romantic, and all together phenomenal book. I absolutely adored it and if you have not checked it out yet, please do!

Carriger throws you right into the middle of action when the book begins. We learn Alexia is a preternatural (a person without a soul, hence Soulless) who ‘turns off’ supernatural abilities when she touches a supernatural creature (vampire, werewolf, ghost, etc.). She accidentally kills a vampire and she is thrust into an investigation of missing supernaturals. The world that Carriger created was fantastic. I love the time period she chose and the inclusion of the supernatural within the society.

The characters in this book were equally fantastic. Alexia reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) with her intelligence, her ability to stand up for what she believes in, her wonderful sarcasm, but definitely open to having love in her life. Carriger wrote Alexia so well, I was literally laughing out loud with her thought process about her family, Lord Maccon, and general society issues. Speaking of Lord Maccon (swoon), I knew from the get-go these two would be a match made in heaven. But both are stubborn in their ways (Lord Maccon being a werewolf) and they succeeded at misinterpreting each others feelings over and over, keeping other characters and myself in suspense at the outcome of the relationship.

I loved the development of the mystery surrounding the missing supernaturals. There were moments that I gasped aloud when I figured out what was going on. Carriger truly has a talent for creating a good mystery. Overall, this was an awesome book full of hilarity, romance, and a darn good mystery, this is not one to be missed!

A note on the audiobook. Emily Gray was a pleasure to listen to. She made Alexia come to life and I felt at times she was the character. Also, her narrations of other characters, Lord Maccon in particular, were precise and fit the characters well. Gray has a new fan!

eGalley Review: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

outsideinPublisher: Harlequin Teen (March 1, 2011)
eGalley: 304 Pages
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Series: Inside Out #2
Book from NetGalley*

From Goodreads.
Me?

A leader?

Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew.

That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside.

And something from Outside wants In.

Review

OUTSIDE IN, by Maria V. Snyder, is the equally amazing sequel in the Inside Out series. We pick up right after the rebellion when a new Committee is established and the recently discovered empty levels are being prepared for Insiders to live in.
Trella initially shrugs off any leader duties, feeling her work has been done. She starts off on the Committee as a consultant but eventually drops out in the hopes of going back to exploring and spending time with Riley. Things all seem well and good until Insiders are being accused of destroying important mechanical systems. Trella is once again thrown into the mix again to keep herself and fellow Insiders away from harm.
I was so happy to see Trella and Riley together! I think they are perfect together in how they complete each other. Snyder stepped up the romance between these two and at times it was very steamy (pun for ‘shower scene’). But their happiness was short lived in the midst of what seemed like another rebellion. Also, Trella’s relationship with Dr. Lamont was tried upon again and again, and I was anxious to know if Trella would ever accept their genetic link.
This book stepped up the action in so many ways. Trella was tested time and time again and I was sucked into this book until the very end. Snyder tortured Trella incessantly and at certain points I was nervous for her survival.
Once again, Snyder took me for several loops and I had no idea who to trust at any point. With the book in Trella’s POV, it was nerve-wracking (in a good way) to know only what she saw was happening. This book, more so than the first, kept my heart racing to understand what was really going on and how Trella would try and overcome.
This book was a magnificent sequel to Inside Out and fans of the series will not be disappointed!!
NOTE: I am not sure if there will be a third book, but I do feel that if there isn’t, the book did wrap up enough to keep me satisfied. But I am always up for more Trella and the adventures she encounters!

Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

insideout

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (April 1, 2010)
Paperback: 320 Pages
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Series: Inside Out #1

From Goodreads.
Keep Your Head Down.
Don’t Get Noticed.
Or Else.
I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Review
INSIDE OUT, by Maria V. Snyder, is a fast-paced and unique story that will keep you on the edge of your seat….the entire time!  Snyder created phenomenal characters, hair-raising plot twists, and a resolution that will make your head spin.

I immediately connected with Trella. She was a bit of a loner who kept one good friend. She kept low key, which enabled her to explore her way through the air ducts all over the Inside, and it earned her the name ‘Queen of the Pipes’. But, her extended knowledge of the Inside roped her into a situation that affected the lives of everyone on the Inside.

Character-wise, I loved the relationship dynamic between Trella and Riley. Two people from different ‘levels’ finding more in common than they ever dreamed fueled the rebellion and its leader. I hoped and hoped that these two would get together throughout the whole book. And no, I won’t tell you if they did!

Snyder is truly a fantastic writer. Her prose is amazing and I was able to visualize everything that Trella saw in the Inside. The book was detailed and very thorough and I found myself tuning out everything else around me while reading. At the end of the book in the Acknowledgement section, Snyder said that this was a ‘dream book’. She saw the characters, twists, and ending in her dream and wrote it all down. I am always looking to my dreams for inspiration and I am happy to know that it is possible!

It’s extremely hard to write an un-spoilery review for this book. I spent all my non-reading time trying to figure out what was Inside and Outside and when it was revealed I was absolutely blown away. All I can say is.. GO GET THIS BOOK!