Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine

The Dead Girl's Dance
(The Morganville Vampires - Book Two)
Rachel Caine

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

My Review:

I'm just going to start this review by coming out and admitting that by the time I finished the second book in the series I had completely and utterly fallen in love with The Morganville Vampires.

It's violent, dark and doesn't butcher the vampire mythology like so many other books and series do in this genre. In a lot of ways it also reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not that they're vampire ~slayers~ but the political elements of the things that go bump in the night and the scooby-gang feel to Claire, Eve, Shawn and Michael's little group.

Despite the summary, and the title, this book actually has very little to do with the Dead Girl's dance hosted by the EEK frat. Claire's invited at the start of the book and the actual party only makes up less than two chapters and isn't exactly relevant to the main plot.

Which is Shawn's vampire slaying father showing up in town, which ultimately causes Shawn to get blamed for a vampire murder and sentenced to death by fire. We get filled in on Shawn's time outside of Morganville and what happened to his mother along with growth within his relationship with Claire.

The relationship between Shawn and Claire also continues to be one of my favorite elements of the series. They're slowly making their way to being one of my favorite couples in the ya genre. It's not 'omg-most-realistic-romance-ever!' but it doesn't sugarcoat the issues they have (especially with her jailbait status and the fact they want to have sex, yay for teens having hormones).

Like I mentioned earlier, the book also continues to be violent and dark. Which is obviously not everyone's cup of tea but I love it. I just personally believe any book that involves monsters should include at least some senseless blood and gore. I'm old fashioned like that.

I also like the fact that the book doesn't present a black-and-white depiction of who is good and who is evil. There are human's in the book who do evil things, for no real reason. Along with vampire's actions and morals, for a lack of a better word. For example, in terms of contracts the vampires have human's sign that make them their slaves? It's pointed out that most of them come from a time where "owning" slaves or you servants was extremely common. It doesn't make it right, but it weakens the wrong or evil element.

In conclusion: I'm in love with this book and it was a improvement over Glass Houses. I'm looking forward to the third book in the series.

If you want to read my review for the first book in the series, Glass Houses, click here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith

The limbs broke off, and the unmentionable fell to the ground, helpless. She retrieved her dagger and beheaded the last of her opponents, lifting its head by the hair and letting her battle cry be known for a mile in every direction.

Teaser Tuesday is an awesome meme by Should be Reading. Check it out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let's Try This Again...Pretty New Layout, Possible Contest and Place to Get Books!

So I have a new layout, which is beautiful and amazing. Apparently it wasn't letting people comment but I seem to have fixed that by just using the pop up feature. So if someone wants to be a doll and comment here to insure that it's working right I'd love you.

Also, I am currently at 40 follows which is awesome. When I hit 50 I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a contest to celebrate :D We'll see how that pans out.

Finally, I saw a post a few days ago that listed places online and such to get books in order to review. Sadly I lost the link :(. And someone mentioned netgalley, which seems like an awesome site but I'm hesitant to use it because it says you need to be a professional and sadly I am not. Anyone know anything about it? Or similar sites?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox
Week Five

I'm doing this a few days early, again, because I picked up some weekend shifts at work and I'm not entirely sure how much I'll be around this weekend. I wasn't actually planning on picking up any books this week because working this much overtime has seriously impacted my reading time so I'm way behind on my 'to-read' pile.

However, two of my holds from the library finally became available and I couldn't stop myself from picking them.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton - and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers - and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

First thoughts: I'm only about thirty pages into this but I'm really enjoying it so far. Pride and Prejudice has always had a special place in my heart so I'm loving this "version" of it. I've read the original so it's also interesting to see how he worked in the zombie elements.

Hex Hall
Rachel Hawkins

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 the 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 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.

First thoughts: sdfkjaskldf <- For real, I did a happy dance when I got the notice this book had arrived. I was expecting it to take a lot longer to get to my local library than it did. It's pretty much taking everything in me to finish the two books I already started (or at least one) before I start on it...and knowing me, I'll probably cave by tomorrow night.

This Weeks Reviews
(click book cover for review)

Apparently last weeks theme was covers with legs.

I also posted the super-short teaser from ABC Family for Pretty Little Liars, cause y'all know how much I adore that series. You want watch it here.

In My Mailbox is an awesome weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren so check it out.

Trailer: Pretty Little Liars TV Promo

I'm a firm believer that books will always be superior to whatever movie or show they're made into but I'm really excited to see this show.

Pretty Little Liars is easily one of my favorite ya series so definitely going to be tuning in for this.

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Dark Divine
Bree Despain

My Rating:

Back of the Book:

A Prodigal Son.

A Dangerous Love.

A Deadly Secret.

Grace Divine - daughter of the local pastor - always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kallbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes the most: her soul.

My Review:

The Dark Divine, for me, is like that movie everyone you know has seen and is raving about. It's amazing, epic, etc. Even your granny dragged herself into the theaters to check it out. Only, it doesn't really appeal to you and the trailer is kinda blah but when it comes out on DVD you rent it just to see what everyone is talking about.

And you kinda end up loving it.

I went into this book with very little knowledge of it, other than the main character was a pastor's daughter and it had a theme of forgiveness. I know that normally this is the part where I recap the story but I'm not going to with The Dark Divine because part of the appeal is watching it all unravel as the story goes on. It's done beautifully.

I'd be lying if I said Grace was my favorite female lead character but she wasn't annoying and did experience some nice character growth. I ended up really loving Daniel and really wish the book had focused a bit more on his life during the time he was gone and what he had fallen into to. It's implied but for the most part brushed over fairly quickly.

I was unsure of the religious theme in the book, with the belief that it may come off preachy. I've never been keen on Christian fiction, and while this doesn't fall into that category, it was one of the reasons it hadn't originally appealed to me. However, the religious elements worked well within the story. I ended up really liking Grace's father as well.

The book, however, wasn't perfect. I read the vast majority of it this weekend. For the first third of the book it was almost impossible for me to put down (which kind of sucked because I was filling in for some extra money and kept having to put the book down to help customers). However, the ending didn't have the effect on me.

I actually had to force myself to pick up the book and finish the last fifty or so pages because it was due back at the library. I'm not saying the ending was bad, it wasn't. It just wasn't up to par with the rest of the book and I think it came off to rushed.

Which is why I am giving the book a high four stars. It's definitely worth reading, just make sure you have a lot of free time before you start.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

The Dark Divine
Bree Despain

I still hated the way he'd made me want to forget - even for a moment - who I was.

How could I help Daniel find his way, without losing mine?

p. 93

Join the fun over at Should Be Reading.

Review: You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

You Are So Undead to Me
Stacey Jay

My Rating:


Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which mean she's a part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly the homecoming dance - depends on it.

My Review:

You Are So Undead to Me is one of those books I really wanted to love. And, in a lot of ways, I did. It has Zombies, a "chosen" one and secret organizations that protect us from the things that go bump in the night.

And it kinda reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which has my undying love. And not just cause the cover is playing off the movie poster.

I liked Megan. She was slightly shallow and made some bad choices but she comes off as normal teenage girl who just wants to get on the dance team and have a hot date to the Homecoming Dance. And Ethan work well as the older love interest.

I also kind of loved the fact that the zombies came to her to talk about their last wishes. It was an interesting take. However, I was disappointed that this never took off or was the focus of anything. We had a girl who was murdered by her sister and that was dropped right after the scene and never mentioned again.

And, don't read this paragraph if you don't want spoilers....look away now, I was definitely not keen on the fact that the evil villains in this book turned out to be a lesbian couple. Which ok, is petty but lgbt characters aren't all that common so it saddens me how frequently they do get the role of psycho who is going to kill everyone. The book and ending would have worked well without that fact, in all honesty.

So I'm stuck with giving this book a very low four stars. I will probably check out the sequel and see where they're going with this. know...zombies.

Note: Sorry for the short review. I'm working overtime, so I'm a bit drained. I may go back and add more later.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox
Week Four

It's been kind of a slow week for me, I worked overtime which made it pretty much impossible to hit up the library or bookstore for some casual browsing. However, I did manage to borrow these:

Glass Houses
(The Morganville Vampires, Book One)
Rachel Caine

College should be an exciting time, but for brainy 16-year-old Claire Danvers that's too mild a word. Due to advanced placement, Claire can start college early, but her parents refuse to allow her to go to the distant Ivy League school of her dreams. She goes to Texas Prairie University where she is tormented by the popular girls—but that's the least of her worries. Morganville, home of the university, is also home to vampires and vampire hunters. Claire finds protection from the horrors of the town in the Glass House with three fellow outcasts, Goth girl Eve, rebellious Shane, and Michael, who disappears during the day. Claire falls for Shane and would do anything to protect her friends, including facing down bloodthirsty vampires and dangerous bikers. (from

The Dead Girl's Dance
(The Morganville Vampires, Book Two)
Rachel Caine

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

Because of my crazy schedule this week I was only able to get Glass Houses reviewed (which you can read here). However, I've finished You Are So Undead to Me last night and the review for that should be up later tonight.

In My Mailbox is an awesome meme hosted over at The Story Siren. Go check it out (and if you found your way here, feel free to click that 'follow' button your right to make my dad).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Cain

Glass Houses
(The Morganville Vampires, Book One)
Rachel Cain

My Rating:


College should be an exciting time, but for brainy 16-year-old Claire Danvers that's too mild a word. Due to advanced placement, Claire can start college early, but her parents refuse to allow her to go to the distant Ivy League school of her dreams. She goes to Texas Prairie University where she is tormented by the popular girls—but that's the least of her worries. Morganville, home of the university, is also home to vampires and vampire hunters. Claire finds protection from the horrors of the town in the Glass House with three fellow outcasts, Goth girl Eve, rebellious Shane, and Michael, who disappears during the day. Claire falls for Shane and would do anything to protect her friends, including facing down bloodthirsty vampires and dangerous bikers. (from

My Review:

Glass Houses was one of those books that, for the first third of it, I didn't think I was going to like it. I was lining up flaws and issues that I could foresee coming in the story and character plot lines. However, I ended up surprised by how everything eventually just started clicking together and how it all worked.

The cliff's note of the version of the story is sixteen year old Claire is attending university in the small, Texas town of Morganville. She's a genius with dreams of Ivy league but her parents wanted her to stay close to home. However, their plan to protect their daughter doesn't really work out all that well because the popular girls have taken to harassing her. This ends up escalating to a point where they push her down the stairs in their dorm and threaten her life. Fearing for safety, Claire seeks out other living arrangements which is ultimately how she ends up being roommates with 18 and 19 year old's Eve, Shane and Michael in the glass house. Eve's a goth girl who works at Common Grounds, the local coffee joint. Shane's a slacker with a pretty face. And Michael? He's a musician that never leaves the house and sleeps all day. The three hometown teens introduced Claire to the real side of Morganville, where not only are vampires real but they rule the town. And Claire finds herself on the vampires' bad side very quickly and it's going to take the four of them to get her out of this alive.

I kinda sorta really love this book because, with the flooding of the YA genre with vampire books that take huge liberties with the mythology, the Morganville vamps are extremely traditional. They need to drink blood to stay alive, they can't come out in the daylight, you need to invite them in for them to gain access to your house, garlic is a big no-no, etc. You don't understand how utterly happy this made me.

Also Cain does a great job explaining how it is the vampires can exist, known to the general public in the town, without making it feel forced. There is a logic behind it, how it's just part of life there.

Like I said earlier, I was unsure of this book at the start. One of my biggest issues going into it was the discovery that Claire was sixteen, despite being in college (not something I was aware of, due to the college element I was expecting the female lead to be of age). I figured this would either highly limit the character or force it to become extremely unrealistic. With the rest of the cast 18 or 19 year olds I figured we wouldn't get a real romantic interest for her along with the nagging realization that her parents are nowhere to be seen.

And I actually ended up loving the fact that Claire was younger. In a lot of ways it shows in her character, she may be a genius when it comes to school stuff but she is a bit naive in the workings of the world. It also explains, to an extent, why the other three are so protective of her opposed to her simply being a victim (and their is some lovely character growth on Claire's part throughout the book). Not to mention, upon moving into the glass house Michael brings up the fact that having a minor living with them could get him and Shane into a lot of trouble. And when her parents show up, they act like parents. It's refreshing the age thing wasn't just forgotten within a few pages and it was reflective in the storyline.

And ultimately, yes, it does add a nice element to the relationship between Shane and her. Which, by the way, I absolutely adore. It was played out absolutely lovely. There is a lot of subtly to the interaction between the two and the foundation has been built before you even realize it's happening.

Warning: the book does end with a cliffhanger so make sure you have the second on hand. But this is so worth the read. The only reason this baby didn't earn five stars is because the first third of the book did start off rather slow, in my opinion. Here's hoping the second book can keep this up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

I'm reading two books this week, so I'm saying fuck it and posting a teaser for both. Enjoy!

You Are So Undead To Me
Stacey Jay

Everyone felt sorry for the kid in The Sixth Sense, and he was the only one who could see the dead people. Creepy, yes, but at least he didn't have to worry about a zombie tailing him to softball practice and scaring half the population of Carol, Arkansas.

p. 9

Dead Until Dark
Charlaine Harris

"The Vampire Bill!" I said. "I thought it might be Antoine, or Basil, or Langford! Bill!"


Join the fun by checking out the meme post, here, at shouldbereading.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox
Week Three

What I Got:

I still have two library books left over from my trip last week to the library so I didn't make a trip there this week. However, I finally caved and picked up three books at the store this week that I've had my eye. I was doing so good to. Oh well, sometimes you just can't fight it.

The Forrest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world, there are simple truths.

The sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

First Thoughts:
I'd heard really good things about it. Plus, you know, zombies.

Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles

At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago, everyone knows that south siders and north siders aren't exactly compatible elements. So when head cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, the results are bound to be explosive. But neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all - love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?

First Thoughts: Basically I picked up this book because I have a thing for star crossed lovers. It's not something I can help, I just do.

And the trailer for this didn't hurt ;)

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Seth Grahame-Smith

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 40 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

First Thoughts:
Seriously, do I even need to justify getting this book? Who wouldn't want this. Plus, it's autographed! I was checking out with Perfect Chemistry and look over to see a small stack of signed copies on sale at my book store. That kind of sealed the deal for me.

Recap of Last Week's Reviews
(Click Book for Review)

I know this is early but I picked up some extra weekend shifts, so I wasn't sure when I'd be home and available to put this up.

Review: Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft

Dirty Laundry
Daniel Ehrenhaft

My Rating:

The School: The Winchester School of the Arts, nick-named "The Laundromat" because it's where better schools send their "dirty laundry." Get kicked out of Exeter, Hotch-kiss, or Choate? End up at Winchester.

The Girl: Carli, a gorgeous pigtailed Hollywood actress going undercover at Winchester to research her role.

The Boy: Fun (short for Fellini Udall Newport), an embittered senior and graffiti artist who was almost expelled - until his dad (and a lot of money) convinced the headmaster to let him work off his crime as Carli's assistant.

The Problem: Beautiful, talented senior Darcy Novak, one of the least screwed-up people at Winchester, has disappeared.

As Carli and Fun discover each other's hidden talents, there's a villain setting them up. Can they save Darcy - and themselves - or will they wash out?

My Review:

Dirty Laundry was one of those books I picked up on a whim. I was at the library, with a stack of suggested books and it caught my eye. After passing it for the third time I finally picked it up because it had a cute cover, the plot sounded interesting and I thought why not. If it sucks, I'll have one bad review for my blog to give it street cred.

I'm extremely happy I did because Dirty Laundry ended surprising me. The book revolves around two main characters, Carli and Fun. Carli is a C-list actress who has been cast as the lead in a new show about private school. She's sent off to Winchester School of the Arts in order to "get into character", using her characters names and observing the behavior of other students. That is where Fun comes in, he's the son of Carli's boss and has agreed to work as Carli's personal assistant in order to not be expelled for all the graffiti he's done on campus.

As for the school, Winchester is the place where all the bad apples end up after being expelled from other boarding schools. So it's an interesting array of characters and staff that Carli interacts with upon arriving at the school. Most of whom are focused on Darcy, one of the more stable students who had mysteriously disappeared at the start of the book and the surrounding investigation.

The narration in the book switches back and forth between Carli and Fun, along with the occasional police transcript, IM conversation or blog entry by Nails. It can be a bit jarring at first but after the first part of the book it gets into a good flow and works well.

The book also gets points because, despite a cast of unbalanced boarding school students, it stays mostly within the realm of reality and the ending is quirky but not over the top.

It's not a perfect book, Carli's shame spirals are overdone in the first part of the book and Fun's a bit to stand offish to really get into. That and the interaction between the two isn't explored to the extent that I hoped it would be. The few scenes they have together are awesome, but most of the book is spent with them in a group or separately.

Dirty Laundry isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea but it was one I strongly enjoyed.

Book Blogger Hop

Check it out, y'all:

It's that time of the week again! With the hugely successful first week, I'm happy to announce that the Book Blogger Hop will be a weekly feature here at Crazy-for-Books! So, get those party shoes on and let's start the Hop!

So I'm off to check out all the blogs that have already joined. :)

And hi to everyone who found their way here from it! I love new followers, so feel more than free to hit that 'follow' button on the right :D

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez

Dead is the New Black
Marlene Perez

My Rating:


Welcome to Nightshade, California; a small town full of secrets. It's home to the pyschic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case.

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can't help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new look; Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.

Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad.

My Review:

Let me start out by saying that I really wanted to like this book. I had heard some great things about it, the series this kicks off was highly recommended plus the backcover had this nifty review:

"Dead is the New Black equals Veronica Mars plus Buffy the Vampire Slayer..."

Now, I own every season of Buffy on DVD, along with season one of Veronica Mars. They are among, what I believe to be, some of the best television ever created. They were smart, funny and worked. So yeah, my expectations going into this book were really high.

And I think that this may have been a bad thing because by the time I finished it I was left disappointed and let down.

The book starts out with potential and up until the scene in the morgue with Daisy and Ryan I was feeling it. The mystery of Daisy's father disappearing, the former friendship alluded to between her and the queen bee bitch / possible vampire of the school Samantha, a psychic family and her friendship with hotty Ryan possibly turning into something more? There was so much to work with here.

But after the morgue, everything went down really fast. Daisy never really took off as a character and she, in my opinion, is far from the independent outsider we're lead to believe she is. Most of her actions are the result of other people telling her to do them. Such as wearing the bracelet that Samantha gave her, cause she was told to (despite believing it could harm or even kill her). And her reasons for joining the cheerleading squad? Are definitely not to 'solve the case' like suggested. The coach and Samantha said to, so she did. It even states in the book she isn't looking into the case because of cheerleading practice.

The same can be said for most of the characters. Ryan lacks a personality, Daisy's two sisters are interchangable and we don't see enough of her mother to really feel like their is a character there. Sean, Samantha's boyfriend, is reference numerously but he might as well be a cardboard cutout.

On top of that, the ending and resolution to the "who is the vampire attacking the cheerleaders?!?!" feels ridiculously rushed and is a huge let down.

I know that this is a fairly unpopular opinion and I'd suggest checking out other reviews of the book. Like I said earlier, I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn't gone in with such high hopes for the series. And the book does have it's moments, the morgue scene at the beginning is fairly awesome.

Overall, I just wasn't really feeling it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Dead is the New Black
Marlene Perez

Still, I didn't want to dwell on the question of who else Ryan had kissed in the morgue. But however much I tried, I couldn't stop thinking about it (p. 29)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by Should Be Reading.

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Review: Perfect (A Pretty Little Liars Novel) by Sara Shepard

(A Pretty Little Liars Novel)

Sara Shepard



In a town where gossip thrives like the ivy that clings to its mansions, where mysteries lie behind manicured hedges and skeletons hide in every walk-in closet, four perfect-looking girls aren't nearly as perfect as they seem.

Three years ago, Spencer, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and their best friend Alison were the girls at Rosewood Day School. They clicked through the halls in their Miu Miu flats, tanned in their matching Pucci bikinis, and laughed behind their freshly manicured fingernails. They were the girls everyone loved but secretly hated—especially Alison.

So when Alison mysteriously vanished one night, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna's grief was tinged with . . . relief. And when Alison's body was later discovered in her own backyard, the girls were forced to unearth some ugly memories of their old friend, too. Could there be more to Alison's death than anyone realizes?

Now someone named A, someone who seems to know everything, is pointing the finger at one of them for Ali's murder. As their secrets get darker and their scandals turn deadly, A is poised to ruin their perfect little lives forever. (from

My Review:

Perfect, the third Pretty Little Liars novel, picks up roughly a month after Toby's suicide at the end of the previous book, Flawless. The cryptic messages from "A" have stopped and the girl's are moving on with their lives.

Aria is trying to find a sense of normalcy by dating Sean, Spencer has thrown herself back into school despite her mom putting her into therapy, Hanna and Mona are back on normal bff terms and Emily has been dating Maya in secret. However "A" isn't done with them and starts outing the girls deep, dark secrets.

I finished this book several days ago but have been sitting on this review because for, the longest time, I wasn't sure how I was going to rate it. From my previous two reviews of the series, it's obvious that I am a huge fan of the Pretty Little Liars novels. That said, this book was...lacking in several ways.

Which is understandable because, in the notes at the end of the novel, Shepard comments that this was the hardest of the original arc (contained in the first four novels) to write due to so many clues and events having to fit together perfectly in it.

And it does show in the book, certain parts of it feel ridiculously rushed. On top of that, I found Aria (a character I have been more or less neutral about) annoying and hypocritical in this book. I ended up rushing through most of her chapters, which unfortunately make up a good percentage of the book.

However, whatever faults the novel has it made up for in the other three girls. Not much happens with Hanna except her friendship with Mona falling apart and a drastic loss of popularity. Despite this, it's a humanizing effect and I ended up having fond feelings for her at the end of the book. Her character development has been a nice surprise.

The story also starts exploring Spencer's blackouts and the recovery of a memory that occurred the night of Alison's murder. The way the memory was slowly revealed, piece by piece, was well done and created a nice twist. And, as always, Emily's storyline remained my favorite as we see her relationship with Maya being outed to the entire school and her family. The fall out of it and Emily's feelings over it is a part of the book that ends up a bit rushed, unfortunately. I would have liked to see a bit more time used on this storyline opposed to Aria's. But then again, I do have a bias when it comes to Emily.

We also learn more about the girl's relationship with Alison prior to her death. Continuing in it's normal fashion, the glamor and rose tinted glasses surrounding it are removed a bit more.

As always the rotating point of view works well. The twist and turns of the novel also get back on track. While not up to par with the first book, the foreshadowing is well down and not as obvious as it was in Flawless. I had a gut feeling about one of the major twists but wasn't positive about it till right before the secret was outed.

I ended up giving this book four stars, although it's on the lower end of the spectrum. Fans of the series will obviously enjoy this book and I still highly recommend it. It's just not the strongest in the series.

I sadly don't have the fourth book in my possession yet, but I really need to get on that.

My Reviews for the Other Books in the Series:

Pretty Little Liars