Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention the really cool things, like books! I got this from The Story Siren's blog. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here.

This week I got Nightshade by Andrea Cramer in my mailbox. It was an exciting day for me :)


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review of Matched by Ally Condie

matched Basic Info

Release date: November 30, 2010

Pages: 366 (hardcover)

Genre: dystopian, young adult

Debut Author Challenge

Summary from

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.


Matched reminded me, nostalgically, of The Giver by Lois Lowry.  We have a society where everything is dictated to its participants through ceremonies as they come of age.  These decisions are supposed to be for the benefit of society.  The characters don’t question it, but as readers we do, because we are used to making the decisions that they can’t. 

Enter our heroine, Cassia, she’s followed the rules all of her life, and now something occurs that makes her question the officials, Society, everything she’s ever known.  After being “matched” with her best friend, Xander, a very rare occurance (usually the matches come from different cities and providences), Cassia finds her data card also has the picture of Ky, another friend.  Even once the “mistake” is explained away, Cassia can’t stop thinking about whether it was truly a mistake, and what it would be like to make that decision herself.

Matched was an intriguing read that made me appreciate my freedom to choose.  I enjoyed the world that Ally Condie built: the technology, the Society, and the creeping feeling that something sinister is lurking behind all of that organized perfection.  I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds.  I am starting to realize though, that dystopian literature does not equal happily ever after (case in point: Hunger Games series and the Uglies series).


Cover: 10/10 Love the dress, love the imagery of being trapped, and I love that the cover related to the story

Plot: 9/10

Characters: 9/10 I’m still getting to know them, but they did have some unexpected depth

Ending: 8/10

Mom approval: 10/10

Romance-okay, it’s not on my rating list, but still, 7/10, I wasn’t really feeling it here.  The characters were compelling, the relationship was developing, but I didn’t see it getting to the point of love yet (even though I was told that they were in love).  Judge for yourself though, I’ll be waiting to see in the next books if I feel better about it.

Overall: 88%  B+

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight (Firelight, #1)

336 pages

Released: September 7, 2010 (Hardcover)

Debut Author Challenge

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Summary from

Rating: 86%  B

Cover: 10/10 Love it!

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

Ending: 8/10

Mom-Approval Rating: 10/10 (no swearing, no sex, no complaints there)

I have always been intrigued by stories of dragons.  Usually, because they involved princesses too.  I was very curious about Firelight when I learned that Jacinda is a draki-pretty much a shapeshifter who can turn human or dragon.  I was impressed with the society that Sophie Jordan created: the powers and limitations that draki would face.

Firelight was a quick read, and one that drew me in.  I felt like the characters lacked development though.  Jacinda was “rebellious” and Will was mysterious, but I did not feel like I really got to know them.  I didn’t feel like they got to know each other either.  I read a review of Firelight by Sarah-GreenBeanTeenQueen right before my copy arrived.  She’d commented how Will and Jace didn’t seem to fall in love, but into lust.  I hoped it wouldn’t be like that, but she was right.  There was plenty of making out, but no real conversations.  Yes, they were inexplicably drawn to one another, which I see in a lot of paranormal books, but when do they actually get to know each other on a deeper level?

Besides the romance aspect that I was disappointed in, I am still interested in what happens next.  The fantasy elements were good, and there are still predictions I have about the series that I want to see if they’ll come true.