Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture by Lauren Kate
ARC provided by Delacorte Books for Young Readers via Edelweiss
Release Date:  6-12-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  A riveting end to the Daniel and Luce Saga
The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

In Rapture, Daniel, Luce, and the other angels must stop Lucifer from erasing history.  Lucifer plans on using an announcer to sweep all the angels from the infamous fall to the present, thus erasing Daniel and Luce’s past.

I will admit, I was wary of reading Rapture because I did not enjoy Passion—death after death after death.  But, I am glad that I put aside my judgments and went ahead and read the final installment in the Fallen series.  While not as good as Fallen and Torment, Rapture was still interesting and it definitely (I mean DEFINITELY) surprised me!  The twists and turns left me with a cartoonish O-shaped mouth.  There were hints in the book (which I am guessing were put there on purpose) and I knew about halfway through what the twist was going to be,  but still, looking back on the 3 books before this and I NEVER would have guessed that was how it was going to end.  It was an amazing way to end the books, and you will not regret spending your money on this one.

There was so much more action in this book than in Passion, which is great, because the slowness of Passion is what made me wary of Rapture.  But right from the first chapter, Luce and Daniel were in the midst of a war—everywhere they turned they were being chased.  Two words to describe the action:  Excitement and Intrigue.  I was clipped from the present and thrust into Lauren Kate’s world—flying along with Daniel and Luce.

Okay…so, why did I like this book as opposed to love it?  The romance.  Lauren Kate spent 3 books building up this epic romance, and all I wanted was to see that passion.  But I didn’t.  There were kisses and hugs and slightly intimate moments, but there was no grand kiss that took my breath away or romantic scene that made me wish I could trade places with Luce.  It was disappointing that the entire book focused on the war as opposed to the love that exists between Luce and Daniel.

As always with Lauren Kate, there were times when I breezed right over paragraphs and sometimes pages because it was just description after description.  I like description when it builds the scene, but there is such thing as too much.  I don’t need to know the color of the moss on the buildings or a three paragraph description of the heat of a desert.   If she would have cut out some of the superfluous description, the book would have been a much more readable 380ish pages as opposed to 430.  And, I would have enjoyed those pages much more.

So….let me answer a few questions for you.

Am I glad I read it?  Yes.  The ending took me by surprise, and I am still in awe at how perfectly she melded the story.

Would I recommend it to others?  If you are a fan of the Fallen series (even if Passion turned you off), you should definitely read this one!

Should I spend my money on it?  Yes—even if it is only because the cover is gorgeous.  I have an e-copy, but I am definitely going to purchase a hardcopy because of the cover.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that we are anxiously awaiting is THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Ruth Frances Long.  THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS releases on August 16th from Dial Books.


A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

When I first read the blurb on this one, I thought it was kind of quirky.  However, the more I thought about it, the more it intrigued me.  I find myself curious about the dangerous creatures in Ruth's world, and I can't wait to see how the world of fairy tales is cast in darkness instead of the typical happy-ever-after, let's frollick through the forest hand in hand, and then ride away on a white steed to a castle in the clouds paradigm we all know too well.  Plus--there's Jack...I love me a magnetic boy with secrets!!!  I can't wait for this one!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection
by Kiera Cass
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
The Sisters say: Sweet, Simple, Satisfying

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Selection was a fast, entertaining, romantic read that I devoured in one afternoon. It’s a fairytale meets The Bachelor meets Dystopian future. America Singer is a commoner thrust into the world of royalty by a competition to win the heart of the prince. Ironically enough, America doesn’t want to win. She’s in love with someone else back home. But the more time she spends with the prince, the closer they become.

This story didn’t have a great deal of depth. It had some angst, but not much. It was light and fluffy, and the perfect palate cleanser after much of the dark, brooding, tortuous, angst-fest books I’ve been reading as of late. The simplicity of the story drew me in from the start, and I was completely hooked.

I know some people found it to be too simple or too easy, but for me—it was just right. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea—but sometimes a girl just needs a fast, fun, fairytale romance!

It would have been nice to see more of the world-building. The caste system was interesting, but not a huge focus of the book. I have faith that we’ll see the darker side of this dystopian in future books.

My only real complaint for this book was the ending. It wasn’t a bad ending, per say, but felt a bit premature. This felt like the kind of book that could have been made a stand-alone novel, with perhaps a companion novel taking place after the competition. This might be a bit of a spoiler, but I wish I had been prepared for it. We don’t get to see the end of the competition in this first book. *wah-wah*

That’s the only thing that would keep me from re-reading this book everytime I needed a sweet, satisfying romance to pep me up. It felt like the ending was missing, since I didn’t get to know how the competition turned out.

My recommendation for this book is definitely for you to read it! BUT… it might be better to wait until closer to the release date for book 2, so that the ending isn’t as much of an issue. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

DAEMON NEVER LIES... Well, except for this one time.

Welcome to our stop on the 30 DAYS OF DAEMON TOUR for Jennifer L. Armentrout's amazing ONYX. We are OBSESSED with this series. All three sisters have read it. Our MOM has read it (she loves Daemon, too). We've pushed in on friends and students. Pretty much we're Daemon's fan club. Because of our obsession, we were allowed the honor of playing a game with the illustrious and irresistible Daemon Black. There are a number of games we'd love to play with Daemon, not all of them innocent, but unfortunately... he's got one of those "it's complicated" relationships going on with Katy. 

Oh, the possibilities. We could have played hide and seek (and let him win). We could have played tag (and let him win). I think you get the picture... 

So, we decided we'd use the opportunity to get to know him a little better. What better game to get to know the alien next door than 3 Truths and a Lie. Daemon gave us four statements about himself. Three of them are true. One is a lie. 

Can you guess which of these is not a true fact about our Daemon?

1. I once let Dawson pretend to be me and break up with Ash.

2. I believe in ghosts.

3. I have a fear of clowns. **** THIS IS THE LIE ***** 134 of you were right! Good job! :D You know Daemon well! 

4. I think apple pies are gross.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Of Poseidon Blog Tour and Giveaway: Character Interview with Galen

Today we have the pleasure of hosting the Of Poseidon Blog Tour!  I was so excited to be able to participate in this tour, but my excitement burst into a happy dance when I was told I get to interview Galen!!!!  Galen!!!!!  The super-hot merguy who can totally inhabit my dreams any time he wants!!!  I fell for Galen just as much as Emma did--if only I was able to assault his pecks, too--that would have made my day (or month)!!!  For those of you who have read this fantabulous book, you will be delighted to take a tour through Galen's mind, and for those of you who don't know about the book, here is a little synopsis from Goodreads.  (Even if you don't know Galen yet, read this interview and it will make you want to go straight to the bookstore and get your own copy!!)  And don't forget to fill out the Rafflecopter to win a copy!!

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

So, without further ado....

YA Sisterhood:  Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Galen, the oh-so-delicious Prince of Syrena.  Thank you so much for taking the time to come and speak with me.
Galen:  Um. Sure. I guess.

YA Sisterhood:  So, Galen, why did you choose to be ambassador to humans?

Galen:  I don’t think there really was a “choice”. The humans have found new ways to invade our waters and it would be irresponsible for us not to keep an eye on you. Yes, I “asked” for the responsibility, but it had to be done and no one else was volunteering. No offense, though. I know not all humans are bad. Just most of them.

YA Sisterhood:  *Giggles hoping he thinks I'm one of the "not bad" ones*  When Emma first smacked into you, what went through your mind?

Galen:  I could see that she wasn’t paying attention and that she was going run into me but I decided to let her. I figured maybe a “chance” encounter would be best, but I also thought that if she didn’t run into me then she would brain herself on the railing.

YA Sisterhood:  *Sighs with jealousy...lucky Emma*

Galen:  I have to admit, I thought when she saw that I was a Royal she would know that she’d been caught spending time on land.  I didn’t…I didn’t expect her to stay…stuck to me for as long as she did. The tingles were definitely weird. And I’ve never seen anyone blush like that. Ever.

YA Sisterhood:  I have  feeling with what's going through my mind right now, you might be seeing another blush like that soon.  Anyway, moving on....What's your idea of a perfect date?  (Excuse the human lingo)

Galen:  Why are humans so obsessed with dating? I understand that dating leads to mating, and mating is enjoyable, but you seem to put too much thought into it. Where to go? What to do? What to wear? It’s exhausting. My idea of a perfect date would be at the beach, a private one—because you have to admit, you humans act like fools when you’re part of a big crowd, like at the movies. Plus you don’t have to worry about what to wear if you go to the beach.

YA Sisterhood:  *Wonders if its inappropriate to ask him if he would be wearing anything on the perfect date....I'm thinking...darn, inappropriate*  That is true, we humans do get a bit rowdy in a crowd.  You should try it some time!  What's the strangest thing you've ever seen in the ocean?

Galen: Toraf. Period.

YA Sisterhood:  *Giggles* Tell us something about yourself that we don't learn in Of Poseidon.

Galen:  Once, I let Rayna paint my toenails so she could practice staying in the lines. But mostly it was to get her to stop whining.

YA Sisterhood:  That sister of yours is a hoot and a half.  I'd love to meet her one day, but....let's get to the most burning question....How do you feel about "the pull" and have you ever experienced it?

Galen:  This question is hard to answer. Sometimes I think it might exist, and sometimes I think it’s just a myth. Have I experienced it? *shrugs* If I have, then that would be private. But I wouldn’t want to feel “the pull” necessarily. Somehow it means less if I call it the pull. Like it’s mechanical instead of…emotional. I wouldn’t want to feel the pull, if it was that.

Wow...that's interesting Galen.  Just a few this and that questions and I'll let you get on your way.  I know you're busy being ambassador and following around a certain girl!

When human....boxers or briefs?  You’re talking about the underwear things you have to wear underneath your jeans? Rachel buys me boxers, I think. The ones that look like shorts. Why? Is that weird?

Favorite human phrase:  For shizzle my nizzle. Seems like a lot of effort to say “I agree”. But now I can’t get Toraf to stop saying it, so it’s in danger of becoming my least favorite human phrase.

Salty or Sweet?  Sweet is disgusting. 

First kiss?  That’s private.

Blondes or brunettes?  I don’t understand this question.

Favorite thing about Emma:  Oh. Now I understand the last question. Um. Blondes. White blonde.  
Again, thank you so much Galen, and I (along with all your adoring fans) can't wait to learn even more about you in the future.
Be sure to check out my review of Of Poseidon here

Enter to win a copy of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks!  Fill out the Rafflecopter below.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

ARC Received from Harper Teen through Edelweiss
Release Date:  5-29-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Dazzling, Daring, and Dangerous
Can true love be forgotten?
As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.
Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.
As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.
Josephine Angelini's compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

Two days ago I read Starcrossed and could not put it down! It was the book equivalent to the where-have-you-been-all-my-life? guy. After finishing it, I went straight to my ARC of Dreamless (thank you HarperTeen and Edelweiss) and stayed up most of the night reading.

Some people have a way with words---and Josephine Angelini is one of those people. I just got swept away in her descriptions! I felt like I woke up one morning and found myself in her world--looking around to see Lucas, Helen, Hector, Cassandra and the whole gang. I just love when a book can transport you to another place and time--the only true magical powers anyone can have! (I think)

I absolutely adore Angelini's characters. They are so vibrant and full of life--even the characters that are not in complete focus, like Hector. I just love Hector--strong and mighty, yet completely and utterly devoted to his family. Angelini gives him so much depth even though he's not one of the main two, Lucas and Helen, and I appreciate that she spends so much time building her characters so that every dimension of her book comes to life.  She gives each of her characters such grand gestures and personality that you just can’t help but feel your way through the book with them.  And it’s not just the good guys that she creates so well…I mean, I quite literally HATE Daphne…but Josephine intended for us to dislike her.  The writing brings Daphne to life, and you truly have an emotional response.  If only I could pull a pensieve-like move and instead of jumping into memories, jump into a book!  I’d give Daphne a taste of my fist….and Lucas...hehe, a taste of my lips?  Is that inappropriate?  I’m gonna go with no.

The Greek mythology is so....there are no words. The way she depicts the Furies is cataclysmic, and it's so new and original. I can literally see them slinking across the ground in craziness begging for murder so that for one tiny second, they can feel at peace--if that is even possible. I've always pictured the Furies as these evil hellbeasts, and I admit, I much prefer Angelini's tortured Furies over the ones I have always known.  Her imagery of the Furies melts into the page, and I have never felt more lost in tragedy, hatred, and misery.  It’s amazing.

And then....drumroll please!

Lucas! I admit, I read books for the guys--the ones that sweep you off your feet over and over again, and Lucas, being the flyer he is, can quite literally sweep you off them! If only I could stay in the air with him and never come down! He is the perfect young adult guy, and I have to say, whenever I see my ideal ya guy in a novel, I find myself never being able to put it down. He rivals Daemon, Aiden, Four, and Jace for me! He's overprotective (which I love…throwing punches is so hot—don’t judge me), strong and chiseled (oh la la), arrogant and tempermental (sigh), and completley broken and struggling (if only I could save him)!   My heart literally aches for him, and I can't wait for everything to FINALLY work out!

There were so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming in Dreamless, and I really admire Josephine Angelini for her inventiveness with mythology. I will admit that I longed for more of the love story, but after Daphne's evil treachery (in my mind its evil) of convincing Lucas and Helen that they are cousins when they are not, I knew I was in for lots of angst (grrrr).  Hopefully I will get more of my love story in book 3!

So....after much rambling about how I love this book, I will say that it is a MUST READ! I went through the gamut of emotions with this one--happiness, sadness, anger, disbelief, more anger, and a little (okay a lot) of lust :) Shame on me (hehe) or shame on Angelini for writing such a wonderfully addictive novel!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Endure by Carrie Jones Blog Tour

Today we have the pleasure of hosting a mini-interview with Endure author Carrie Jones.  When I was contacted by Bloomsbury to participate to read Endure and participate in the blog tour, I will have to admit, I might have blasted my IPOD singing, "I've got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine."  I won't tell you which character I was daydreaming was "all mine," but let's just say, I wasn't disappointed!!  This is the final installment in her Need series, and if you have never read these books, you need to check them out! This last book in the series and it will not disappoint! 
Check out my review of Endure here.

It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers. without further ado, we will get to the interview!

Where did you come up with the idea to focus on pixies?

I was at the Common Ground Fair, which is this huge, cool fair in Maine that's sponsored by Maine Organic Farmes and Growers Association (MOFGA).  To get to the main part of the fair you have to walk through this sweet trail that curves through these tall spruce trees.

Right in fron of me was this guy.  He had a weird vibe.  He was wearing all corduroy--blazer, pants.  And sticking out from his blazer was this long tail-like appendage that was wrapped in different colored earth-toned cloth.  I guess he could tell I was checking him out because he turned his head and looked at me.  His eye was this startling silver color.  How startling?  So startling that I actually gaspec and got creeped out.  My daughter was all like, "Mommy.  It is probably the way the light beams are refracting on his optic nerve at a certain angle...blah, blah,"

And I just thought, "Oh my gosh.  It's a human-sized pixie."

So, I started writing.

What is is like writing the final installment in a series? 

It was terribly, terribly sad.

Who are your favorite characters in the books?
That's like picking your favorite dog or something. I am worried whoever I didn't pick would come get me in my sleep. :) I am an easily frightened writer, so I'm going to beg off that question, actually.

Thank you so much Carrie Jones for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taste by Kate Evangelista Review and Giveaway

Taste by Kate Evangelista
Review Copy provided by Author
Published by Crescent Moon Press
Available NOW!!!
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Tempting, Titillating, and Totally Tantalizing 
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

One word:  Sexy.
Two words:  Completely hypnotic.
Three words:  Absolutely insanely hott!!!!!  (Yes, that’s hott with 2 t’s!!!)

This was definitely one of my favorite novels to read so far this year.  It was new and fresh, full of seduction, and never without a dull moment.  Kate Evangelista creates a world where nightmares can be freedom and where flesh-eating monsters can be sexy!  From the first chapter, I was completely hooked!

One thing I really hate about some stories is how they take forever to get to any action…you just keep reading and reading and wondering when something is going to happen.  That is NOT the case with Taste!  Kate jumps straight to the action and introduces us straight away to a nightmare world beyond our own, but there’s something seductive about her world.  I don’t care how revolting the sound of tasting flesh is, I still am completely attracted to these beyond beautiful, dangerous creatures.  I never felt the need to skip a few paragraphs because I was bored with description.  I relished every aspect of her world, and I loved that she didn’t get caught up in the color of the sky or the kind of stone of the castle.  She blended the right amount of description with the right amount of action so I never got bored.

The story follows Pierce McKay who is plucked from her high profile boarding school into a deadly society of zombie-like creatures.  Pierce is broken and lost after the death of her mother, and driven by a need for answers, she launches herself into their dangerous realm.  I really connected with Pierce—I understood her need for answers because I am the same way.  I’m sorry, but I discovered a race of super hot creatures that no one else knew about and one of them saved my life, I would not hesitate to try and discover the truths of their world.  Pierce does just this, without ever thinking, and I admire her bravery and curiosity.  She was a fun heroine—plagued by doubts, but she doesn’t let those get in the way of her decisions.  She doesn’t let anything hold her back.

But the best part of the story?  Of course it’s the guys!  There are two love interests for Pierce—Demitri and Luka (could you get any hotter names??)

Demitri is dark and mysterious, hidden behind a mask of unfeeling, but Pierce gets to him the moment he saves her.  I absolutely love Demitri!  He’s sexy and protective—more than once offering up a pummeling or two on Pierce’s behalf.  But, Demitri has secrets that hold him back, and if you’re like me, you will love discovering his truths and lies.  Plus….there’s this one scene between Demitri and Pierce…and let me just tell you, WOW!  Hold on a bit….I’m going to go read it again!  (About 5 minutes later)….Just as I suspected….even hotter the second time!!!!

And then there is Luka…and I love him, too!  I seriously can’t decide who I want her to end up with!  I would be completely happy with either, which is completely new to me because I always have an overwhelming opinion on the romance!  Luka doesn’t have Demitri’s dark eyes and dark hair—his appearance is bright and electrifying, but every bit as smoldering as Demitri’s.  But he also has his secrets, and he can be just as dark and broody.  And, of course, Pierce feels a pull towards him as well.  Such a lucky girl!  I’m jealous!

The only flaw I saw was that the ending felt rushed. I wanted to see more about how things ended up, so I am hoping that there is a sequel in the works.

I ABSOLUTELY, IRREVOCABLY recommend you go buy this book and read it today!  Kate Evangelista creates a world where the darkness is more enticing than the light, where the devils are sexier than the angels, and where everything wrong just feels so right! 
 I can’t wait to see more from this budding debut author!  Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win Taste!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

SURRENDER by Elana Johnson

Surrender (Possession #2) by Elana Johnson
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date:  June 5th, 2012
Received from: publisher/author for review
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)
Sister's say: Stunning, Surreal and Stupendous

Surrender (Possession, #2)
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....  
****contains Possession spoilers...proceed at your own risk if you have not read book 1 yet!****

Holy-freaky-tech-spiders batman, Elana has blown my mind again!  Surrender is the 2nd book in the Possession series.  You can read my review of Possession here.  I really liked Possession, but let me tell you Surrender is even better!  This is definitely not a 2nd book slump either.  I have chewed off all my finger nails, and I'm pretty sure my heart needs to be shocked after reading this book.  Even though it comes in at a whopping 469 pages, it felt more like 200.  It has everything and more that I was wanting from book 2!

Possession is told from Violet's point of view, but Surrender is in alternating POVs between Raine and Gunner.  I loved Vi and Jag and had my doubts to how the story would go on without their POV, but considering what happened at the end of Possession, you could imagine what kind of POV you might find had it still been Vi's story.  I tend to shy away from alternating POVs because I end up being drawn to one character more than another or the voices sound too similar.  However, I have to say, that this is one of the best alternating POVs I've read to date!  Both character's had strong, well-characterized voices.  I ran through pages as quickly as I could on both POVs to find out what was going to happen next.  I loved Raine.  She reminds me of my sisters which obviously, you know from this blog, that I couldn't give her a higher a compliment.  And, Gunner is D-R-E-A-M-Y, and you can add him to your crush list right now!  Anyone that is willing to risk death and pain from torment in the name of love, will always be on my fictional boy crush list!  Raine and Gunner are a worthy hero/heroine pair, and I loved every minute that I got to spend in there minds. :D

I know some of you might be worried after the above paragraph about Jag and Violet.  Don't worry, this is still there story too, but just told through the eyes of other resistance members.  There's still instances for melting and awing, but this time it's for 2 couples and not just 1!  Plus, it gives us a different view into the rebellion.  We know what what Vi, Jag, Zenn, and Thane can do, but Elana introduces us to whole slew of other characters.  Characters with powers that will shock you and even at times make your blood run cold.

Now for the ending, oh the ending.  I think Elana is quickly making a name for herself by creating some of the most out of this world, heart-ripping endings.  Yes, they are cliffhangers!  Yes, they are brutal.  And, YES THEY ARE FREAKING AMAZING!!!  So, please don't run far away just because I say cliffhanger, because trust me, you do not want to miss this ending!

I remember saying in Possession that it was the 1st book I had read that combines dystopian with supernatural.  I loved that idea, and there are a lot more out there like it today.  However, I have to say, that not many people can do supernatural/sci-fi like Ms. Johnson.  Super powers that boggle the mind, terrifying villains, and a world you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy flood the pages of this novel.  My heart was beating out of chest at one moment only to silently drop into my stomach the next.  Surrender is a break-neck, paced, thrill ride that will leave you breathless and begging for more!  

Friday, May 18, 2012

SURRENDER by Elana Johnson Blog Tour

Welcome to the Surrender (Possession #2) Blog Tour.  Today we are thrilled to have Elana here talking about something that is near and dear to all of our hearts!  How many of you have basically gone completely fangirl over the heroes POV?  I know all of us at YA-Sisterhood have done our far share of squeeing.  The male's POV is hot, hot, hot right now in the YA genre, and Elana is here today to talk about it.  Surrender has a split POV between the heroine and hero, so Elana has had to get up close and personally with the male POV.  Here's what she has to say about it!


The male POV and Gunner Jameson in SURRENDER
A guest post by Elana Johnson

Okay, so there are two narrators in SURRENDER. A girl named Raine Hightower—who is the Director’s daughter. We find out in chapter one (and you can read the first two chapters of SURRENDER here) that Raine is roommates with Vi. 

But chapter one isn’t narrated by Raine. It’s narrated by a boy named Gunner Jameson. Writing a male narrator was a long and winding road for me. When writing SURRENDER, or rather, as I was trying to write SURRENDER, I tried several different points of view. 

I’d written several different first chapters, some of them progressing for several thousand words. Nothing worked. Nothing. 

So I threw everything else out and started from blank pages. And thus, Gunner Jameson was born. Within a chapter or two, I knew that I had found the right narrator. The series needed a male narrator. Someone who was more level-headed, who mainly wanted to keep things the way they were, who wasn’t in the Resistance (like Jag Barque) and who wasn’t completely clueless either (like Violet Schoenfeld). 

Having Gunn exist in the middle provided more insight to the world. And using him as a narrator allowed me to widen the lens on the society too. 

Writing a male POV was a little difficult. I’m not a guy. So I tried really hard to create him and then stay true to him. I had a couple of men read the book and give me some insight into the male psyche. 

The male POV in YA novels is a bit of a rare find. As I was writing SURRENDER, I read male-narrated books, and actually took notes on personality and dialog and all sorts of things. 

I think readers really like reading a YA novel from a male perspective, because there aren’t as many of them. I think sometimes a male narrator can make the novel stand out from others, because it’s automatically different. They don’t feel like every other novel, simply because of the narrator. 

I also think that yes, the majority of YA readers are girls. And while girls like reading about teens like them, they also enjoy reading about and connecting with boys. I know I do! 

What do you think? Do you like male narrated novels? And why? 


Pre-release blog tour badge

Contest Copy for the SURRENDER ARC Giveaway, Week of May 14

So this week, as part of the pre-release tour of awesome, you have the chance to win an ARC of SURRENDER before it releases on June 5. And not just one chance. SEVEN CHANCES.

That’s right! There are SEVEN (7!) ARCs available to win this week. Here’s what you can do to win one.

  • Comment on each of the pre-release blog posts this week. (1 entry for each comment)
  • Purchase the POSSESSION paperback (10 entries – no purchase necessary to enter)
  • Purchase REGRET (5 entries – no purchase necessary to enter)
  • Put the SURRENDER blog tour badge on your blog (3 entries)

Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry widget with what you’ve done. This contest ends at midnight on Friday, May 18, is open in the US and Canada, and winners will be notified over the weekend. Good luck!
Click on the blog tour pick above to see schedule and tour details.
**Be sure to check back tomorrow to read our review of Surrender.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Surrender (Possession, #2)
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
ARC received by Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) from ALA
Release Date:  5-22-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:
A Copy of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks:  $12.23 from Amazon
 A Mermaid Costume to wear on Halloween:  $91.25 via Costume Craze, LLC
Getting to read a fantastic book with a super hot Mer-guy (Galen)--PRICELESS!

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

At first I was skeptical about a “mermaid book” because the idea of a fin kind of creeps me out—don’t laugh; but I figured I would give this one a try. I am so glad I did! From the first chapter, I was hooked—I even laughed out loud a few times (loud enough to get my husband’s attention along with a murmur that sounded something like “book nerd”—he doesn’t know what he’s missing). I read it in one sitting (which is a feat with an 8 month old baby) and was tempted to turn right back to the beginning to re-read it.

So after chatting with my sister Britt, who read the book first and also loved it, we have decided to do another of the famed “Top Ten” lists for Of Poseidon.

10. Cosmic Clumsiness--Emma is so clumsy that you will truly laugh out loud quite often during the book. In fact, her clumsiness is how she meets Galen, falling forward and "asssaulting his pecks." I couldn't stop laughing!

9. Toraf--He's a Syrena whose snarkiness will also make you laugh out loud. His persistent chase of Rayna and his acceptance of her constant attacks is borderline insanity, but you can really see how much he cares for her. I found Toraf to be one of my favorite characters.

8. Mythology--We get a different view of Poseidon and Triton in this novel. It's a part of mermaid mythology I had never heard before--very interesting.

7. The Ocean setting--I won't tell you much because I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I loved the history that we got to see about the oceans and what happens above and below them.  If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be a mermaid (or were just curious about the bottom of the ocean), take a look through Galen's eyes!

6. The Little Mermaid-like scenes--Do you remember the scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel spins around and the fish fly around her hair until it's standing straight up? I loved that scene as a little girl, and there are plenty of scenes in this book that brought me right back to my childhood.

5. Rayna--she's so smug and self-absorbed, but it works for her. She's the love you/hate you type of girl, but she adds a great dimension to how Syrena life appears. I loved reading her insults and comebacks, and eventually, her breakthroughs.

4. The pull--I won't say much other than it is a Syrena legend kind of like soul mates--a feeling that quite literally pulls you to another person, and that it really adds to the romance!

3. The OOOOOOHHHHHH ending…..that caused me to go straight to Twitter and ask Anna Banks how many more books there would be (as of now, a sequel is in the works). II am reeling to find out what happens next!  I won't say anything else!

2. Emma and her sarcasm, snarkiness, and smugness--I find her insistence that she call Gale, “Your Highness” very amusing. She's not afraid of who he is, and she's not intimidated. She's tough, but not too tough--so she's very believable. She struggles with the truth, and she struggles with her abilities. I really felt like I connected to her.  I can't wait to see what's in store for her in the future.

1. Galen--What can I say? He's charming, mysterious, tan, chiseled, and handsome--just what every girl wants in her YA guys. He comes on tough and insensitive, but eventually we see a side to him that will make you melt!  I really loved Galen, and I just love seeing how his feelings for Emma change and grow over the book.  With the crazy ending, though, I'm anxious to find out what Galen's role will be in the sequel.

This was my first mermaid book, and I am so glad I started with this one.  It was full of action--never a dull moment.  Plus, there's the hot guy that will make all girls squee--even the tail doesn't bother me anymore! think you're tired of mermaid books?
I promise you, dive into this book and you'll find the waters hot and steamy--just like I like 'em!  Don't miss out!
Go buy this book!!! You won't regret it!
OHHHHHH.....and one more thing!  We are proud to get the chance to host the Of Poseidon Blog Tour on May 27th!  We get to interview hottie mer-guy Galen--trust me, you don't want to miss out on this interview!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that we are anxiously awaiting is DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN by J.A. London.  DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN releases on May 29th from Harper Teen.


This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series.


I have to admit I wanted to read this book before I even read the synopsis because the cover is gorgeous!  After reading the synopsis, I wanted to read it even more.  I know some people are tired of vampires, and even though I am not one of those people, this book still sounds like something even those who are bored of vamps will enjoy.  I mean, what's not to enjoy?  Its got three aspects that I love:  paranormal elements , a dystopian world, and a cute maybe bad, maybe good guy!  So, don't miss out on this one!  Preorder it today!