Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments Book #5


The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


When I got to this book, my hopes for it were high because I had really enjoyed series. Cassandra Clare is a great author, so I had faith in her that she would deliver another stunning piece of literary magic. I had grown really attached to Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, and my favorite character of the franchise, Chairman Meow. While she did deliver a good book, it was not my favorite, and I felt that some parts fell a little flatter than she wanted them to.

This particular book was filled with so many major and minor plot lines that sometimes I got a little confused on what was going on, who was talking/meeting with who, and who the narration was focused on at the moment. The story seemed to jump around from character to character, giving us a lot of small glimpses of some characters and large moments with others. There definitely could have been more clarity on the narration part. It was very all over the place - in a good way and a bad play.

Clary seemed little more reckless in this novel than she had previously. When Clary finds out that Jace and Sebastian are connected, she immediately decides that she has to be the one to figure out how to separate them. Instead of working with her Shadowhunter friends on this, she takes matters into her own hands and makes her own plan to go with Jace in hopes of figuring out Sebastian's plans and saving Jace. Despite how Jace tries to play things, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Clary is faced with some dangerous, frightening, and impossible situations. Something in her wants to believe that there is good in Sebastian, and her love for Jace seems to cloud her eyes for most of the story. She is so worried about him that she doesn't take time to worry about her own safety - which had me screaming at her more than once in this book.

Despite this, the book is actually action light. It's more planning, plotting, and trying to figure things out before rushing into the situation unprepared.

While it is my least favorite of the series, it is not an all-together bad book. I still advise readers to read it because the series is worth it, and anyone invested in these characters should want to see what happens to them in this book - no matter what. Opinions of this book seem to vary widely.


4 star rating

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Cover Reveal: Love In All The Wrong Places by Audrey Harte

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I'm helping Audrey Harte reveal the cover of her latest novel, Love In All The Wrong Places.

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Love In All The Wrong Places

Author: Audrey Harte

Series: Book One of the Love in LA Series

Annie Chang is in her mid 20s and has lived in Los Angeles all her life. After a series of failed relationships, she's beginning to feel like she will never meet Mr. Right. But seeing one of her longtime BFFs find love on the internet, she decides to give online dating a try.

After finally finding an amazing guy who sweeps her off her feet, will he prove to be everything she could have wished for and more or is he too good to be true?

This weekend, to support the reformatting re-release of her book, Audrey Harte is dropping the price of Love In All The Wrong Places down to just $0.99 for this weekend. It's only for the weekend, so take advantage of that and scoop this book up for a low price!!

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble



Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

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City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments Book #4


The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.


I was glad this series didn't stop at a trilogy when I got to this book. While City of Glass wrapped up most of the ends, there were still somethings sitting in the air that I though deserved a chance to be resolved, and I wanted answers myself. Like most Fangirls of this series, I wanted to know what was going on with the relationships within the books - mostly, Jace and Clary. I've been hoping for them to work out since the first book, so I wanted to see things go well with them.

I like that Clary is getting more integrated into the Shadowhunter world, but I think it's a little strange that after the while Valentine campaign is when Clary begins her first lessons as a Shadowhunter. She does need the training, and there wasn't a whole lot of down time in the first three books. However, someone could have given her a few quick lessons here and there to make her a little more valuable to the team fighting-wise.

This is book is definitely my favorite of the series thus far, though. I liked the addition of new characters - new villains, especially. I did wonder who was going to be the new bad guy after the way City of Glass ended. I think she definitely opened the series up a little more for a bigger, badder villain to come in and really shake things up like Valentine could never manage to do.

I also really liked Simon finally having his own story come out. Watching how he deals with being a vampire, his family, and dating was fun and a little sad at times - but I think he really found himself in this book and became a more interesting, well-rounded character.

The only thing I could have used more of was seeing how the Clave was recovering in the aftermath of the last book. Otherwise, though, it was great.


5 stars

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Feature & Follow Friday: October 11, 2013

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This Week's Question: Feature Your Own Favorite Blogger!

My feature: Kelly of Dandelion Dreams

I think it's fitting that my first Feature & Follow Friday gives us the opportunity to feature our own favorite blogger. Paying it forward, I wanted to feature the blog, friend, and amazing reviewer that helped me get my start as a book blogger. Hers is the first book blog I ever visited, and I knew upon looking at her blog and thoroughly loving it that I wanted to do it too.

She has great tastes in books and music. She reads mostly Young Adult novels. She is a blog tour hosts that participates in several memes. Not only is she a great friend, she is a great reviewer with good taste in books. After exploring her blog, I definitely have new books on my TBR list.

Click on the image to check out her wonderful blog!!

I prefer:

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Review: Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

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Me and Mr. Darcy

Author: Alexandra Potter


Dreams come true in this hilarious, feel-good fairy tale about life, love, and dating literature’s most eligible bachelor!

After a string of disastrous dates, Emily Albright decides she’s had it with modern-day love and would much rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and spend her time with Mr. Darcy, the dashing, honorable, and passionate hero of Jane Austen’s classic. So when her best friend suggests a wild week of margaritas and men in Mexico with the girls, Emily abruptly flees to England on a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. Far from inspiring romance, the company aboard the bus consists of a gaggle of little old ladies and one single man, Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing an article on why the fictional Mr. Darcy has earned the title of Man Most Women Would Love to Date.

The last thing Emily expects to find on her excursion is a broodingly handsome man striding across a field, his damp shirt clinging to his chest. But that’s exactly what happens when she comes face-to-face with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Suddenly, every woman’s fantasy becomes one woman’s reality. . . .


As an avid Austen and Mr. Darcy lover (as well as Pride and Prejudice, the book he came out of), I almost jumped for joy when I found this book at my local bookstore. It grabbed my attention immediately. Who could want a better male protagonist than Fitzwilliam Darcy? Not me.

Coming into the book finds Emily Albright on another date that is just not going the way she thought it would. Instead of focusing on finding a man, she focuses on her work as a book store manager and a book-lover. Emily, like a lot of women her age, loves reading Jane Austen books, her favorite of course being the amazing Pride and Prejudice. After reading it again, she decides that the only man in the world for her is Mr. Darcy - too bad he only isn't real, or is he?

When her best friend suggests spending the holidays in Cancun on a single's vacation, she is appalled (as she should be). She instead goes to England on a Pride & Prejudice tour - full of elder ladies who have the same shared love of Darcy.

Going into this book, I will admit that it took me a few pages to really get into it. I was having a hard time empathizing with the narrator and her bad date. She just didn't seem sympathetic enough. When the story followed her to work the next day, though, I found a renewed interest in the book. Secretly or not so secretly, all us book bloggers want to either write our own novels and/or own a giant book store filled to the brim with amazing books. Add in the friend prying into her love life, and I was sold.

Moving the story to the 'exotic' setting of England was a good move. It really helped me get into the Pride and Prejudice mindset she was going for. Honestly, as I read, I wanted to go on the tour too. Someone take me to all of the places they saw.

Then Darcy comes in, in all his brooding, sexy glory and Emily doesn't know what to do with herself. (But what woman would?)Her love life is suddenly flipped on it's head.

It is a good read, that's for sure. I would definitely suggest this to romance readers, Jane Austen lovers, and anyone who enjoys a good book.


3 and a half stars

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments Book #3


To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.


When I finished City of Ashes, I had never been so thankful that the next book was alrady out, and I had it waiting for me to read on my book shelf. The end of book two left the readership hungry for the next installment - I was more than ready to see how things were going to end for the Shadowhunters and Valentine's corrupt campaign. Cassandra definitley knows how to keep her readers on the hook and waiting to see how thing pan out.

I love that in this book we finally see the famed "City of Glass" or Alicante, the capital city of the Shadowhunter homeland Idris. I had been waiting for two whole books for Cassandra Clare to take us to this place of almost mythical status. The way the Shadowhunters talked about it in the previous books made it seem like a wonderous place, and I knew that something would take the protagonists there at some point.

The characters once again stay true to their nature. Clary doesn't do what Jace tells her to do or what anyone else tells her to do, for that matter. Jace keeps up his role as the defender of all of his loved ones, protective to the point that he bosses others around to keep them out of what he perceives to be harms way. Simon is still always getting into trouble - I don't know why, but that loveable nerd walks into every trap for him imaginable - it's almost endearing at this point. And there is more awkward sexual tension between Jace and Clary - I'm not going to lie, I've rooted for them through the first book and all the way up to and through this book.

A slew of more characters are introduced, a new Inquisitor; parents, cousins, and siblings of the younger and older Shadowhunters; members of Valentine's circle that were somehow able to make amends with the Clave. A city full of nothing but Shaowhunters and their children. Luke's backstory is expanded, to my excitement, along with the history of some of the others members of Valentine's circle. It paints a better picture of what things were like and what he was like as a person when he first developed his questionable ideals.

Learning more about the bad guy(s) has always been one of my favorite parts of book series. (I.E. Voldemort in the Harry Potter series - you hated him, but you HAD to know what made him that way.)

This book has a very satisfying end. It was easy for me to tell that Cassandra initially intended for it to be a trilogy instead of a now up to five book (with another one the way) series. I think she did a good job of wrapping up the main story lines, while leaving others open for use in the next installment(s) of the Mortal Instruments.


4 and a half stars

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Thursday Quotables #1

Thursday Quotables

Thursday Quotables is a weekly meme featured on Bookshelf Fantasies. It's "the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written."

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This Week’s Thursday Quotable

"Jordan doesn't really care about the blood," Simon said now. "His whole thing is about me being comfortable with what I am. Get in touch with your inner vampire, blah, blah."

Clary slid in next to him onto the bed and hugged a pillow. "Is your inner vampire different from your...outer vampire?"

"Definitely. He wants me to wear midriff-baring shirts and a fedora. I'm fighting it."

Clary smiled faintly. "So your inner vampire is Magnus?”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments Book #2


Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.


This series continues to deliver. After getting over the initial uncomfortableness that comes from Jace and Clary being told that they are brother and sister by their father, the dark Shadowhunter Valentine. This claim is one of the biggest forces in the novel driving, shaping, and changing the way Jace and Clary behave with each other, the ways others see them (including Simon and Isabelle), and the way they think about each other. It is a definite shift in the relationship from the first one.

In this book, we get a broader look at the world of the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders. Alec and Isabelle are featured more as their parents and younger brother return to New York, both suspicious of Jace after learning of his heritage. Magnus Bane is also featured more in this story, which I enjoy. Him and his lovely cat (who is my favorite character in the series thus far) have a better role in this novel as he begrudgingly supports the young Shadowhunters.

The reader also gets to see more of Jace and Clary's individual abilities as Shadowhunters, and their respective talents.

More mayhem, madness, and some general strange occurrences follow. Clare just takes you further into their world and makes you cling tighter to the characters you love as they go through some harrowing adventures.

Another great read.


4 and a half stars

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Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan

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Dark Wolf

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: The Dark Series (Carpathians) #25

Expected Release Date: January 7, 2014


In Dark Lycan, Christine Feehan journeyed into the heart of the Carpathians, and into the souls of two lifemates stirred by the flush of passion and the threat of annihilation. In Dark Wolf, the breathtaking story continues as the bonds of family are imperiled, and the fate of two lovers lies hidden in the seductive shadows between life and death.

Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming…

No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri—as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk

Reason for Waiting

I've been with Christene Feehan and her Carpathian characters from the first book, Dark Prince, so it makes sense that I have stuck around this far despite some saying that her quality has dropped (to which I disagree). Feehan has a wonderful talent for creating a mysterious world in which the Carpathians, vampires, and other supernatural beings interact with the outside world all to preserve the legendary Carpathians.

This book finally focuses on the characters of Skyler and Dimitri. I have been waiting for years for their story to come out. Like the other Carpathian males, Dimitri has troubles suppressing his desire to pick her up caveman-style and carry her away to the safety. Something about his dark, brooding nature just makes him a compelling character to want to get to know better.

I have a strong feeling that it's going to be great.

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments Book #1


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


I'll openly admit that I had never really heard of the Mortal Instrument books before the preview of the City of Bones movie was circling around in theaters. (I spend a lot of time in movie theaters.) I had heard of Cassandra Clare in passing when my older sister found a book from the prequel series in Wal-Mart a few years ago. I just never got around to finding the books on my own.

After watching the movie and thoroughly enjoying it, though, I decided that it was time to pick up the book and see what the hype was all about. So I called my sister and asked to borrow the series thus far and a few others she had on hand. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Cassandra Clare has the amazing talent of being able to paint a world that sucks you so far into the story that you're nearly disoriented when you put the book down to take a break - if you can manage to put it down.

Despite having watched the movie, I still found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as I explored the world of Shadowhunters with Clary and her best friend Simon. There were enough differences between the two to make them almost separate entities in my mind - although I like the way the movie handled the adaptation.

Sometimes it's difficult to build an entire 'new' world in literature, but Clare does this with ease. Not only is her knowledge spot on, her ability to create new beings that no one has ever heard of is also very admirable. I could read just a book of all of the different creatures featured in her novels. She made me see New York through the world of the Shadowhunters - the way Jace was seeing things with the newness of Clary's eyes.

This is definitely a series worth checking out.


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