Tag: Teen

Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

Posted August 31, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Rowena’s review of Sweet Venom (Sweet Venom Trilogy, Book 1) by Tera Lynn Childs.

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

This is the second book by Tera Lynn Childs that I’ve read and it was a quick read that I really enjoyed. I’ve never been much of a Medusa fan but I can totally see myself as a fan of the girls in this book, well most of the girls from this book. Right now, I’m not much of a Greer fan but I’m sure that will change over the course of the series which I’m super excited to read.

In this book, we meet Gretchen, Grace and Greer. Three sisters that are descendants of Medusa of Greek mythology who meet for the first time in this book. Each sister brings something different to the table and Gretchen is the fighter, the sister who knows all about the monsters that go bump in the night. She knows how to fight them and has been training to fight them for a long time with her mentor, Ursala. Then there’s Grace, the peacemaker of the trio of sisters. She’s been seeing these monsters in her dreams and when Gretchen enlightens her on what they are and what they do, Grace wants to learn all she can to help defend herself and innocent people from them and though there were times when Grace made me roll my eyes down the street because she was so naive, I had to keep reminding myself that she was a teenager and that’s how they think. Then there’s Greer. Greer, who I wanted to strangle because she’s the bratty teen that doesn’t want to have anything to do with whatever Gretchen and Grace has going on. She’s the one that fought them at every turn but you could tell that she would come around when she was good and ready to. Of the three, Gretchen was my favorite because she was just so kick ass. She wasn’t perfect but she’d kick your ass if you said so and I loved that about her.

This story is about bringing three sisters together to fight the bad guys. It’s action packed and just a smooth read that you won’t have trouble falling into. I’m mighty intrigued by everything that’s going on and I’m looking forward to seeing the sisters grow closer and closer together, especially Gretchen and Greer. The way that those two bumped heads throughout this book, I’m looking forward to seeing their relationship evolve. I know it’s going to make for some good reading.

I loved how each sister brought something different to the table as far as the story went and I really enjoyed seeing them deal with the new path their lives have taken. They’re each dealing with different things and they’re trying to find their footing and I’m looking forward to more as the series continues. They’re not going to be able to move forward without all three of them providing a united front so it’s going to be real interesting to see how this all pans out and man am I excited! I think Childs did a wonderful job of sucking the reader into this new world that she’s created for these sisters.

All in all, this is a wonderful introduction into a series that I think I’m going to really enjoy. I enjoyed the writing, the characters and the overall story so I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested. It’s going on my keepers shelf and I’m anxious for more.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Book Binge Welcomes Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs!

Posted August 31, 2011 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

Book Binge has some pretty awesome guest authors joining us today. Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs both have books that are out that I have read and adored. I’m such a greedy wench too because I’m thirsty for more.

Sophie Jordan’s Vanish is the second book in the Firelight series and it picks up right where the first book left off. Jacinda is back home with the pride and she’s not one of the top draki’s anymore. She’s got a lot to make up for and nobody in her corner. Well, nobody but Cassian and the twists and turns this book takes will have you salivating for more. Sophie Jordan wrote a winner of a book and I can’t wait for more.

In Tera Lynn Child’s Sweet Venom, we meet Gretchen, Grace and Greer who are descendants of Medusa with trouble coming. Something’s not right and the three of them embark on a mission to find out what’s going on and they set out to try to find Gretchen’s mentor to help them keep the evil monsters from destroying the world. I’ve never been very interested in Medusa but I am mighty intrigued with the world that Childs is building with this series. This was the first book by her that I’ve ever read and I’m hooked.

Both of these books are out now so you don’t want to miss out because they’re enjoyable books and if you’ve got teens that are into reading paranormal YA fiction then you will win cool points if you pick these books up for them, I promise!

We’re thrilled to host Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs on their blog tour. Today they’ll be talking about their favorite romantic travel destinations so really, let’s get to it.

Favorite Romantic Travel Destination by Sophie Jordan

The best romantic destination? Well, it would have to be my honeymoon location – and that’s not just because it was my honeymoon and already romantic. I mean that helped, for certain – but I would have loved this destination if I was dragged there at age thirteen on a family trip, braces and pimple cream in tow. Everything about Barbados is lovely and romantic –it’s what an island paradise should be.

The beaches ….sigh. The water … amazing. The bluest blue I’ve ever seen, but also translucent. You can see all the fish swimming around you. And they’re amazing. Just so colorful. Everywhere you look, there are flying fish jumping in the water. Yes, it was a frequent dish on the menu, too. So yummy.

Pinks and creams and pale oranges are the standard for homes and buildings. Sweeping verandas and gently whirring fans. Exotic and lovely. It all seemed untouched by time. Bridgetown! Such an amazing port city. Restaurants and shops edge the water. But it felt so old world, still small, intimate. You don’t get a big city feel. In fact, the whole island felt like that. Untouched by time. Small and intimate. You could picture the carriages rolling down the cobbled streets. Gentlemen strolling in jackets and cravats. Ladies with parasols and vibrant gowns.

The vegetation is just amazing … monkeys hop high in lush branches and leaves. Bright birds and plantain trees abound. Even poisonous trees marked with paint to warn you! Yes, maybe not everyone would see this as romantic, but taking it as a whole … well, it’s like walking into another world. A past world. History is alive around you. I spent an afternoon strolling through an old plantation, certain I could hear the whispers of the past.

I’ve never visited anywhere like Barbados, and I’m determined to go back. I always tease my husband that we’ll buy a second home there someday. Hm, okay, maybe I’m not teasing. I’ve also determined to write it as a setting for one of my books. Hey … I would require another trip there for research, wouldn’t I? All right. Off to plot that book now. 

Favorite Romantic Travel Destination by Tera Lynn Childs

The most romantic travel destination I can imagine is the South Pacific. Bora Bora to be exact. I’ve never been there, and I’m actually saving it for a very special occasion, but I’ve long fantasized about an extended vacation in paradise.

There are so many romantic things about the South Pacific. First, there’s the isolation. Not only is the region isolated from the rest of the world, but there are plenty of places to find complete seclusion among the islands. Undeveloped beaches, secluded coves, romantic picnics on sand-covered islands.

Second, there’s the natural beauty. Pristine white sands, gorgeous turquoise waters, lush tropical jungles. The islands of the South Pacific are covered in colorful flowers, and the waters are full of exotic sealife. And images I’ve seen of the sunsets are simply breathtaking.

Finally, I think the most romantic thing about the South Pacific is the slower pace. What is more romantic than spending time in a place where things move more slowly? Where it’s perfectly okay to lounge all day in your overwater bungalow, to stroll to dinner in a sundress, and do nothing more ambitious than walk on the beach or take a ride through the jungle.

Sounds like romantic paradise to me.

Barbados and Bora Bora? Both places are beautiful and the perfect romantic spot for lovers. I’d love to go to either places.

Huge thanks to Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs for stopping by our blog today and sharing their favorite romantic spots. If you haven’t already, go out and get their books! If you’re nearby and want to check these fabulous authors on their physical book tour, you’ll be able to catch them at the following places:

September 7 @ 7 PM Blue Willow Bookshop Houston, TX
September 8 @ 7 PM Books & Co Dayton, OH
September 9 @ 7 PM Magic Tree Bookstore Chicago, IL
October 1 Austin Teen Book Festival Austin, TX

Their next blog tour stop is on September 2, 2011 at The Reader Bee. Be sure to catch them over there.

Thanks again for stopping by now it’s your turn lovely readers…

Where is your favorite romantic travel destination? Why?

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Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan.

Posted August 31, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Rowena’s review of Vanish (Firelight, Book 2) by Sophie Jordan.

An Impossible Romance.
Bitter Rivalries.
Deadly Choices.
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.

This is the second book in the Firelight trilogy by Sophie Jordan and while I’m kind of wishing that I read the first book, I enjoyed reading this book. This book follows what happened in the first book which I’m guessing was quite a bit. The main character, Jacinda is a draki and draki’s are not to reveal themselves to anyone. They need to keep their secrets because there are hunters out there that would see all of the draki’s killed and Jacinda does the unthinkable. She falls in love with a draki.

So in the first book, twin sisters Jacinda and are whisked away from their homes to start somewhere fresh, away from the pride that they’ve known all their lives. Jacinda isn’t a real fan of the runaway deal because she was the pride and joy of the Pride. She’s a fire breather and she was a celebrity in their pride until her family stole away in the night. While she’s away from the pride, Jacinda does the unthinkable- she falls in love with the enemy. And just when you think she can’t do anything worst…she does. She reveals herself in her draki form to the very people who are hunting her, putting her and her pride in danger.

This book picks up when they’re back home with the pride and everyone knows of Jacinda’s shame. She’s fallen from the popular ranks to the lowly ranks and she has the piece of crap jobs and nobody really talks to her anymore. I felt really bad for Jacinda because she was shunned by the people who she used to love. She’s away from the boy she loves and she feels so very alone.

Getting to know Jacinda made for some interesting reading. She’s a teenager with a big heart and while she knows what and where her thoughts should be, she’s still young enough to rely heavily on where her heart is leading her…and her heart is leading her right to where she shouldn’t be going if she’s going to give living a life as part of the pride a go…but the heart wants what the heart wants and her heart wants Will.

Now, it was hard for me to be Team Will because I hadn’t read the first book but once Will was back in the picture, there was no denying the chemistry between him and Jacinda. The love they share is real and Jacinda is confused because while her heart wants Will, she can’t help but feel things for Cassian.

Of the two, right now my heart is with Cassian. The whole unrequited love thing that he’s got going on melts my insides and makes me want him to get his in the end. While I can’t be mad about Will, my gut is telling me that with Cassian, Jacinda can have the best of both worlds. The love of a man that truly loves her for who she is and not what she can bring to the pride. Cassian cares deeply for Jacinda and I’m digging him for her. I can’t help but wonder who’s team I would be on if I had read the first book (which I’m going to fix lickety split) but for right now, it’s Cassian. I want him to be the one she chooses to be with.

Lots of things pop off in this book and Jordan does a wonderful job of weaving it all together. The story is colorful and the characters leap right off the pages and I’m a fan. I can’t wait to read more. I definitely recommend this book to lovers of the YA genre and to lovers of paranormal stories. This is a great one. There were times when I wanted to give Jacinda a swift kick in the ass because of some of the decisions she made but for the most part, she was okay.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

Posted April 22, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

This was a really quick read for me. It was one of those books that you picked up, got sucked in and then put down because you were done with it. The fantasy of going on a trip like Ginny did in this book had me excited and ready to live vicariously through Ginny. I mean, it’s the summer and you find out that the crazy Aunt you’ve always loved is dead and left behind 13 little blue envelopes with instructions on what she wants you to do in each of those envelopes. Everything that she has to do for her Aunt is in Europe. Can you imagine going to England all by yourself when you’re not even 18 yet? I can’t. It would have never happened…and let’s forget about the simple fact that when I was 17, I was pregnant with Brenna.

Still, my aunt (any of them for that matter) would never have sent me on a trip to Europe all by myself but that’s okay because this book was still cool because of it. So we have Ginny on an adventurous journey to England traveling all over Europe, following her Aunts instructions in the little blue envelopes. All of these things gave Ginny the kind of adventure she’d never in a million years have had if left to her own devices and while I did enjoy the book, it wasn’t exactly spectacular.

After putting the book down, I didn’t feel completely satisfied with the story as a whole. I mean, the story was fine but I didn’t feel as if I completely knew who Ginny was and as great as going on a trip to England and then traveling to all of those different European countries would have been, like Keith, I was pissed off at her Aunt. So her Aunt takes off and just disappears off the face of the earth. She doesn’t tell her family, the people who love, care and worry about her anything. She doesn’t tell them that she packed up her life and moved to Europe, she doesn’t tell them that while she was in Europe, she was homeless and then got sick and then died. I mean, she had to have known for a while that she was dying since she had time to write all of those letters and then prepare Ginny’s trip for her. So she’s been sick, she got married and then she dies, all without letting her family know.

I thought that was completely selfish of the Aunt because the family, Ginny especially thought that she was off somewhere, being the independent artist that she is, healthy and alive…only to find out that she’s dead. She finds out by reading these letters that she left behind. I mean, alls well that ends well but still, I thought that was a pretty shitty way to tell the niece that loved the hell out of you everything that you should have told her when she was alive.

Overall, the book had some good parts in it that had me cracking up, like when we first meet Keith and he’s acting in this total shit play and then when Ginny chases down Keith’s friend while he’s piping drunk and it was good to get to know Ginny while she ran around Europe but for me, it lacked the emotional attachment that I usually get with the main characters in any story that I read. So yeah, it was good but it’s not a book that I’d pick up to re-read again.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Along for the Ride by Sara Dessen.

Posted April 21, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

Hero: Eli
Heroine: Auden

Following her parents’ bitter divorce, Auden has the chance to spend the summer with her dad and his new family in a charming beach town. There she meets Eli, and together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Sarah Dessen hasn’t written a story that I didn’t enjoy in one form or another and this book kept the love party going. Sarah Dessen is like the Lisa Kleypas for Young Adult fiction. She can’t do no wrong and this was another book that kept me up extremely late at night, making me connect with the characters in this story like no other story has before. You see, Auden is the main character in this story and she’s a night owl. A total night owl. She doesn’t sleep. When she was little, her parents used to fight all the time at night time but they didn’t fight if they knew that Auden was awake and could hear them so Auden took to staying up at night, making noises so that they knew she was awake and they wouldn’t fight. She did it for so long that soon, the fighting continued even when they knew that Auden was awake. Her parents separated and then divorced not too long afterward.

Auden survived her parents divorce. She stayed with her mother while her father went on and married someone else and had a baby and started a new life with his new wife, Heidi. Heidi was so different from Auden’s mother that it wasn’t hard to assume that she’d hate everything about Heidi. Auden had no interest in trying to develop a relationship with her father’s new wife because she had a future to prepare for.

Auden was one of those straight A students who was always studying. Growing up as the daughter of two professors who penned the next great American novel, it was kind of expected. Academia was what she knew and there was always something to learn and some test to study for. Her life with her mother became very staid and Auden wanted something fresh, something adventurous and where better to get adventure than in the small beach town where her father lives.

She decides to spend her last summer before college with her father. It’s been a while since she’s seen him and she really wants to get away from her life for a little bit. Now, she knew that going away for the summer was going to change her but she didn’t count on her life changing as much as it did and she had Eli to thank for that.

Auden has always been socially awkward. She’s not comfortable with personal relationships because she doesn’t know how to have friends. Her life revolves around her school work so it’s hard for her to try to just hang out when all she knows how to do is study and prepare. Coming to visit her Dad (goodness, I forgot what their town is called, dangit and I can’t be arsed to go and check, oh well) introduced Auden to her childhood. The childhood that she never had because she was too busy trying to be the perfect student and the perfect daughter. She was always too busy studying to just go outside and play, get dirty.

All of that changes when she starts working for her step mother, Heidi at her little clothing boutique and meets Esther, Leah and Maggie. These three girls give Auden a crash course in all things normal teenagers their age do in their small town. They talk about boys, they ride bikes and they just hang out.

Watching as Auden grows closer to Maggie and the other girls and then watching her relationship develop with Eli made for a great read. Dessen excels at writing those characters that readers can connect with and in this book, it’s no different. I adored getting to know Auden, I adored watching as she came out of her shell and I loved watching her develop lasting friendships with her friends from that summer.

I can’t imagine being up that late every single night, running errands and living a totally normal nocturnal life the way that Auden and Eli did but I thought it was too cute! Getting to know Eli made for some interesting reading. Eli is suffering from survivor’s guilt and seeing him slowly come back to life was a definite treat. I enjoyed getting to know both Auden and Eli and when I closed this book, I had one of those goofy grins on my face.

There was another mother/daughter relationship in this book and it was another winning relationship for me. I loved how we got to see Auden’s snotty mother come around and when Auden finally tells her about herself, I cheered. It took her so long to frickin’ open her mouth and speak up but when she finally did to both of her parents, Auden became my favorite person. I loved how her new friends and Eli gave her the strength she didn’t know she had to accomplish being just a normal teenager.

The friendship between the four girls in this story was great fun to read about. Their antics took me right back to high school and reminded me of all the fun I used to have with my high school friends. I also enjoyed the relationship that blossomed between Auden and Heidi. I loved that Dessen didn’t turn Heidi into this beast of a step mother the way most step mothers are in these kinds of stories. I thought Heidi was a great character and a fantastic mother.

I also adored Eli. Like really adored him. He’s definitely one of my favorite heroes from SD books, there was just something about the way that he was that totally had me hooked. I thought he was adorable and his relationship with Auden was too frickin’ cute.

Overall, this is one of my favorite Dessen books. It had all of the fixings for a great book and Dessen didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of YA fiction and Sarah Dessen books.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Speak. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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