Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesdays: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

* * * Waiting on Wednesday * is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkins
Publication Date: October 23, 2012

The first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, is the start of a refreshing new series with a memorable protagonist, a catch-me-please-while-I-faint guy, sassy banter, and a captivating mystery. It pulls you in as Mara tries to find her place in the world after she is told her best friends and boyfriend died in an accident. One that, somehow, Mara survived. How? she wonders. Why? she wonders. Hallucinations haunt her as her memory fails her.

Sound good? That's 'cause it is. Already read it? Good. If you didn't like it, leave. Now. OUT! Click that red 'X' in the corner of your screen... Nah! Keep reading, maybe I can convince you otherwise ;)

Dare I say it's quite lovely? I Dare say it. The Evolution of Mara Dyer promises just as much mystery and suspense (not to mention *sings* roooooomance!!) in the sequel. I cannot wait. Here's the summary from Goodreads:

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can't.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren't.

She couldn't imagine that after everything she's been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She's wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

SQUEAL WITH ME GUYS! Squeal and faint. And then dream/fantasize (whichever) about what's going to happen next.

Comment below and leave your WoW for us to check out? :)
Cassie & Rafia

Monday, August 27, 2012

Underworld by Meg Cabot

Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers

Summary (from

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, the dark reimagining of the Persephone myth begun in ABANDON continues ... into the Underworld.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead.
Not this time.
But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.
But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.

As a reader, I really liked Meg Cabot's retelling of Persephone's tale. Abandon stuck with me- the characters, plot, and details just clung to my brain. Even though I had my dislikes, it kind of slightly blew my mind. As we continue with Pierce's tale, I was a bit disappointed with the second book. I thought that this would be centered (FINALLY!) in the Underworld (thus the title) and we'd get to see just how Pierce would adapt to life as John's queen. I really wanted more details on the Underworld, but unfortunately I didn't get that. Soy un perrito MUY triste!! (I am a VERY sad puppy!!)

As the first book leaves off, Pierce is in the Underworld. She's having a nightmare and wakes up to one delicious sight. (not telling ;) Then John goes off to work and Pierce explores. Somehow she finds something alarming in her exploration and tells John. They then go on a journey to fix this problem. SPOILER ALERT: It's not in the Underworld.

The protagonist-
Pierce is the same as ever. Stubborn, good-willed, lovely, and... full of tears. In the beginning she cries so much. But as the story goes on, she steels herself and toughens up a little. She tries to do good to the world and shows her love.

The romantic interest-
Yep I'm using fancy terms today. Well, John is the same ol' same ol'. Same dark, wavy/curly long hair that occasionally falls into his eyes. Which, by the way, are a gray/silver. Apparently he has golden skin with many pale marks all over from mysterious scars. We don't find out how exactly he acquired these. He's very masculine, protective, strong, sweet, and mysterious. VERY mysterious about his past. For those who were curious about this past, it gets mostly revealed in Underworld.

The plot-
Compared to Abandon, I felt this plot line was weak and unnecessary. I was thinking Pierce would learn to be queen and maybe find out how to kill the Furies, but she ends up on this reckless, slightly-pointless rescue mission. Some of the mystery about John and the Underworld gets cleared up but I'm assuming in the last book we'll learn even MORE! Score.

Overall: I felt like this was a good book, but it was carried out wrong. It could have been amazing but instead I felt slightly bored sometimes. The details and story still sticks with me and I keep thinking about it (despite not wanting to so I can focus!) However, I felt like a certain scene about a touch of stars, cosmos, and whatnot (you'll know what I mean) with a scandalously rumpled white dress was VERY lacking!! My frustration was practically tangible. Non-enigmatic talk? The romantic scenes were lacking. Sure, there was some heat but the emotions were unavailable. There was talk about love but no actual... thoughts of it. Like, Pierce would feel this emotion and say "this is what makes me love you more, John" [cough, cough and possibly cry] but then there wasn't this deep love. It was more of a "I know some of your past! I'm attracted to you and you really care/obsess/love me! I'm intrigued by you and no one else is like you, thus I love you!" Now, she did love him but my standards are high. Very high. I am sure you will enjoy this book very much, as of course it is Meg Cabot. The Underworld is as gorgeous as ever, the stakes are high, and love swirls around in this memorable book. I recommend you read this if you don't have other books to read or you're off on an airplane ride/car ride/you know what I mean.

Now, toodles! Back to my homework!



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Title: Lost Voices
Author: Sarah Porter
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 2.5 glass slippers

Summary (from

Fourteen-year-old Luce reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of her grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?

I decided to read this book because I had read reviews saying to hold up their prejudices about mermaids and give it a chance. The plot they presented seemed intriguing and quite frankly, I wanted to read something about mermaids. Lost Voices is a haunting tale about murderous siren/mermaids. The characters are very conflicting and tortured, the world is stunning, and the ideas to create it are very impressive.

You must be wondering, however, why I rated it as only OK. The reason? Well, it was a bit too haunting for my taste. It's a dark book with murder and various other dark things. But what was nice was that it's a mermaid book that's dark, and that it's very unique. I did have my dislikes, but I also had my likes.

The plot-
I won't get too into it, but you find out right away that all of the mermaids come from a dark past and dislike humans. They enjoy luring them to their deaths, except for Luce and Miriam. To combine the theory of sirens, tortured young girls, and mermaids is a very unique twist. However, for me, it just didn't go well with my system. It may have been the fact that there's no romance with the main character (horrible, I know) and that Luce is only fourteen. The girls just seemed way too young for such a dark plot, but it's definitely got the wow-factor going on and it's definitely a beautiful darkness.

The heroine-
Luce has a very dark past that we learn and is very socially awkward and a loner. She also happens to be a reader. Now usually I'd be all "wow that's awkward! ... and totally me." But the thing is, she is extremely socially awkward. She wins gold medal for it. She had no friends in her school and even in her mermaid tribe she is an outcast, despite her abilities. However- she has a very good heart. While 99% of mermaids are murderous, dark human-haters, she is the sole mermaid in her tribe to actually want to save humans. She's complex and she acts in what she believes in, despite the deadly consequences.

I felt like the world was also darkly beautiful. While their singing was deadly, it was gorgeous. While the mermaids were murderous, they were beautiful. While people died, they died in elation. Also- the creatures and environment is described masterfully and the details are impeccable. Plus it's mostly in the ocean, so that was nice. :)

I believe the sequel is out, and that there's finally a boy (GASP) in it... I'll have to read it soon!

Until next time-


P.S. - now that I'm back in school I am in BOOK WITHDRAWAL!!! Gah! Anyone else having the same issues? 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Title: Insignia
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: (read on to find out)

Summary (snagged from
More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.
Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.

So- I want to make something clear from the beginning: it's pretty much love or hate this book. For those who have read Ender's Game, I feel like you will LOVE this. Veronica Roth says readers will not be able to put this down. There you have another thing- if you enjoy Veronica Roth and her opinions, you should check out this book. This is die-hard dystopian with an all-out futuristic feel to it. For those who love these kinds of books (dystopian, futuristic, war, strategy, etc.) this books receives a five glass slipper review.
HOWEVER- those who don't enjoy that? I'd like you all to still try it out. Sure, it's may not be your cup of tea, but so? Just try it out- if you don't get hooked after the first few chapters, then you can go right ahead and be done with it. I'd say it's a 4 glass slippers book without the dystopian-love going on.

The protagonist-
Insignia is from the POV of Tom Reines- yes, you're definitely getting a guy's perspective in this one. He's arrogant, vicious, and has a "major attitude issue." Hmm, what's that? He sounds completely horrible? Ah, fear not. That's the side people with a stick up their butts think of him. Other people view him as a strong-willed genius-strategist who is huge on integrity. I'm pretty sure most will be able to relate to him in some way or at least cheer him on. He's the underdog who doesn't take crap- what's not to like? (plus he goes through this major transformation that's cool to read about)

The world-
Okay this futuristic world will ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF. So think of one of your favorite worlds- maybe awesome, magical Harry Potter World? Now imagine a slightly less awesome (what can I say, J.K. Rowlings set the standards high) dystopian world. Not a magical or paranormal world. The possibly-future-Earth-world. It's startling. It's impressive. It's amazing. The creativity needed to make this up? Astounding. There are so many details and so much information inserted along the storyline you can just roll with it! There's enough information and past-references so that you get a feel for it, but there is so much more and so much futuristic-ness to it that you're left staring.

The story-
Hmmm..... Great story. The only thing? You really have to like dystopian. (and have a good attention span) Otherwise you get a major headache, want to call it quits, and think "ughhhh". Not that I did that, of course...
As a reader, you really have to focus on it. You have to connect the dots and keep pace, otherwise you'll get real confused. I thought I could skip ahead and get a baby glimpse, eh? Not so much. It's a wonderful story but filled to the brim with details and action. It's quite a thrill to read and once you get into it, the pages just keep turning and turning.

The side characters-
I figured I didn't just want to do his BFF. Why? Because there are a lot of characters in Insignia that you learn to love. Wyatt, Yuri, Vik, Neil, and even Beamer and Elliot. A lot of the time, I found myself cracking up- but beware: it's definitely a nerdy sort of banter. And my inner geek basked in it. [funny image, that] These characters are literally the smartest teens out there, but they all play their part in Tom's life. Vik with his humorous Spicy Indian personality. Wyatt with her awkward, outcast, hacker self. (sometime's she's so awkward it's unbearably funny) Yuri in all his buff, android-like Russian glory. Neil as his gambling, loudly-opinionated father. Beamer because he is Beamer. And Elliot because you get to learn the guy behind the image.
All in all? Great characters.

Thumbs up if you like geeky/dystopian/strategy/gamer books. Thumbs up if you don't know what you like. Major thumbs up if you try this one out.

Much love-

P.S.- did I mention Tom is a gamer? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout Book Trailer

Hey guys! Check out this newly released book trailer for Onyx, which comes out in FOUR DAYS! *squeals* I've been dying to read this for so long!
Just click this link... (trust me it's worth it)

And then you can proceed to fangirl crazily with me!

Until next time-
Cassie :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Interview with Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Jennifer's website:
Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories... which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is the author of the COVENANT Series (Spencer Hill Press), the LUX series (Entangled Publishing), and the upcoming YA contemporary mystery/thrillers DON'T LOOK BACK (Disney/Hyperion Fall 2013) and yet untitled book (Disney/Hyperion tentative Fall 2014).

Jennifer first rocked my world when I read a review and excerpt about Half-Blood from her COVENANT series. Lucky for me, Daimon (the prequel novella to Half-Blood) was available for free to download. And once I read the first few pages, that was it for me. Man, I was hooked! A seriously awesome heroine? Heck yes! (You will love her heroines) After that, it was only obvious that I had to read the rest of her books. In fact... if you ask my mother she will tell you how I begged for her to use her Amazon account to buy Obsidian. I legitimately couldn't wait to read it after hearing about it, it was late at night, and thus came my need for the eBook. (And I mean it when I say I couldn't wait, I was about to die from not being able to read it.) I don't have credit cards to link with an Amazon account so I had to resort to begging my mom to buy it for me. It was a sad sight but totally worth it! Jennifer is an amazing author- one who will have you laughing non-stop and rooting on the heroine. Her books are ones that you cannot put down! It's a sin... for your soul! Yep, I just went there.
I'm sure you want to get to the juicy part, so let's get on with the interview!

Fiction Fairies: What inspired you to write your Lux series? How about your Covenant series? Any particular event or special something?

Jennifer L. Armentrout: Pretty much boredom inspires most of my stories. Coming up with them is a way to ease it. Having an overactive imagination helps. =)

FF: Could you describe a typical outfit for Alex and Katy?

J: Alex would most likely be in gym clothes (work out pants and a regular shirt) and Katy's a jeans and shirt kind of girl. 

FF: If Alex or Katy (take your pick) was stranded on an island (with no electricity) with one other person, who would they pick and what 3 things would they choose to take with them?

J: Katy would bring three books and she'd probably pick Daemon, because he'd definitely keep her entertained. 

FF: Are there any scenes in your books that are based off of real-life experiences?

J: Squeaky the hamster from Cursed is based on a true story-- kind of. That's about it. And trust me, that is freaky enough for there not to be anything based on a real life event. 

FF: What book are you reading now? Any book recommendations?

J: I'm reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood again. Right now, it's been heard for me to get started on a new book. I'm kind of in a reading slump. But I'd recommend Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins.

Thanks for the interview, Jennifer! You can check out her website here:

Don't forget to vote Daemon in the YA Sisterhood Crush Tourney!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 4.5 glass slippers (ironic anyone?)

Summary (snagged from

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is a futuristic twist on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Whether the name is on purpose or not, it's an intriguing one. What else? Well, for starters, the cover is amazing. A gorgeous red pump? With some wicked cyborg structure?  Now that's what I'm talking about. And just to put it out there, Mrs. Meyer has one wicked imagination because this retelling rocked my socks off.

The heroine-
Despite what we'd all like to imagine, Cinderella's life sucked. And I mean SUCKED. If you really think about it, she was technically a slave to her horrible step-family's needs. We get this cringe-worthy life aspect in Cinder with a modernized feel to it. Instead of washing floors and feeding the livestock (all the while singing), modern Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who works in the sweltering, dirty, and not to mention smelly market to make ends meet for her 'family'. You gotta respect the girl, truly. Instead of meeting the prince at a ball all pretty and dolled up, Cinder meets Prince Kai at her booth as a mechanic... and her metal foot is on the table in front of him. Oh, and she has a big ol' grease spot on her forehead. She toils away at her dirty work and refuses the Prince's flirtations and plans her escape from her own little hellhole. Despite her admirable work ethic... her character felt off. No spark, maybe? She had her spurts of "... Did she just DO THAT?!? :O" (which almost made me have nervous breakdowns from the stress) and then she had her moments of me wanting to strangle her cyborg-self and go "MAN UP ALREADY!"
Unfortunately, I had to take off from the rating because of her personality/situation. She was so helpless most of the story that I couldn't take it. I believe in strong (if not bitchy) female characters. While Cinder was definitely not weak, she had this helpless vibe going on the whole story from her horrible situation in life.

The guy-
Okay, don't get me wrong... Prince Kai is gorgeous. (pssst - he has luscious black hair and brown eyes) But I didn't like the fact that Cinder immediately fell for him once she laid her eyes on him. Yes, I do like gorgeous men. But what's with the insta-crush? 
Yet I must give props to him for his integrity! Go Prince Kai! He resisted the perfect woman specimen and fell for Cinder, with all her grease stains and imperfections. I'll have to read the next books to gather whether he truly is great by looking past all of her hidden 'imperfections.' He was really sweet, too. *goofy smile* But their connection? Great! I really want to read the next books to see what happens next with them!!!

The BFF-
I'm think it's Iko. We're pretty sure this android has a faulty personality chip, what with her 'over-opinionated mouth'. While I found her a bit boring at times, what can be expected? She is an android after all. But worry not, she puts in a few giggles to the story. Let's see if I can find one... (okay here's one- they're talking about Prince Kai's android that needs repairs)
"Cinder twisted up her lips. "Do you think it could have been a virus?"
"Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai's uncanny hotness."
Cinder flinched. "Can we please not talk about the prince?"
"I don't think that will be possible. You're working on his android, after all. Just think about the things she knows, the things she's seen and-" Iko's voice sputtered. "Do you think she's seen him nude?" "  pg 194

The world/adventure-
As expected, the adventure is not a nonstop, action-packed rager. Instead, we focus on emotional ups and downs (with Cinder) and political action concerning possible impending intergalactic war (with Kai).
The world, however? Well, New Beijing is a winner. With the time being way in the future, lots of new technology is introduced, along with many tech-y terms. There are still bakeries and festivities, but there are also new aspects. Cyborgs and Lunars are big in society, along with ID chips and comms. "Magic" or bioelectricity alters minds. There's lots more, which I leave you to discover.

The only problems I had with Cinder is the general helpless situation Cinder is in and never getting a description of her. I never realized how much it would bug me if I didn't know who I was reading about looked like, but it did.
This book is not cheery and chipper- no, it's quite rather the opposite. It does not have the happily ever after ending (otherwise it wouldn't be in a quartet) and actually ends with Cinder manning up! YEAH! I believe this quartet will be a very good read and a journey definitely worth reading. The next book in the series, Scarlet, is a retelling of Red Riding hood with Cinder mixed in. It's supposed to be released February 5th!
(Is that not an amazing cover?)
Don't forget to comment and subscribe :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Clockwork Princess Countdown Widget

The lovely cover, for more squealing?

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson

Title: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 5 glass slippers

Summary (from

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Oh. My. God. When I say this is amazing, I mean this is AMAZING. Whew!! I like, need a breather! I had a spaz attack when I finally realized the full implications of the twist, and seriously this book has one hell of a twist. I was just sitting there, for who knows how long, chomping away on half a bag of Hershey's Kisses. I don't know if it's possible, but is a human capable of getting high off a Tetanus shot? Because it's either that or this book is like drugs for the soul... of a reader!!!!

This story is written in the viewpoint of Sage, a guy, and I know what you're thinking ladies. It's one of those guys books? Aw, man... NO. STOP. Uh-uh! This is AMAZING. Ah-mazing. Like, this may be THE best book I have read this year. Seriously.

The hero-
HE IS AWESOME. I need a guy best friend like him. He is like, Aladdin mixed with um..... I'm not that well-rounded in princely matters but let's just say HE'S FREAKING AWESOME. He's cool, he's a great liar, he's a wonderful street rat, he is compassionate, he's funny, he's like the BESTEST friend you could ever have. He is so cool.

The action-
Whoo it's a woozie! Like, it's non-stop, action-packed fun! Sage takes you with him for the journey, the struggle, and his story. In fact, there's so much going on that I absolutely MUSTMUSTMUST reread this! This is a book you could reread a million times and still be content. There are so many deceptions, lies, and falsehoods that your mind literally gets blown. And usually I say this when I am reviewing a book and have high praise for it. For The False Prince, I thought this as I was reading it, after I was finished, and while I am reviewing it. You will not be able to put this book down. I spent my whole day devoting myself to reading it, and it was not a waste.

The world-
So, I don't think anyone can outdo Shadow and Bone's world, but this was pretty good! It's got a whole map and great visualization for towns and cities. You will not be disappointed.

The verdict? You had better read this book! I seriously want to go out and buy this just so I can shove it in my older brother's face and say "READ THIS. NOW." And if I knew you, dear reader, I would do the same. If you're looking for a refresher, you need to read this! If you're sick of trashy romances with a subpar plot, read this! If you're sick of supernatural thingies or anything average, read this! READ IT. Seriously.... I am freaking mind-blown. And I want to get the next book! I have high hopes, because this could have just been a stand-alone novel, but the fact that it's just the beginning of a series, I want more! Now. Oh wait... I just checked her blog and got the second book's title. Now I am positively dying. The title?
The Runaway King
*Squeals* NO! Not fair! Now I really, really want to know why it's got "runaway" in it!! AH THE MISERY. Spring 2013 I will count down every day... 

Don't forget to comment and subscribe! (and die with me)

Cassie :)