Sunday, July 31, 2011

End of The Month Summer Recap

This month was catch-up month for me as well as having an impromptu special week.
This month's reads were:
Wolfsbane Review by Andrea Cramer
Lost Voices Review by Sarah Porter
Ultraviolet Review by R.J. Anderson
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
My Favorite Band Does Not Exist by Robert T. Jeschonek
First Frost and Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
Geist by Philippa Ballantine
Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine
Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious

Then... there was Steampunk Week!
Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris
Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers
Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina
The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith
With this week I tried to give a variety of what kind of steampunk was out there. Adult, YA, Erotica, Independent... I hope you enjoyed it. I really threw it together at the last minute and so I'd have to say that Philippa Ballantine, Harlequin Teen, and Moira Rogers ROCK so hard!! THANKS again!!

We have AimeeKay's first review up this month!
A Ghost of a Flea by John Brinling

Anachronist also had a review this month:
Last Bus Out by Beck McDowell

Wait! Wait...
I have to interrupt this for a..
I was chosen at Smash Attack Reads for the 
Now back to your scheduled month recap...

I also completed one reading challenge and I'm still working on the other:

Completed! ↑

I also had a blog post at Melissa's My World about my top 10 YA books as a part of her blogoversary celebration!
Go HERE for that.

I do have one more thing to do...

The Winner of the Lori Foster Book Harem is...
The books should be on their way!

Oh and is anyone going to:
If you are let me know! It's my first book convention!

Let's see did I miss anything?
...and I'm still not caught up!
So, how did your month go?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

On My Wishlist...

Meme hosted by Book Chick City

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

Kelsey Hayes is no ordinary college freshman. In fact, the eighteen-year-old girl has just returned from India, where she risked her life—and her heart—to rescue a handsome Indian prince from a terrible curse. Back home in Oregon, Kelsey is determined to move on, despite the lingering feelings she has for the man she left behind. She meets Li, a completely average guy who offers the promise of an ordinary, curse-free life. But just when Kelsey is ready to move on, Ren reenters her life, on a quest to reclaim her heart. Danger threatens their newly rekindled love and to save him, Kelsey must journey with someone else—a man who wants her for himself. The saga begun in Tiger’s Curse continues in Tiger’s Quest, as Kelsey finds herself in an epic battle between good and evil. From the shores of the Pacific Northwest to the jungles of India, the mountains of Nepal and Tibet, and the mystical realm of Shangri-la, this suspenseful tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption is not to be missed.

Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck
TBP: Nov, 1, 2011

In the third installment of the Tiger series, Kelsey Hayes pushes through the pain of lost love and strengthens her friendship with Kishan. Despite his strong feelings for her, Kishan has agreed to be her ally in helping her reunite with the man she still loves. Together, they seek to help Ren regain his memory and begin the search for the third magical gift—an object of power that will help break the curse that causes them to live part of their lives as tigers.

They board a luxury yacht and seek Durga's aid once again, who supplies them with her golden weapons. With Nilima, Mr. Kadam, Ren, and Kishan at her side, she soon learns that the task ahead will be even more difficult than the others. Confronting a dark magician, multiple dragons, and terrifying denizens of the deep seems easy when compared to facing the daunting task of stitching up her heart. Just when she thinks she's ready to set her feet on a new path, she is yanked back with a jolt to the one she's determined to leave behind.

The jarring tug-of-war that ensues for Kelsey's heart leaves her anxious and confused. Combined with the stress of almost being killed every other day, it would appear that saving the tigers is almost more than she can handle. Still, she presses on, knowing that a choice is looming on the horizon. One she cannot put off making for long.

Tiger's Voyage is an irresistible romance with a barrage of action on the high seas, where a reader will find a treasure chest full of dragons, sea monsters, knights in shining armor, fabled weapons, and enduring love. The tropic waters of India create the backdrop for the latest installment in the tiger series. This novel, a multicultural take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, delves into the complex emotional turmoil and pressure associated with not only making the best choice for a nation but also the best choice for yourself.
Okay, Missie... these don't seem too scary, right? I mean KITTIES! :3
So, what is on your purr-y, fur-y wishlist this week?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Unfinished Song and Taboo by Tara Maya: Review by AimeeKay

Greetings from the Rusty Dagger. We are currently anchored in the Persian Gulf while Captain Vix hunts for an informant with knowledge of the Narwal's where abouts. Be warned before you read any further the review of the latest book or should I say books, does have some spoilage to it. So reader beware, I hope you enjoy!



Amazon Summery:

Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.



Amazon Summery:

Enemy tribesmen attacked during the Initiation. Dindi used the magic of the corn cob doll to protect herself and others but at a terrible price. Now her dreams are in shambles. In despair, she decides to step into the forbidden faery ring, and dance herself to death with the fae. Then she discovers another choice that saves her life…but breaks the ultimate taboo.

After being unfairly exiled from his own people, Kavio may have found a new home, but only if he can protect it from another attack by the enemy. He gathers a small group to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory in search of the ultimate prize…peace.

But by the harsh laws of their land, they cannot both break taboos and keep the peace. They will each have to choose, what, or whom, to betray.

***Big time spoiler alert!*** If you are going to buy the first book, just save yourself a little time and buy the second one at the same time! The first book pretty much ends directly in the middle of the story!!!!***End spoiler alert***(kinda)

K, now that I've got that out of my system...on with the review.

In the first book Unfinished Song: Initiate, Tara Maya deftly introduces her characters. Dindi-the troubled misfit, Kavio-the exiled son of a great leader, Rthan-A war leader bent on revenge, Gwenika-the ill daughter of Zavaedi Brena, just to name a few. (I'll try not to spoil EVERYTHING) She also introduces us to Faearth. A wondrous world of faeries and magic. While reading her descriptions of the land, and it's tribes, it reminded me of The People Books by W.Michael and Katheleen O'NealGear. (this is definitely a compliment, since their books are among my favorites) In the second book, Unfinished Song: Taboo, she continues the story she began in Initiate, weaving her characters and their stories together into an amazing tale.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. To be honest I expected something slightly different. Maybe more romance, less story? Not really sure but what I got was definitely better then what I thought I was going to. Don't get me wrong, there is a romance beginning between Dindi and Kavio, in fact they are not the only ones who begin to fall in love. But the story isn't only about them, but also about their world. How it is changing, and how they themselves are helping to change it.

The story doesn't end with Taboo. There is a third book in the series, called Sacrifice, that I am looking forward to getting and reading hopefully soon (It says at the end of the first book that it is due out in June of 2011, but I can't seem to find it anywhere yet, So if anybody knows where I could get a copy please feel free to let me know!).

While the story is not over in Taboo it doesn't seem to cut off as drastically as it did at the end of Initiate, so I wasn't as agitated when it ended as I was when I flicked to the next page in Initiate and instead of more story found nothing. Almost threw my reader overboard. I know this doesn't sound positive, but trust me for the book to draw me in that much is definitely saying something. The book is beautifully descriptive, even in the violence, Maya doesn't cringe from verbally illustrating that either. The story was great, and I was really able to connect and actually care about the characters. Dindi is stuck in a world that doesn't understand her. She isn't allowed to dance because it is taboo for non-Tavaedi, but given the chance she can dance better than most. She can also see the faeries and the chromas (magic) of the Tavaedi. So it's not like she is trying to do something wrong. But no one, not even Kovia who is trying not to fall in love with her, believes that she can see them.

Rthan is driven by his vengeance and by a blue faerie that takes the form of his dead daughter, but he finds himself falling in love with Zavaedi Brena, whos clansmen killed his child and wife. By the end of the book I was wondering if the Aelfae (upper faeries) were really gone, and if they were using the dancers and their magic to exact a revenge for the massacre of their people centuries before. I guess I will have to wait for the third installment to answer some of my questions.

If you're looking for great summer read with more to it than your average romance definitely check this one out. (or should I say two?) It's worth it getting both books at once, Unfinished Song is a great series.

'Til the next time

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Visit me!

I'm over at Melissa (My World) for a blogoversary post! Go over there and enter in her giveaways! If you missed any I do have them listed on my giveaways page. ;)
Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Every flame begins with a spark. 
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
Okay, can you tell that I LOVE mythology retellings in modern settings yet? Oh and this one has so many different types of mythological gods from different cultures. So much WIN! I have to admit when I did start reading the book, I didn't think I'd like Ash, but as I got to know her and how she viewed things in such an mature way, I just enjoyed her character so much. She was fully herself as a human, she just needed to find her way as a goddess. This is Ash's POV story and I'm so glad I got to meet her.

Now here is where it is hard for me to continue this review. Why? Because I want to spill so many of it's secrets. Mostly because you get Zuni, Egyptian, Norse, Shinto, and Polynesian mythological gods. I suspect we will also see more in the coming books as well. I can't wait. I just want to delve into talking about all these myths. Yes, I could to an extent, but I cannot say what I want! Ah, that is the frustrating part of this book for me. Keeping my mouth (and fingers) shut! lol (hey, no comments! lol)

What I will say is that this is a fun ride especially for those like me who love mythology of different cultures. The main story is satisfied within the book, but questions are left open for the next. So, it isn't one of those horrible cliffies where you fall off into an abyss; oh, but you will be wanting more, I assure you. I give this book 4 1/2 stars. If you love snark (you know who you are...) and mythology... this is a must read!
Snark example:
I was so disappointed by the Beiber part, I have to say... ;D
I received this book from S&S Galley Grab and no compensation was given

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Book Boyfriend

Meme sponsored by The Unread Reader

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy)Today's book boyfriend comes from Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (my review HERE). Logan has the reputation for being a man-whore, and being just a general rogue. However, he never treats Gwen this way so you have to wonder if it is all just reputation through gossip or does it have a ring of truth? He comes to Gwen's aid more than once and does not ask for anything in return. This is what makes me think his rep is more gossip than anything else. However, Logan himself puts this question back in our minds so we aren't sure what to think and neither does Gwen. Despite this there is more to the Spartan Logan than we see and I can't wait to find out more. 

For Logan I pick Jesús Navas. He is a soccer player for Spain (no I don't watch soccer, I'm a typical American who watches Am. football instead... lol). His body is more slight that described for Logan, but his eyes seem to be spot on. 
Oh yea... I could get lost there...
They are both athletic and competitive
One more look at those eyes... 

Ah... so anyone want to go to Spain with me?
Who is in your harem this week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Touch of Frost and First Frost by Jennifer Estep

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy)Description:
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. 
But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .
If you have been around the blog for a while now, you know I am a total fan geek of The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. So, when she announced she was going to come out with a YA series that deals with mythology, I totally squeed. Oh yes I did. Now that I have devoured this book, I can say I was right to squee. I really enjoyed this introduction to this series.

Gwen has always had psychometry and has made good use of it in a completely teenage way. She makes money off her friends finding lost items. One day, she is using the brush of a friend and find out what horrors lurked in her house because of a pedophile. Gwen's strong reaction lands her in the hospital and the pedophile in jail thanks to Gwen's mother who is a cop. This is the beginning of Gwen's foray into the realm of Mythos Academy. It was time for her to learn more about her gift and how to control it.

The academy is attended by the decedents of various groups both mythical and real but all with mythic histories. Amazons, Spartans, and Valkyries are a few of the groups that attend the academy. Gwen is the only Gypsy. They deal with typical teenage problems but their classes are quite a bit different. Gwen is having a hard time adjusting and believing in all this "mumbo jumbo".

The world created here is very interesting. I love mythology and I love the twist given in this book. I also really enjoyed Gwen's character. The mystery was easy for me to solve, but I also understand why it took Gwen much longer to see it all come together. Her journey was much more emotional than ours and so it made sense to me.

If none of what I have said has convinced you to pick up this book since I have left so much out so I do not spoil anything, may I say you must read this for no other reason than to meet Logan and Vic. Oh I LOVED Vic but will not say who he is at all. You'll just have to meet him with Gwen. He made me laugh so much! There are also a couple of homages to her other series books like Karma Girl and the Pork Pit. Loved that as well. :)

I give this fun YA book 4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed this read and I cannot wait for the next book Kiss of Frost due in Dec, 2011
I received this book from the author and no compensation was given for my review.

First Frost
I am Gwen Frost, and I have a Gypsy gift. It's called psychometry - that's a fancy way of saying that I see images in my head and get flashes of other people's memories off almost everything I touch, even guys.

My gift makes me kind of nosy. Okay, okay, maybe a lot nosy--to the point of obsession sometimes. I want to know everything about everyone around me. But even I don't want to know the secrets my friend Paige is hiding or the terrible loss that will send me to a new school - Mythos Academy, where the teachers aren't preparing us for the SATs, but to battle Reapers of Chaos. Now I have no friends and no idea how my gift fits in with all these warrior whiz kids. The only thing I do know is that my life is never, ever going to be the same. . .
Okay, this is actually the prequel to the above book but you know me, I don't do anything in order if I can help it. ;) Actually I just finished that book and wanted a bit more detail. This is what this book gives you... more detail as to what Gwen references in the first book as to what leads her to Mythos Academy. It is a short, teaser book so it isn't as satisfying as the first book, but it was not meant to be that way. I would get this book (only .99 at amazon and b&n) and have it when you get Touch of Frost. That way when you end this appetiser book you can dive right into the main course. Ah... satisfying!
Oh and don't forget to come back on Aug. 3 for an interview and giveaway with Jennifer Estep! Mark your calendars! ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Favorite Band Does Not Exist by Robert T. Jeschonek

My Favorite Band Does Not ExistDescription:
Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes that he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author . . . and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia . . . a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that Idea himself perpetuated. Then there’s beautiful and mysterious Eunice Truant, who links their destinies. When Idea and Reacher plunge into the reality of Fireskull’s Revenant,the twisted epic fantasy novel they’ve both been reading, chapter 64 bears down on them like a speeding freight train on an unstoppable collision course. Being trapped in a bad book can be a nightmare. Just ask Idea Deity.
I picked up this book mainly because of the title. I was looking forward to something in YA about music. This wasn't exactly the case. :) In this book you are dealing with several realities and at least 3 simultaneous adventures that coincide. You move from 2 main POV of Idea Deity and Reacher Mirage. In fact they almost seem like 2 sides of the same coin. Each able to suddenly "know" about the other even though they don't believe that the other exists out side of his imagination. The pivotal character around these 2 are Eunice and Eurydice who are the yin/yang girlfriend/guide for the two guys and really are 2 sides of the same coin.

This book is sort of a Alice in Wonderland type of contemporary book in which a novel that weaves itself within the story is the looking glass and is actually the only thing that exists in both worlds in exactly the same way. They are lead to further growth by dealing with fear so they can move on to better greatness. However, the resemblance stops there and the story itself just isn't cohesive enough for me to  have really gotten a grasp of what was going on. For example, the book was the stabilizing factor within the story, but I couldn't get or understand that story so therefore there was no place for your brain to straighten out what was going on. The epilogue I hoped would perhaps give me more clues to what I had read, but honestly confused me more. What the main character was doing with his life didn't make sense nor was it clear. I think in this case the epilogue should have not been added.

I will say that I really admire this authors imagination. In this world he invented could be limitless. The theme of letting go of fear was also something that I think is brilly in a YA novel as well. I unfortunately just couldn't get into this particular execution of the story. I still would look out for other things the author had written just to see what his imagination could come up with next.
I received this eARC by netgalley and the publisher and no compensation was given.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last Bus Out by Beck McDowell: Review by Anachronist

Last Bus Out
Mini review: Last Bus Out by Beck McDowell

The book presents a true story of a black teenager, Courtney Miles, a boy from one the projects of New Orleans, a place called Algiers. He was one of those deceptively common people who in the times of troubles, instead of creating havoc, decided to do something not only for themselves but also for the whole community. Although he didn’t have any driving license at that time he still managed to save over 300 people in Algiers during the disastrous Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) driving a school bus along with his friends, Jabbar Gibson and Nas. As it often is the case Jabbar got a lot of media attention whereas Courtney kept quiet about the role he played and was omitted. This book tries to present his side of the story and also reminding about these sad events.

What I liked:
The main hero, young Courtney, was presented in a very moving way, with his full, sad background and inner turmoil.
The novel is richly illustrated with photos and links which certainly add to the credibility of the account.
It was a very uplifting read; the struggle of Courtney to get a better life and not copy the mistakes of his family and friends I found really heroic. Sometimes more than his private rescue operation.

What I didn’t like:
The jargon boys are using while talking among themselves might be a problem for non- Americans. If you listen to hip-hop you will be ok, though.

It seemed to me that the author couldn’t decide whether or not to present the narration more like a document or more like a novel. As a result the book was, in my opinion, a bit too long, with simply too many photos of documents, rats, politicians, hurricanes, different links etc. They distracted my attention from the main hero.

Final verdict:
A truly gripping, real-life story but it could have been told better…a good editor would know what to do. I still wish Courtney all the best!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On My Wishlist...

Wishlist meme hosted by Book Chick City

Hollow Pike by James Dawson
TBP: Feb. 2, 2012

When Lis London moves to Hollow Pike, she's looking forward to starting afresh in a new town, but when she sees the local forest she realizes that not everything here is new to her. She's seen the wood before - in a recurring nightmare where someone is trying to kill her! Lis tells herself there's nothing to her bad dreams, or to the legends of witchcraft and sinister rituals linked with Hollow Pike. She's settling in, making friends, and even falling in love - but then a girl is found murdered in the forest. Suddenly, Lis doesn't know who to trust anymore...

Fracture by Megan Miranda
TBP: Jan. 3, 2012

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature—or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Ah... such uplifting and happy books. :)
So, what is on your wishlist this week?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Original Sin by Beth McMullen

Original Sin: A Sally Sin AdventureDescription:
On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground and to the zoo. She feeds him organic applesauce and free-range chicken. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that's just the way she wants to keep it - a secret. But when Lucy's nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD's radar, the Agency calls Sally Sin back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. Racing against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her loving family - and, oh right - the world. Hilarious and resonant, ORIGINAL SIN is the story of one woman’s quest to find that most elusive work-life balance in the face of danger, intrigue, and proper recycling habits.
 I thought this was a YA book when I first glanced at it. The bright pink just yelled YA to me. This is not the case. The book is actually a spy novel. One about a wife and mother of a 3 year old. Retired from her life of adventure and not quite willing to let go of the paranoia that plagued her as a spy. I found that part to be interesting as she would often compare motherhood to a toddler to her spying life. For example, she found that growing eyes on the back of your head with quick reflexes to be quite useful with a child. Scary useful. :)

The book is told in the way you might see in those old spy movies. Where the spy is reminiscing and telling a long story. This can really work for these types of novels, but in this case it made me feel as if I was kept at arms length from Sally/Lucy. I just didn't connect to her character like I should. The book also took a long time to get to the crux of what was presently going on with her. You did need that back story, but it should have been woven into the present's problems much earlier. I also didn't buy that the people closest to her knew she lied about her past but did not press it. There is also a possible story there and I wish it was told.

I give this novel 3 stars. Despite the flaws I did enjoy Sally/Lucy's story. If some of this is corrected in the next novel, I for one will enjoy it. This series does have potential.
I received this book from Library Thing's Early Reviewers Program and the Publisher and no compensation was given.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Can there truly be love after death? 
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive. 
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever. 
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss.
This was a curious book for me. I like ghost stories like this because I enjoy the world the author creates. The world is often open to various interpretations depending on where you hold your view of an afterlife. In this world we are as lost and confused as Amelia trying to figure out what is going on and who to trust. She happens upon an accident and she finds herself drawn to Joshua and helps save him. He can see and hear her and that begins her awakening to things around her. For the first time in years she can use her senses when inspired by Joshua.

The world built here by the author was quite interesting to me. You get hints that there is more than what Amelia experiences but she is reluctant to explore those possibilites. So, I'm left wanting to know more. There were so many questions to her afterlife I didn't expect to understand, but wanted just a bit more exploration. I was relieved when she finally sought answers to some of the questions plaguing her. However, we then become aware of things even more mysterious surrounding the world of the afterlife. I found that interesting.

In the end, I have to say I didn't want an HEA. *brings out smelling salts* So, let me say the ending is very unsatisfying to me. I'm hoping for a sequel to either give me the answers I seek or add to their story so the ending given is changed for Amelia and Joshua. I give this book 4 stars despite the ending.

I was given this book by HarperTeen and NetGalley and no compensation was given.
Other reviews:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Steampunk Winners!!!

The winner of:
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel
Geist (A Book of the Order)Spectyr (A Book of the Order)
is... (don't you love Blogger formatting?)

The winner of the ARC:
The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles)

The winner of :
Wilder's Mate: Bloodhounds, Book 1

I hope everyone had fun. This really was something I threw together at the last minute so I am so happy that Philippa Ballentine, Harlequin Teen, and Moira Rogers would come through so quickly and so readily! A standing applause to all of them! Thanks so much!!! You all rock!

Thanks to everyone who participated! I had fun! Thanks!!
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them in the comments. You all rock! <3