Saturday, 25 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Abandon


Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Rating: PG
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
My Rating: 3***

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Synopsis

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.


My Thoughts

Abandon was the first book written by Meg Cabot that I have ever read. I honestly had very high expectations for this book – due in part by all the buzz it was receiving on the internet, and because of the author herself. While I did enjoy the book, it didn’t live up to my expectations at all.

The book is about a girl named Pierce and her love interest John. Her story is told in pieces and parts throughout the book as a way of not giving it all away at one time. The story is almost a re-telling of the Greek origin myth of Hades and Persephone, only Pierce is not Persephone and John is not Hades even if he does kind of have his job. Subtract Demeter, Persephone’s mom who helped her escape, and add the furies intent on making John’s existence miserable and there you have the story in a nutshell.

I like that this wasn’t just a re-telling of the same old origin myth, but with different names. It could have just been explained so much better and way earlier than the last 4 chapters of the book. The explanations of what was going on in the book were a big problem for me on a whole. Thing are referenced rather than explained in this book. Pierce refers to the incident that happened back at her old school quite often, but doesn’t get around to explaining it till the middle of the book. When it does come time to explain, it is not done very well and leaves you with more questions than answers. I found myself a bit distracted as the reader is left to infer what happened in this incident, rather than the being told outright. This is pretty much a symptom that is repeated with everything in the book. It leaves more questions than answers, but not in such a way that you find yourself satisfied at the end of the book, but the eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

While the book does take a while to get going, it is a relatively easy read (I read it in cover to cover in 3 hours). Since this is the first book in a trilogy, I will read the remaining two books when they are released, but I didn’t like this book enough to make me run out and buy them on publication day.

Disclosure: This review was done using a hardcopy of the book purchased by me. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don’t do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews. I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at contact@nicoleabouttown.com.

On My Wishlist #2




On my Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that runs every Saturday.  Its a fun meme where you get to list some of the books that you really, really want, but haven’t had the chance to buy yet.  They can be new, upcoming, or previously released books.  Personally, I am going for either previously released books that I want, but don’t have yet.  So let’s see what’s on my wishlist this week.


Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Puffin


When Melinda Sordino's friends discover she called the police to quiet a party, they ostracize her, turning her into an outcast -- even among kids she barely knows. But even worse than the harsh conformity of high-school cliques is a secret that you have to hide.

So this one is a classic apparently.  Why don't I already own it?  I have no idea, but I plan to rectify that immediately.




Title: Heartbreak River
Author: Tricia Mills
Publisher: Razorbill

Hailey Abbott’s Summer Boys takes a weepy turn in this story of one girl’s attempt to tell her childhood friend how she really feels about him.

Alex thought she’d be spending the summer focused on her family’s rafting business, burying the memories of her father’s death last year, and leaving behind all the messes she made in its wake.

But when Sean returns to town, she is forced to reckon with her mixed-up crushy feelings for him—more powerful than ever before. It takes another tragedy to make Alex realize Sean has loved her, and forgiven her, all along.

Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed with that cover.




Title: Exposure
Author: Therese Fowler
Publisher: Ballantine Books

In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.

Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.

Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.

As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.

A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s Exposure is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting reminder of the consequences of love in the modern age.

It's pretty much ripped from the headlines.  How could I not read it?

In My Mailbox #7: June 19 - June 25, 2011 Edition





In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.  For the books that I received that have not been released yet, I will give you the synopsis of the books and not just the names.

So, the postal strike has been going on since June 3, 2011.  Fortunately it should be over in the next few days as the postal workers have been legislated back to work.  On one hand, I am happy that I will finally get mail again, on the other I am disappointed that the barganing process didn't work out.

While I don't have any physical books that arrived this week, I have plenty of digital galleys!   On to the books...


Courtesy of  NetGalley

Title: The Twisted Thread
Author: Charlotte Bacon
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Voice Publishing

When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it.

Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.

At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school s students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.

With The Twisted Thread, Charlotte Bacon has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story in the tradition of Donna Tartt s The Secret History, one that pulls back the curtain on the lives of the young and privileged.

I finished this in like 3 days and the review is pending!

Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

Yeah, this is also another one that is currently on both my kindle and in hardcopy on my nightstand.  I couldn't resist when I found out there were signed copies located at the ChaptersIndigo at Yonge and Eglinton (thanks Cory).  My mom even tried to make off with mine, so not happening.  If you haven't picked this one up yet, you need to!

Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

Don't you just love that cover?  I have been a bit cover obsessed lately!

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster


Title: Clean
Author: Amy Reed
Release Date: July 19, 2011

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.

This is a bit outside of the normal subject matter that I usually read, as I don't usually like reading about any kind of addiction.  But there was just something about this one that really drew my attention.



Title: Fury
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Release Date: August 30, 2011

The first book in a paranormal teen trilogy featuring three beautiful, mysterious girls wreaking havoc on a small New England town.

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

I have had this one on my wishlist for a while now, so I am loving that I get the chance to read this one early!


Title: The Orphan Sister
Author: Gwendolen Gross
Publication Date: July 19, 2011

Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing.

For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .

I picked this one cause I am fascinated by multiples!  I don't know why, I just am.


Title: The Babysitter Murders
Author: Janet Ruth Young
Publication Date: July 26, 2011

Everyone has weird thoughts sometimes. But for seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon, strange thoughts have taken over her life. She loves Alex, the little boy she babysits, more than anything. But one day, she has a vision of murdering him that's so gruesome, she can't get it out of her mind. In fact, Dani's convinced that she really will kill Alex. She confesses the thoughts to keep him safe, setting off a media frenzy that makes "Dani Death" the target of an extremist vigilante group.

Through the help of an uncoventional psychiatrist, Dani begins to heal her broken mind. But will it be too late? The people of her community want justice . . . and Dani's learning that some thoughts are better left unsaid.

Yeah, that's different.  Interesting, but different!


Title: Tunnel Vision
Author: Susan Shaw
Publication Date: August 16, 2011

On her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she's ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It's too big of a risk—and Liza's worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza ad her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they're just trying to stay alive

Yeah, I didn't read the synopsis before I selected this book and I think I got lucky in that respect.


Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 19, 2011

SHE'S WRITING ABOUT HIM. HE'S WRITING ABOUT HER. AND EVERYBODY IS READING BETWEEN THE LINES.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Not really sure why I chose this one.  I'm not really that enthused to read it, but I will anyway.

What did you receive in your mailbox this week?
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Waiting on Wednesday # 6: Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles #1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  Basically, it’s a chance to highlight one of the many books that you want to read but hasn’t been released just yet.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick for this week is…


Title: Incubus

Author: Carol Goodman

Publisher: Ebury Press

Publication Date: July 21, 2011

‘This is where all stories start, on the edge of a dark wood…’

Dr. Callie McFay’s travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…

Don't you just love that cover?  That is what first caught my attention, but after reading the synopsis I had to add this one to my waiting list.

What is your waiting on Wednesday pick?
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #6: June 12 – June 18, 2011 Edition



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.  For the books that I received that have not been released yet, I will give you the synopsis of the books and not just the names.

I didn't receive any books this week due to the postal strike!  Hopefully, I get some next week and then I shall have a massive offering for you all.

Sorry!

Review: Legacy


Title: Legacy
Author: Cayla Kluver
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: G
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 4****

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Synopsis


 I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.

In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.

When the palace guard captures and intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.

In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.


My Thoughts

…can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book?

The setting for this story is the fictional kingdom of Hytanica. The kingdom has been at war with the neighbouring nation of Cokyri for some time. When the story begins, the war has been over for several years but the people of Hytanica fear that it could begin anew at any moment. After-all, who’s to say it won’t begin again, when no one can really say why it ended in the first place.

We are introduced to the Crown Princess Alera while she is on the verge of her seventeenth birthday.  Normally, this would be an exciting time in a girl’s life, that is, if your seventeenth birthday didn’t mark the one year deadline for you to marry a man who your father deems acceptable and take the throne. To say that Hytanican society is patriarchal is putting it mildly. The author has created a society where a woman is no more than a possession and is good for little more than bearing children and arranging dinner parties. In one year’s time, Alera will be going from her father’s possession to her husband’s. Unfortunately for Alera, the only suitor her father and King deems suitable is one she cannot stand.

As Alera halfheartedly tries to thwart her suitors advances, it is discovered that Cokyrians have been found inside Hytanica – more specifically in the palace. This sets up Alera to begin a bit of a journey of self discovery. She begins to try to assert herself more and been seen as more than just an ornament as she tries to figure out the mystery surrounding one of the captured Cokyrians and his reason for being in Hytanica.

While I truly enjoyed the story, Alrea as a character annoyed me to absolutely no end. I kept waiting for her to wake up and do something, anything. I know that she is from a society that oppresses women and all her female role models and peers are pretty much doormats, but I really wanted her to show just a bit of fire. For the most part, even when she was trying to assert herself, she was weak. I kept wanting to grab her by the shoulders, shake her and light a fire under her behind.

The book, as a whole was very well thought out, if a bit slow going. As I was reading the book, I got about 3/4 of the way through before anything really happened. Even then, the action was very brief and pretty much glossed over. The fact that the book is a fairly easy read is really what kept me going. That and really wanting to know how it ended.

All in all it was really good book. While it could have used more action to keep the story moving at times, there was enough going on to keep the story going and keep me turning those pages. I reviewed this copy from an e-galley ARC copy, but I enjoyed it so I will be picking up a hard-copy on publication day, not to mention the next volume in this three-part series.


This review was done after reading an uncorrected ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and HarlequinTeen. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don’t do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews for any book/galley/ARC sent to me for review. I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at contact@nicoleabouttown.com.
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Waiting on Wednesday #5 - Don't Breathe A Word

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  Basically, it’s a chance to highlight one of the many books that you want to read but hasn’t been released just yet.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick for this week is....



Title: Don't Breathe A Word

Author: Holly Cupala

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

From the Goodreads website....

It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.


When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.


I have no ever loving idea why all of my recent WOW picks have been YA.  Maybe it's a testament to just how strong the books that are being published and written for the YA audience is.  This book sounds amazing and it's a bit different in that it's about real life issues and not either a re-telling of a story or in the paranormal category.

What is your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week?
Monday, 13 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: The Marriage Betrayal


Title: The Marriage Betrayal
Author: Lynne Graham
Genre: Romance
Rating: R
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 2**

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Synopsis
Careless passion, pregnancy surprise…

Sander Volakis goes his own way. He’s forged his reputation in business, rather than relying on the family fortune, and indulges his darkly passionate, wild streak – he has no intention of marrying… He doesn’t do country weekends, either. Pitching up at Westgrave Manor is a favour to his father and a bore…until he sees Tally Spencer, so pretty and voluptuous that he can’t resist her. Sander’s looking forward to casually seducing her…little knowing that one night with the innocent Tally could end his playboy existence… THE VOLAKIS VOW A marriage made of secrets…

Sander Volakis has no intention of marrying - until he sees Tally Spencer. He can't resist her . . . little knowing that one night with the innocent Tally could end his playboy existence...

My Thoughts

It has been a very long time since I read a straight up romance book.  After reading this one, I remember why I stopped.  The story is a familiar one.  Tally is self-reliant and from a broken home.  As a result she is looking for love, but holding out for the one.  Sander is a spoiled playboy who is not used to hearing the word no.  Sander likes the thrill of the challenge that Tally brings and wants to sleep with her, but doesn’t want to have a relationship.  Tally puts up half-hearted attempts to resist while still maintaining her secret identity.  Of course said resistance lasts all of a day under the overwhelming onslaught of Sander’s advances that come while he is trying to dodge his deceased brother’s fiancĂ©e.  This all happens in a 48-hour period.

Once back home in the real world, Tally tries to stay away from Sander but of course she is unable to resist.  Relationship, if you could call it that, continues and of course she ends up pregnant.  Include the stereotypical “you are trying to trap me and it’s your fault you are pregnant” argument and a blackmail plot that really wasn’t much of a plot but more an ultimatium and you pretty much have the whole story.  The love scenes were nothing spectacular and in all honesty, I found myself skipping over them entirely.  The main characters are both very annoying.  Tally manages to come across as having no backbone at all despite all of her posturing and Sander the playboy is so laughable it’s not even funny.

While the story idea sounds good in and of itself, the execution of it leaves a lot to be desired.  It is a relatively short book at 192 pages and is actually part one of a two part series.  Even though I really didn’t enjoy this book, I am going to read the second one.  It will be interesting to see if after reading the second one if I will like the first one better.

Disclosure: This review was done after reading an uncorrected ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin Presents. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don’t do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews for any book/galley/ARC sent to me for review. I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at contact@nicoleabouttown.com.
Saturday, 11 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #5: June 5 - June 11, 2011 Edition



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.



The purpose of the meme is to highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.  For the books that I received that have not been released yet, I will give you the synopsis of the books and not just the names.

So here is what I received this week:


Title: Suicide Doll

Author: Claudia D. Christian

Goodreads

Narcissus was once given a little doll named Lisette. He enjoyed making her do depraved things for his selfish amusement. One day Narcissus pushed Lisette too far and he found her dangling from a cord. He tried to fix what he had broken but Lisette no longer belonged to him. Narcissus kept after his doll, chasing it through the centuries, begging to put all the pieces back together. Will Narcissus ever earn her forgiveness or will Lisette keep breaking for his punishment?

Warning*Not for those under 18 years of age*




Title: But I Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace

Goodreads

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

So that's all for this week.  Pretty small haul, but then again I was away in Montreal and did no book shopping.  Not really sure why!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

On My Wishlist #1



On my Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that runs every Saturday.  Its a fun meme where you get to list some of the books that you really, really want, but haven't had the chance to buy yet.  They can be new, upcoming, or previously released books.  Personally, I am going for either previously released books that I want, but don't have yet.  So let's see what's on my wishlist this week.




Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publication Date: October 2007
Genre: YA

GoodReads

 Summary...

Jay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

Heavy?  Yeah, I know.  I have been wanting this book for ages, but every time I go to the bookstore, I forget to pick it up.  I may just have to finally order it so I can finally get my hands on it.



Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Publication Date: September 2007
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

GoodReads

Summary...

All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.


Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publication Date: June 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Goodreads

Summary...

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.


But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.


With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.




Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: April 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads

Summary...

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.


Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

I know, it's sad that I don't already own this book.  I own the other three and haven't really started reading them just yet, so it's not too bad.  I'll probably pick this one up at the end of the month.

So that's it for my wishlist this week.  What's on your wishlist?
Tuesday, 7 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

2011 Summer Romance Challenge



So I decided to sign up for the 2011 Summer Romance Challenge being hosted by Book Chick City
Timeline: 1st June 2011 ~ 30th Sept 2011. Only books started on June 1st count towards this challenge.

Details:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. 4 months, 8 books - that's doable, right? Or if you want to push yourself further, double it to 16!!

3. Any book format counts except audiobooks.

5. The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

6. If you decide to participate in this challenge with me, please use the link I have set up below with the button to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun. Also, be sure to create a post telling others with a link back to this post so others can join in.

7. You can link your reviews HERE to be entered into the prize draw at the end of the challenge. Prize/s will be chosen at the end of the challenge. You must have at least a challenge post or the button on sidebar to be eligible for entry.


So anyway, I am going to go for the full 16 books and will link all of my reviews on this page, but you can also check out my designated goodreads page for more information.


  1. Legacy by Cayla Kluver (PR)
  2. Forget You by Jennifer Echols (CR)
  3. The Marriage Betrayal by Lynne Graham (CR)
  4. Vixen by Jillian Larkin (HR)
  5. Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter (HR)
  6. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace (CR)
  7. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (PR)
  8. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz (PR)
  9. Trace of Fever by Lori Foster (CR)
  10. Lie by Caroline Bock (CR)
  11. Falling Under by Gwen Hayes (PR)
  12. Abandon by Meg Cabot (PR)
  13. Trust in Advertising by Victoria Michael (CR)
  14. Crushed Seraphim by Debra Anastasia (PR)
  15. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (PR)
  16. Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles (CR)

Bonus
  1. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris (PR)

*Fingers crossed that I will be able to complete this challenge!


Sunday, 5 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

In My Mailbox #4/Mailbox Monday: May 30 - June 4, 2011 Edition

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In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  Mailbox Monday is being hosted this month over at Mari Reads.

The purpose of both meme’s is pretty much the same thing.  They highlight books that you have received in your mailbox over the past week.  I must say that I keep receiving a lot of books and I really love it.  For the books that I received that have not been released yet, I will give you the synopsis of the books and not just the names.

So here is what I received this week:

Friday, 3 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Spellbound


Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Genre: YA, Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: PG
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 4*

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Synopsis

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

My Thoughts

So when I really started to get into book blogging and reviewing, this was one of the books that I really, really wanted to read.  I was originally drawn to the cover of the book and that is what originally prompted me to choose to read a synopsis of the book when I was browsing on the GoodReads website. (I confess, the cover is usually what draws me into any kind of book).  In my experience with YA books, they can be very hit or miss.  There is usually no happy medium with them and in my opinion fall into either the good or the bad categories.

Well, let me just start off by saying that Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is a hit and can definitely be placed in the good pile.

What I really love about this book is that even though it falls into the paranormal YA pile, it is not super unrealistic and overly melodramatic.  There is a steady build up in the story and you never feel like you are either being overwhelmed with information or not receiving enough at any given time.

I love that the main character Emma has faced adversity and heartbreak.  What I love even more is that she hasn't let that same adversity and heartbreak break her or crush her spirit.  She continues to soldier on rather than giving up and going all woe is me, she makes the best of the life that she has now found herself in through no fault of her own.  Does it mean that she doesn't experience sadness or upset due to her situation?  No, it doesn't.  Rather she finds constructive ways to deal with her life and what is going on around her.

Cara Lynn Shultz does sarcasm and self-deprecating humor right.  It's not forced, it's not contrived, and it comes across as genuine and a part of the character's personality.  It's used correctly as a tool to illustrate the depth and versatility of the character rather than for comedic effect.  Although, I did find the description of one character's tan absolutely hysterical.  I mean, what is it with this whole tan/fake tan thing?  I mean when did it become acceptable to turn your skin into something resembling cured leather?

The book was an easy read and the characters were likeable, some more than others.  I honestly think that the story works fairly well due to it not being too outrageous.  I mean who hasn't experienced a feeling of deja vu before?  Who hasn't experienced moments of premonition or insight of some sort?  Who hasn't met someone and felt an instant connection to them that they just couldn't explain?

All in all, this was a good book and it was worth the read.

Disclosure: This review was done after reading an uncorrected ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and HarlequinTeen. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don’t do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews for any book/galley/ARC sent to me for review.  I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at contact@nicoleabouttown.com.


Follow Friday #2

Welcome to Follow Friday and the weekly blogger hop.  I absolutely love this idea as it is a great way for me to find new blogs and meet more bloggers.

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and the Weekly Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books.



This weeks Follow Friday Question is:

What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)

A. Not gonna lie, but I hope the Zombie's come before Mel Gibson's return to the silver screen.  Hopefully I too can become a zombie and then won't have the brain power to care about Mel Gibson.  Better yet would be for me to have the ability to send the zombie's after Mel Gibson to prevent him returning to movies in the first place.  Yes, I think I quite like that idea.  Now to figure out a way to execute it!
Book Blogger Hop

This weeks task for the weekly blogger hop is:

Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us why it’s close to your heart!

A. For me that would have to be the review I did on James Rollins' new book.  He actually read the review and commented.  Cause I love his books, I had a little fan girl moment and I'm not even ashamed, lol.

Everyone who leaves a comment on this post or a follows me always gets one back.  Looking forward to meeting everyone.
Wednesday, 1 June 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: The Devil Colony

The Devil Colony
Title: The Devil Colony (Sigma Series #7)
Author: James Rollins
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Age Restriction: PG
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: NetGalley on behalf of William Morrow an imprint of Harper Collins
My Rating: 5*

[Goodreads | Amazon]

Synopsis

Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery — hundreds of mummified bodies — stir international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies’ origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.


During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly: burned to ash in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help: her uncle, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force.


To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war across the nation’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.


From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies.


But can he discover the truth — one that could topple governments — before it destroys all he holds dear?

My Thoughts

Let me just start off by saying that I love books by James Rollins.  Specifically, I love the books in his Sigma Series.  Having said that, I think that this book is one of the best in his Sigma Series.  Over the course of the series, you are introduced to characters who have pretty much reappeared throughout every one of the seven books.  What I especially love, is that no one character is the main focus of the novel where he/she single-handedly solves the worlds problems and holds off the evil foe.  Each of the main character's in this series has their specialty and individual talents and they use them to form one hell of a team.

In the Devil Colony, James Rollins brings the Sigma team back to their home turf and as such the majority of the action takes place in the U.S.  In this novel, we get more of a look into the shadowy organization that has been a thorn in the side of Sigma and the U.S. intelligence community.  At the same time, Rollins provides a bit of history lesson on the founding of the U.S and ties a 200-year-old mystery to events happening in books modern setting.

There is plenty of action, and intrigue, and the suspense is enough to keep you flipping from page to page to see how it all plays out.  Plus, I love all the various explanations and lessons that happen in the course of the story unravelling.  As someone who works with engineers and physicists on a daily basis, I wish they would explain things as clearly to me as it's done in the book.  The concepts are fairly advanced, but the way they are explained makes them relatively easy to understand on a fundamental level.

One thing I was very pleased with is that the characters continue to develop and show hidden depths with each book in the series.  The way that Rollins' describes them and the situations that they are in, had me imagining that I was there as well watching everything unfold as it was happening.  I have yet to come across another series or author that combines action, adventure, suspense, mystery, history, and various other scientific concepts and principles in such a way that they are not leaving the reader either out of their depth or feeling like the author has dumbed down the concepts for them to understand.

All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a well thought out book with plenty of suspense and intrigue.

*This is number 7 in the Sigma Series of books.  While you can probably read them out-of-order, I wouldn't recommend it as there is a natural progression in both character development and overall series plot.*



Disclosure: This review was done after reading an uncorrected ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins. My priority is to you, and I honour that commitment by being honest! I don't do reviews for payment, nor do I guarantee favourable reviews for any book/galley/ARC sent to me for review.


I promise to stay truthful with you and all opinions represented here are my own. If you are uncertain what this all means, I urge you to read my Review Policy for further clarification. You can also contact me at contact@nicoleabouttown.com.

Waiting on Wednesday #4: Lie

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.  Basically, it’s a chance to highlight one of the many books that you want to read but hasn’t been released just yet.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick for this week is…


Title: Lie

Author: Caroline Bock

Publication Date: August 30, 2011

From the GoodReads website...  Everybody knows, nobody’s talking… Seventeen year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police.  Her boyfriend Jimmy stands accused of brutally assaulting two young El Salvadoran immigrants from a neighboring town, and she's the prime witness.  Skylar is keeping quiet about what she's seen, but how long can she keep it up?


Jimmy was her savior.  When her mother died, he was the only person who made her feel safe, protected from the world.  But when she begins to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, the victim's brother, steps up to demand justice, she starts to have second thoughts about protecting him.  Jimmy's accomplice, Sean, is facing his own moral quandary. He's out on bail and has been offered a plea in exchange for testifying against Jimmy.  Sean must decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself.  But most importantly, both must figure out why they followed someone like Jimmy—someone who bullied people and advocated violence against others—in the first place.

I can't wait for this book to come out.  When I first started blogging, this is one of the first books to go in my wishlist pile.  Why couldn't YA books have been this interesting when I was younger?  I would have done a lot more reading then.

What is your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week?