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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.



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    New Juicy Review: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

    Book:                          Forgive My Fins

    Author:                       Tera Lynn Childs

    Publisher:                   Katherine Tegan 

    ISBN/ASIN:                 9780061914652

    Rating:                        Four Stars

    Release Date:             June 1, 2010

    Buy:    | Amazon | B&N | Powell’s | Indiebound 

    Read an Excerpt and Find Out More about Tera Lynn Childs.

    What if your true love stared you in the face? What if you were unerringly shackled to a pain-in-the-butt motorcycle pest and you couldn’t shake him like the barnacle he was? Welcome to Seaview High and a typical day in the life of Princess Waterlily aka incognito Lily Sanderson.

    Tera Lynn Childs has taken the hot hero sandwich to a rip roaring level, as her effervescent deep sea concoction Forgive My Fins, pits weak-kneed Lily (mermaid in hiding) against the boy she has a super crush on, and the wanna be best friend who might want more. What’s a mermaid to do?

    When Lily accidentally “bonds” with her on-again/off-again friend Quince, she has to let him in on her big secret and appeal to her father (the Thalassinian King) to dissolve the bond before Quince starts to sport gills and fins. And the separation needs to be conducted post haste, because Lily wants to pursue her real crush: Brody Bennett. And Quince is just getting in the way.

    Forgive My Fins was an absolute wonder and adorable-acious! It was such an enjoyable treat to dive into. One of the keenest points that Childs focuses on, is Lily realizing that she doesn’t always see what is in front of her. What will it take to rip the scales from her eyes-and will she have the courage to acknowledge what she sees? Whose face will be before her? Can she deny the feelings that she has for Quince? Are they destined for friendship or something more? Childs conjures up that inexplicable crossroads: puppy love intersected with the fathomless intensity of true love. 

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)


    New Juicy Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

    Book:                            Halo

    Author:                       Alexandra Adornetto

    Publisher:                  Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)

    ISBN/ASIN:                 9780312656263

    Rating:                        Four Stars

    Release Date:            August 31, 2010

    Buy:    | Amazon | B&N | Powell’s | Indiebound

    What if you were an angel and your mission was to turn the tide against the growing evil in the world? What if you fell in love with a mortal? And what would happen if you broke all the rules? In Halo, Alexandra Adornetto’s riveting debut trilogy, explores the perils of being a young angel and succumbing to temptation.

    For Bethany Church, life is brand new. The youngest and untried of three angels on a mission, just being in human form is a challenge. Eating, drinking, sleeping, even the simplest tasks are challenging. Assimilating into daily life could end up being more than she bargained for, especially where high school is concerned. But Bethany must keep her mind on the mission and grounded with her brother and sister. Because it looks as if the devil just might have plans for the seaside town of Venus Cove, and he will not tolerate any competition over the souls of the residents.

    Somewhere along the way, Bethany must find her own path and it could veer away from her brother and sister angels-into the hands of temptation. Can she manage her precarious mission and her burgeoning love for Xavier Woods all at the same time? What about her vulnerability to Jake Thorn? Who is he and what are his plans for Venus Cove? What are his plans for her when he seems to already know who and what she really is? What is he hiding?

    Adornetto begins Halo simply enough until midway she changes the game and ups the ante, and suddenly you realize that though Halo might have been tame to begin with, the story has evolved into a thrilling tale of good against evil. A dark tale with victims (!) This sinister bent manages to focus on how dire the situation is in Venus Cove and how perilous the task is before her. Adornetto is no longer pulling punches. While the first half of the book is about the trio getting used to suburbia and keeping on task with good deeds, Adornetto has devoted the second half of the book for the action and the EVIL-an evil has been unleashed in the Cove, and some have already died. Others will be possessed by souls of the Underworld, and in the darkness of it all, one being will stop at nothing to gain Bethany’s soul for himself. Will he succeed?

    While I am a firm proponent of “bringing on the evil” earlier in the manuscript rather than later, it positioning didn’t detract too much from Halo’s pace. I was still captivated with the developing story line between Bethany and Iain, and their foundation at Bryce Hamilton among friends and family. And that was an important facet to capture. 

    Adornetto has hinted it is not over and at the end of Halo you will desperately wonder what will she show us next? What will happen to Bethany, Xavier, Jake, Gabriel and Ivy when they meet once again? I am definitely eager to read Hades (set for 2011) release, because I have an idea of where Adornetto is heading…or well…Bethany could be headed (hint…its very hot)

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)


    New Juicy Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

    Book:                          The Eternal Ones

    Author:                       Kirsten Miller

    Publisher:                   Razorbill (Penguin)

    ISBN/ASIN:               9781595143082

    Rating:                        Four Stars

    Release Date:            August 10, 2010

    Buy:  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s | Indiebound 

    Read an Excerpt

    Find out about the Ouroboros Society!

    For fans of L.J. Smith who fell in love with her haunting tale of love lost and then reborn in Soulmate, (part of the Nightworld series), the story of reincarnation is slowly emerging into another hot YA theme that is bound to appeal and reel in readers. Which is why Kirsten’s Millers new soon-to-be hit, The Eternal Ones is a good bet on a hot summer read.

    Miller has capitalized on this theme in her newest release, chronicling the tale of sheltered Haven Moore who grows up in a small and narrow-minded Tennessee community. Her entire life, starting from an early age, has been plagued by memories of another life and a love…one that simply will not go away. The only way she can face whether the memories are a reality or a figment of her imagination is to confront them head on. And in order to do that she will have to escape Snope City first and follow a trail that leads into the past. And into perhaps…the arms of the Devil himself.

    Miller takes her time as a master storyteller, focusing on peripheral characters and the strangely eerie setting of Snope City to strengthen the dynamic of Haven. The shadowy Ouroboros Society that lies at the center of the spider web and the dangerously mysterious Adam gives The Eternal Ones just the right amount of sinister danger. As Haven gets closer to the truth and closer to the Society, the frightening truth is revealed. Her past life with Iain is only the tip of the iceberg, and between the two of them, they must unravel the malignant thread that is intertwined in their lives, or suffer the same fate over and over again. Will Iain and Haven ever find peace when the Devil is hot on their trail?

    From ancient and modern Rome to New York in the 1800’s, Moore’s tale tracks the past of two incredible characters: Haven and Iain whose love and loss through each life cycle is vividly re-told as they eternally battle a shadow that will not give up until Haven is his…forever. Will Iain make the eternal sacrifice to fight for her- to save the soul that has been merged with his since the beginning? Stunningly sweet and deep, The Eternal Ones is unforgettable. Miller has indelibly imprinted her leads with a sense of maturity garnered through the ages and pushes the theme of undying love to the edge. 

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (plus one grumpy cat: Roxy Le Kat)


    New Juicy Review: Vampire High Sophomore Year by Douglas Rees

    Book:              Vampire High: Sophomore Year    

    Author:            Douglas Rees 

    Publisher:        Delacorte Press           

    ISBN/ASIN:       9780385737258         

    Rating:              4 Stars

    Buy:    | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Indiebound 

    Read an Excerpt

    In Vampire High: Sophomore Year, Rees has probed further into the hearts and minds of the jenti and this sequel is definitely richer for it. Rees has stepped up the game and told a compelling story that deepens the plight of the jenti. The backstory of Crossfield, the largely abandoned town near New Sodom and its black history are the focal point of Rees’ sequel. Terrible things have happened in Crossfield’s past…to the jenti. And they will never forget it. Whereas in Rees’ debut, you got more tepid high school fare and shenanigans, his sequel is quite different…complete and full of substance. 

    When we last left Cody he was being marked by Dracula and he and Leanna finally had a meeting of the minds (wink wink). He’d become a hero at school and managed to earn the respect of the faculty and his peers. All in all Rees gave us a happy ending to the yearlong conflict that had plagued gadje and jenti alike. With the polo team in full swing, things were finally going swimmingly at Vlad Dracul Magnet School and the local vamp population. All of this changes when Cody’s troubled cousin Turk arrives.

    After finally overcoming the prejudices the jenti had about humans, Cody is once again thrown into the deep end, as his cousin inflames his friends and colleagues at school with her irreverent disregard for the tradition and history of the jenti. By openly pursuing an arts center in one of the abandoned factories in Crossfield, Turk engages all forms of opposition especially resurrecting an ancient rift between the Burgundians and Mercians. But some of the jenti who desire long-term change jump aboard and Cody realizes that his cousin is not so cracked up as he’d assumed. 

    The overall point that Rees is trying to make is that through art and music, the differences between people can find common ground. The art center could be a place where gadje and jenti can bridge the chasm of prejudice. Turk serves as a catalyst for Cody, a more fully realized self that can accomplish great things through perseverance and teamwork. One of the things that Rees makes so appealing in his sequel is that he presents real issues in a paranormal setting that go beyond the shallow contrivances that are so common in this genre.  I really found Vampire High: Sophomore Year charming, engaging and a satisfying read. This book is great for middle grade readers, difficult readers and those beyond.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review 


    New Juicy Review: White Cat by Holly Black

    Book:                          White Cat: The Curseworkers

    Author:                       Holly Black

    Publisher:                   Simon & Schuster      

    ISBN/ASIN:               9781416963967

    Rating:                        4 Stars

    Buy:    | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Indiebound

    Read an Excerpt

    In a great series start, Holly Black summons up a fascinating Y.A. urban fantasy similar to Kelly Armstrong’s witch and demon cabals…where cursework..the ability to curse with your hands by mere touch is a talent that is highly stigmatized, feared, and yet revered. It is also illegal. But like so many things, cursework exists on the fringe. Black has managed to make it alluring to readers, especially when unraveling the secrets of Cassel Sharpe.

    At Wallingford Prep, Cassel enjoys a popularity steeped in petty crime. Despite the stigma of his curseworker family he’s managed to fit in well at Wallingford where he’s found a place for himself. He’s the bookie of the school…respected.  What else is he going to do? Cassel sticks out like a sore thumb: he’s not got a whit of the family’s magic. Or does he? When Cassel is lured out into the night, nearly plummeting to his death from the top of Wallingford’s towers, Cassel swears he was led there by a white cat.  So what is the significance of this mysterious feline? The reoccurring dreams of a white cat continue to plague him, and in those dreams she is talking to him.

    Black takes you on an adventurous journey where Cassel’s family, his home life, his friends…even his memories may not be his own. Getting one step closer and trying to backtrack over three years of twisted memories, Cassel is on the tip of something enormous. Black held me spellbound (and holding my breath) as she revealed Cassel’s secret.

    Being a huge Holly Black fan, I instantly gravitated towards this new series. I am definitely going to pick up the rest of the series simply because I want to see how the story progresses and how far she can take Cassel. There are sinister repercussions to his family and Cassel has made some dangerous enemies in his kin. I am also very anxious to see how that turns out.

    White Cat is very different from Tithe, Valiant and Ironside…and I think that might be because her curseworker story is told from a male perspective: that of Cassel. Sometimes it reads as less tangible, and that could be that it’s an urban fantasy kick…a different setting from her other works. Less luxurious. So it has elements of the real world and not that much of the fanciful. There is plenty of mystery and suspense that Black invokes and that is deliciously welcome. Overall, White Cat is a very enjoyable read that won’t disappoint.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review