Friday, December 31, 2010

Mercy by Rebecca Lim

After “waking” to the sound of someone shouting, Mercy realises that she is on a bus bound for a small and quiet town called “Paradise”. Self-named, main character Mercy is an angel that has been exiled from heaven for reasons she can’t remember. Every time she “wakes” in a body of a complete stranger, barely remembering any previous memories. The unfortunate “host” person this time is Carmen Zappacosta, a girl that is near the end of high school, yet looks about 13, who was travelling to Paradise, accompanied by many other students from her school to sing. The reason I say “was” is because whenever Mercy enters another body, it is almost like she is hijacking it, a virus, and the host body has no memory of the events and situations that occur while Mercy is occupying the body.

Throughout the entire story, an angel name Luc contacts Mercy via her dreams, for he is forbidden to contact her otherwise. He persuades her to return to him and warns her of the dangers of those searching for her. The mentioning of Luc is very brief and I suspect that there will be more action from him in the future books: Exile and Muse.

Throughout the 2 week stay at Paradise, Mercy lives with the Daley family, a family that has been through a lot of misery due to the kidnapping of their daughter, Lauren. Their daughter was beautiful and popular, she had everything, and she was also a soprano singer. The family are still in a lot of pain, even though their daughter had been abducted near two years ago. The Daley’s son, Ryan, still believes that his younger sister is still alive, that she is still out there somewhere, waiting to be found. He even has “visions” of where she is being held captive. Whenever Mercy comes with contact with a person she can “feel” their emotions and strongest memories, she can also detect if they are lying. After touching Ryan’s hand, Mercy feels his pain, sorrow and fading hope and, I this quite predictable, felt a great urge to aid him in his search.

In Ryan’s vision, he heard voices raised in song, an organ, the thumping of a bible, but all of this sounded very distant. He “saw” two or more doors, many stairs and felt the warmth of the sunlight. Because of this, Ryan had already searched the Church, but found nothing of importance. After Mercy suggested trying the Preachers home, which they were very close in getting caught in, they also discovered nothing. The next couple of chapters revolve around Mercy and Ryan following false clues.

And cue Paul Stenborg, a music teacher with the looks and the voice, and boy does he know it! On the outside Paul appears to be like any other good looking, vain music teacher but there is just something that causes Mercy to be wary of him. Paul doesn’t act odd, unless you counted his endless praise for Carmen/Mercy’s voice…

Then, just when you begin to get bored with the book, the unbelievable happens: there has been another kidnapping. The similarities are that both were amazing soprano singers, just like Carmen.
After confirming details with Paul, Mercy and Ryan are near positive that an older man name Laurence Barry is the kidnapper and plan to search his home that very night… except Mercy never shows.

Mercy had been taken, for the same purpose the previous 2 girls were: for her amazing, angelic voice…

Mercy is an amazing novel that is the perfect amount of Paranormal, mystery and a touch of romance. Although the beginning of the book lacks action, the suspense builds up gradually throughout the book. Author Rebecca Lim creates a mysterious and successful debut novel, using the perfect language to engage the readers! The cover of the book is also truly magnificent!

4 out of 5 stars!

By Rosa Tran

The Cellar by A J Whitten

Again, many thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for letting me read this book!

Romeo and Juliet meet the living dead…

There’s something strange about the new guy… That would be fine if “strange” meant that the new guy had an obsession with frogs or that he reads his books backwards, but nothing’s that simple anymore…

After Meredith Willis’ dad dies in a car accident, she’s the only one who’s kept it all together, the only one that is “normal” in her family; her sister Heather blames herself for causing the car crash and won’t let herself be happy and her mum has become a shopaholic in order to deal with the stress and grief.

So when a new neighbour in sunglasses and a red hot Camaro moves into the old, run down home next to Meredith’s and becomes the non-stop talk of the school… Meredith can’t help but be suspicious. Unexplainable things happen to her whenever she’s around Adrien St. Germain, bugs crawling up her legs, vultures following her to school…

So in order to find information on the mysterious Adrien, Meredith sneaks a look into his windows and discovers in the cellar a deep dark secret that could destroy them all…

Unfortunately, Heather doesn’t feel the same way about Adrien as Meredith does, she argues that Adrien is the only person that understands how she feels. With every step that Heather takes towards Adrien, the more danger that she is putting her family in, can Meredith stop her before it’s too late?

I found The Cellar very enjoyable, the characters were strong and the story had romance, but not a sickening amount of it. And combined with the mystery and horror, it was an absolute blast! I found the character Heather slightly annoying, she was selfish and too trusting! But of course she was a huge part of the book, without her, The Cellar would have been very different. I also liked the fact that living dead in this novel had actual emotions and could actually think, it’s different compared to other novels where all the zombies are mindless corpses running around trying to eat people, it was a pleasant surprise!

4 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crossing Over by Anna Kendall

The land of the dead is a dangerous place to be... and so is the land of the living

Roger Kilbourne can cross over to the land of the dead... he just needs immense pain to do it. Of course inflicting the pain doesn't bother his uncle, Hartah, who takes advantage of Roger's "gift" whenever possible.

So when the promise of a better life comes along, Roger grabs it with both hands and hangs on. Roger's new life at the royal court, though tiring, is a better life than he ever knew. He has food, water, shelter and nobody beats him... Unfortunately things don't go as planned and Roger falls love with the flirtatious Lady Cecilia, and in doing so unknowingly draws himself into a world full of politics and danger...

And when Roger's "gift" is noticed by the Queen, his new simple and good life will be turned upside down...

Decisions must be made by everyone, but the ones Roger has to face can either help or destroy, one wrong step and all that he loves could be plunged into the land of the dead...

When I read this book's summary I thought, wow! This is gonna be one good book! And it was! My one problem is Roger. The main character is a selfish coward, and he keeps reminding himself that too... What annoys me is that he doesn't bother to do something about it! At the end, he comes through but his decision causes lots of confusion! I loved Maggie and Jee, and I just can't accept how Roger doesn't see a good thing when it's right in front of him!

Of course there wouldn't be a story, and the book wouldn't be as good, if Roger was perfect... because, let's face it, nobody is!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

4.5 stars out of 5!!! An excellent novel! Carolyn MacCullough writes an amazing story filled with magic and mystery, an excellent combination!

Tamsin, the black sheep, the odd one out in a family filled with magical Talents, even though she was destined to be one of the most powerful, she has nothing... or so she thinks...

Tamsin's sister Rowena on the other hand is very beautiful and powerful, and she knows it! She fits in and she is to become the next leader of the family, the one everybody turns to when decisions are made.

So when a man, a professor, comes into the book store Tamsin is working at, mistaking her for her brilliant sister Rowena, Tamsin decides that she can, and will, help him find a special clock that was lost. But the clumsy and nervous professor is not what he seems and there's a lot more that he wants from her, things that she may not be able to give...

I found the beginning slightly confusing but it all cleared up as I progressed through the story. It's quick and easy to read yet it isn't predictable. The ending is very satisfying yet it leaves the reader wondering what will happen next! It's very well written!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Green Eyed Demon was utterly AMAZING! And, many thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books Group, for allowing me to read and review this book before it's release date... I don't know where I would have been without them!

What better to set the readers' hearts pumping with the opening scene than a kidnapping?

After Sabina's recently discovered twin sister Maisie is abducted by their heartless Grandma, Lavinia Kane, Sabina immediately attempts to kidnap the weakest of the Dominae, Persephone, in order to trade back her sister.

Unfortunately, it doesn't go as planned and they instead encounter Tanith, instead of Persephone, who claims that she wants to help Sabina kill Lavinia.

Armed with the information that Tanith provides, Sabina immediately sets off with her team, consisting of her demon "minion", Gighul and the attractive mage, Adam, for the New Orleans.

Many complications arise and of course, with nothing but a photograph of Maisie gagged and beaten, and a few contacts and allies that they make along the way, saving Maisie is easier said than done...

Green Eyed Demon is an action-packed novel that is sure to keep hearts racing and pages turning. Jaye Wells creates a stubborn, yet brave heroine that everyone is bound to love! Jaye is truly talented!

5 out of 5 stars!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pretty Little Liars by Sarah Shepard

Yep. It's all the rage... The top new TV series about the problems of four friends... But, we all know that reading the book is always better!

Alison, the girl with everything, she's beautiful, smart and rich... All the boys want her, all the girls want to be her... and that's how she likes it. Until she goes missing....

Everybody has secrets, some just keep them better than others. Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, the four friends of the still missing Alison. They couldn't help but tell Alison everything, all their dirty little secrets, but deep inside, they're all glad that Alison was gone, hoping that their secrets would vanish with her. Unfortunately secrets don't stay buried forever, and the girls all start receiving text messages, messages that contain secrets that only Alison could have known, all signed with a single letter "A".

I usually don't read these kind of books but... wow! After having to my friends drone on and on about "pretty little liars" i decided i should read it just to tell them how bad it was. But the truth?? it isn't. The book contains so much conflict and drama, you'd think that the characters would be able to take a break every now and then but no... and the text messages!! They really keep you on the edge of your seat. The book is very easy to read although it is slightly confusing at the beginning, trying to remember all the characters names and their issues. Sara Shepard is a very talented author who knows how to keep the readers begging for more!

"i'll be watching"