January 31, 2012

Teasers from Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

This week I decided to participate in Teaser Tuesday, because reading teasers is fun, right?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The venom in his voice surprises me. "What?"

"You," he repeats. And then, "You did this. To me."


January 30, 2012

Balthazar by Claudia Gray

Publisher's Summary: For hundreds of years, the vampire Balthazar has been alone—without allies, without love.

When Balthazar agrees to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, he has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s newfound psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel, seductive master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Now Redgrave plans to use Skye’s powers for his own evil purposes.

Balthazar will do whatever it takes to stop Redgrave and exact his long-awaited revenge against his killer. As Skye and Balthazar stand together to fight him, they grow closer—first unwillingly, then undeniably. Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by her. . . .

In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.


My Take: This book is exactly what I needed after reading the Evernight series. I grew a serious attachment and had the major hots for Balthazar. With Balthazar’s story left open-ended in Evernight, I craved for more of him and that is exactly what I got. Duh…that’s why the book is named Balthazar. LoL

This book reminded me of how much I love Balthazar! He’s so freakin’ yummy! I will admit that there were moments in the Evernight series when he would bug the living crap out of me because of his crazy obsession with trying to save his sister Charity from being an utterly and totally evil vampire. I wanted to yell at him, “Would you please give up already? She’s not going to change! She actually likes being a crazy psychotic killer!” In fact, when I read Evernight I would have been thrilled if someone would have accomplished killing her! But now that I know Balthazar’s backstory, I now understand that it would have killed him if something had happened to her.

From the previous series I learned that Balthazar had a crazy past and I wanted to know more about it, but at the same time I was hoping for him to have an amazingly happy future. So I wasn’t sure what I truly wanted from this book. But guess what? We get both! Throughout the book there are a lot of flashbacks of Balthazar’s past but, at the same time, the majority of the story takes place in the present. In the present, Balthazar gives himself the job of protecting a human friend that he met at Evernight Academy, a girl named Skye. She’s in danger because some really powerful vampires are hunting her, and Balthazar is determined to keep her safe.

I don’t remember much about Skye in Afterlife, only that Bianca was jealous of her and Lucas’ friendship. So I really liked learning more about her character in Balthazar. Claudia Gray did an amazing job with Skye’s character, and I think what I loved most was how truly human she is. I now understand why Lucas liked her so much.

This book has action, suspense and an amazing romance. If you liked Evernight, then you will for sure love Balthazar!

Quote to share!

“Balthazar was the kind of guy who used totally correct spelling and punctuation even when texting, which was sort of bizarrely hot. She was in serious trouble if commas could get her going.”

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Buy it here:
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January 23, 2012

Giveaway of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

I'm running a quick giveaway so you have less than 48 hours to enter! Good luck!!!

Read Magical Urban Fantasy Reads Official Giveaway Rules before entering! Giveaway is Open International. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand is subject to Book Depository availability. If it is not available at the end of the giveaway, another book can be chosen with equal or lesser value.

Giveaway ends Tuesday January 24, 2012 at 11:59 EST. *Ended*

Arianne C.


January 21, 2012

Partials by Dan Wells

Publisher's Summary: The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.

My Take: I am absolutely and utterly blown away by this book! There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe how totally awesome this book is! I was told before I started reading Partials that it is a highly anticipated book of 2012, and it TOTALLY deserves that title! Once I was done with Partials, I felt like that one kid at the very end of The Incredibles, when he says, “That was totally wicked!” It’s only January right now but I’m thinking I’ve already found my favorite book of 2012! I know, I shouldn’t be saying that yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if not a single book this year could outshine my feelings for this one. I have read a lot of incredible books lately, but this one blew them all out of the water for multiple different reasons.

From the very first page until the very last, this entire book was extremely compelling with nail-biting intensity! And several times I even had tears rolling down my face! How could you not love a book that has overwhelming action, heart-fluttering romance, a kick butt heroine, 3 totally swoon-worthy guys, an awesomely shocking twist and a storyline that is truly remarkable?

While reading this book I had trouble sitting still! Every moment throughout the book I wanted to talk with someone about it. It would have been awesome to have a read-a-long with someone so I could share my shock and awe with them while reading!

So, if you read the summary you would see that this is obviously a post-apocalyptic story…but it is also headed toward dystopia because the people are all about survival and they are completely lost about what they should do to survive.

Kira, the main protagonist in Partials, is the very definition of a heroine! I really admired and grew extremely attached to her character. All she truly wants is a future for the human race but they all seem doomed for extinction. She will even give up her life if it means saving mankind! This 16 year old is extremely smart and she puts her skills to work by training to be a medic. But even Kira’s medical skills can’t solve the biggest medical problem of all in this post-apocalyptic world; not one single baby born over the last 11 years has survived longer than 4 days due to the RM virus that killed almost all of mankind. So when Kira finds out that her best friend is pregnant, she decides that she will do ANYTHING to save that baby and restore the future of man!

OK! So, I have to tell you one more thing on a personal note. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a GIANT rat in my garage, and I have not been able to enter my garage again without getting the heebie-jeebies!!! Well there is this HORRIFIC rat scene in Partials that had me squirming and shrieking and thinking about that stupid rat in my garage!!! Ugh! I am squirming right now just thinking about it because it was soooo disgustingly horrible. It’s like when you see a bug and you start scratching because you think they are crawling all over you! Yeah, that’s what it was like for me!

Buy it here:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

I just had to share some awesome quotes with you! So, here they are!

“But how can you live without a future?”

He swallowed. “By living in the present. The world is already over, Kira. Maybe one day a baby will live, maybe not. It’s not going to change anything. All we have left is each other, so let’s enjoy it. Let’s be together, like we’ve always said we’d be, and let’s forget all this death and fear and everything else and just live. You want to leave the island, let’s leave the island-let’s go somewhere no one will find us, away from the Senate and the Voice and the Partials and everything else. But let’s do it together.”

"Was that the girl who went to Manhattan with you?” asked Marcus. “I think we owe her a cookie.”

“I think we owe her a whole damn bakery,” said Xochi. “If I wasn’t hip deep in mud, I would kiss her on the mouth.”

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ARC copy provided to me from HarperCollins for my honest review.

January 17, 2012

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford

Publisher’s Summary: Eden saved Az.

She fought and sacrificed and won him back from the most evil of evils. Now is the time for happily-ever-afters, right?

Not so fast.

A boy—even an angel—is hardly the solution to Eden’s problems. She’s still caught between life and death, still cursed to spread poison with her touch. She’s lost one best friend and another is quickly unraveling. And now something is happening to the mortals. Something very, very bad.

What happens in the dark spaces? The ones between life and death, love and hate, betrayal and redemption, sanity and delusion.

Or good and evil.

Eden is about to find out.

The riveting sequel to A Touch Mortal.


My Take: A Touch Morbid is the perfect name for this book…because it was morbidly awesome! One of the things I absolutely loved about ATM2 is that each chapter switched from one character’s POV to another’s; from Eden’s, to Jarrod’s and then to Kristen’s. And, if you’ve already read A Touch Mortal, you’ll probably be thrilled to know that we even get to see the POV through Gabe’s eyes! It’s not very often, but enough to keep you wondering, “What is up with this dude?” We also get to see a lot more of Madeline in this book, and I was constantly guessing whether or not she should be trusted.

I’m more than ecstatic that we get to see Jarrod’s POV in this book. He is by far my favorite character now. I’m absolutely Team Jarrod! I have a soft spot in my heart for him…he is awesomely, amazingly sweet!

Close to the end of ATM1, and throughout ATM2, I totally began to understand why people have the hots for Luke. I even had to keep telling myself, “He’s Lucifer! He’s evil! He’s not hot! I’m not supposed to like him!” I had to do this because he IS the very definition of HOT. And, I think that’s one of the reasons why he could be considered The Perfect Villain!

There is also a lot more of Az in ATM2. And even though I think he is perfect for Eden and he’s pretty hot too, I still had trouble truly connecting with his character. I found myself always contemplating his motives for his actions. To me, he seems to just keep making one idiotic decision after another.

All the characters seem to have major trust issues, and you will totally understand why when you read ATM2. Even Eden has her own secrets, but for the most part Eden and Jarrod are the most honest characters in ATM2, and they both are consistently trying to do what they feel is right. That is why I admire their characters so much.

The character I would like to see more of is Zach…is that the name of the Java Boy? I absolutely suck with names, but I’m pretty sure that is his name. I think he could bring a lot to the story if we get to see more of him in the future book(s).

Ultimately, a possible horrific fate hangs in the balance for Eden, Kristen, Gabe and Az. And that’s one of the main reasons this book kept me intrigued throughout.

Leah Clifford’s books are very different from the books that I’m normally used to reading. Her books are very dark and demented…and they contain a lot of lies and betrayals, and there are some pretty awesome twists throughout. While reading, you totally have to expect the unexpected because there is no way that you could possibly guess where this story would lead. And this is what makes Leah Clifford a totally awesome, creative author…with an extremely demented imagination!

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Buy it here:
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January 14, 2012

My Book Stash #12


Here's my vlog...please ignore my zit face! I'm horrible, I totally pick at my zits.


January 13, 2012

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Publisher's Summary: I am a beast.

A beast. You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

My Take: I don’t really know what to say about this one other than, it was cute! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie so I loved listening to this book. I didn’t grow EXTREMELY attached to it, but I’m glad I read it…well I’m actually glad I listened to the audio book.

I love how Alex Flinn vividly described what a big-time jerk Kyle was. You not only get to see how Kyle’s horrible actions affect others, but since this classic story is retold from Kyle’s POV, you also get to know what he’s thinking as well. And you learn that Kyle’s dad is an even bigger jerk than he is, so you also learn where it all came from.

I figured out pretty early on that it would be Lindy who breaks the Beastly spell, but I was still curious to find out HOW it was going to happen.

Beastly follows the primary story elements of Beauty And The Beast pretty closely. However, as I mentioned above, you now get to see the story from the guy’s (beast’s) POV this time, not from the girl’s (beauty’s) POV! And the rest of the story is also written for a more modern audience. The spell is cast on Kyle because Kyle asks an ugly witch to the prom to purposely humiliate her! Of course, he didn’t know she was a witch when he invited her to the prom…although (in his mind) he thought that he wouldn’t be surprised if she WERE a witch…IF witches really DID exist. So when he invites her to the prom, he already knows that he is going to humiliate her because he never REALLY intended to go with her to the prom! Well, yep, she really WAS a witch and since he DOES humiliate her, she casts a spell sentencing him to sprout beastly fur, claws and really sharp teeth. And his only chance of ever being returned to his former perfect looks is to fall in love with a girl who must love him back…and they must kiss!

Sounds cute right? It was!

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Buy it here:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
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Audio book reserved from the library.

January 11, 2012

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Publisher’s Summary: Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.

Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven's warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell's strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She's been warned.

Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian's new plan to destroy Ellie's soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian's schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She'll be betrayed.

Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.
My Take: Holy crap! Wings of the Wicked is wickedly awesome! But the ending?... Was just plain torture! The moment I put the book down (at 12:45am), I immediately got on Twitter and made a point to say to Courtney Allison Moulton, “I just finished WotW! I have to say...that was mean; that was wrong; that was just plain wicked!!! You're killing me here!” I had more than enough emotions flowing and I wanted to make sure Courtney was FULLY aware! LoL!

Other than having an ending that killed me…one that will take probably a billion years to get over (or HOPEFULLY when I read the next book in the series! LOL!)…there is so many things that I could rave about from this book. There were a lot of extremely intense fight scenes throughout the whole book; there were several horrific tragedies; AND there were some AMAZING, heart-melting love scenes and a SUPER crazy twist. OH! And when the twist presented itself…that part of the book was outright CRAZY! So much happened in WotW that I cannot even fathom how Courtney was able to pull it off so brilliantly.

I really grew attached to a lot of characters in this book, but I’m utterly in love with Will! AND there are just so many multiple scenes in this book that made my heart melt, each one more than the one before! And then there’s Caden! Is it OK that I’m in love with 2 characters in one book?! Because, although I’m utterly in love with Will, in this book I feel like I can’t claim him because he is utterly and totally meant for Ellie! So…then it MUST be OK to be in love with 2 characters…because that means I can still have yummy Caden for myself! Right? Ahhhh!!! They are both so very hot!

And, even though I grew even more attached to several of the characters from Angelfire, I also grew very fond of the new characters introduced in Wings of the Wicked. Wow! Now that I think about it, it’s kinda funny…because even though I thought Angelfire was fabulously awesome, it doesn’t EVEN come close to how I feel about WotW because I absolutely LOVE and I'm totally obsessed with Wings of the Wicked! I can't wait to hear everyone else' thoughts, because I know a lot a people will be raving about this one.
Buy it here:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Here's a couple quotes I thought I'd share with you all!

Suddenly I understood, and it was all very disturbing. This was not a love triangle I wanted to be caught up in. Perhaps love wasn't the right word-it was more like a pycho-demonic-reaper-obsession triangle.

I looked up to meet his gaze. The fiery opal flecks in his eyes danced and glimmered, like sunlight hitting newly fallen snow. I didn't understand how something so dark and wicked could create something so beautiful and kind.

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ARC provided by HarperCollins for my honest review.

January 10, 2012

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Publisher’s Summary: Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.


My Take: If you liked Across the Universe, then you will absolutely LOVE A Million Suns because it is a hundred times better! It’s as if Across the Universe was just a taste test and A Million Suns is the whole gourmet meal…with dessert to top it off!

In Across the Universe, we find out that almost everyone on the entire spaceship has been drugged throughout their entire lives through the water system with a drug called Phydus. This drug made the crew zombie-like obedient to the ship’s captain…and it also caused the crews’ bizarre, uh, “seasonal” behavior! LOL!!! So, when Elder and Amy discover this truth during their investigation, Elder decides to remove the drug from the ship’s water system. And now that the people on the ship are fully aware and now know they’ve been lied to their ENTIRE lives, it causes ship-wide anger, depression and laziness. The ship is falling apart and it’s Elder’s job to keep order on the ship!

AND, to make matters worse, there is a murderer on the loose, and neither Elder nor Amy can figure out who’s doing it. So while Elder heroically struggles to try to maintain order on the ship, Amy stumbles upon clues to a maddeningly mysterious puzzle that might possibly give them answers as to why the ship (Godspeed) is behind schedule; answers which could also fix their problems to get the ship to the new Earth.

This book is extremely compelling and intense! There is awesome action, dreadful devastation, cruel chaos, horrific heartbreak and to top it all off…A HUGE TWIST!!! Now that I think about it, there are several awesome twists! How could this book not be totally awesome? Once again I have to say, if you loved or even just liked Across the Universe, then you will HAVE to read A Million Suns!

Buy it here:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

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Received ARC from Penguin Group at NCIBA Trade-show.
Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.