Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #10: The Golden Lily

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

 My pick for this week is:

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.


I loved the Vampire Academy series, and I loved the first book in the Bloodlines series.  I cannot to read this and see some of my favorite characters again.  I am hoping for an Adrian-Sydney romance in this book.  I will get this book when it is released on June 12th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

My Review:

I do not read many books that are YA historical romance, so I probably would not have picked this book up on my own.  When my book club selected it, I decided to give it a try.  I ended up loving it - from the the plot to the characters to the romance - everything in this book was amazing.  The author had obviously done her research about this time period.  


First, the heroine.  Ismae was an amazing character to follow in this novel.  She was not a weak character.  She had faced many hardships in her early life.  Her father had told her mother to get rid of her while the mother was still pregnant with Ismae.  Her mother took a poison to try to do this.  It did not work, and Ismae was born with a scar that came from the poison.  Ismae then grew up with an abusive father who sold her into marriage with another abusive man.  Luckily, someone came and took her to a convent where she found out she was the daughter of death, or Mortain.  The book focused on her assignment at the court in Brittany.  She had many weapons and poisons at her disposal, and these enabled her to dispatch several enemies.

Second, the romance.  Gavriel Duval was a wonderful man and very noble and loyal to Brittany.  Ismae's and Duval's relationship began with mutual distrust.  She thought he may be a traitor or a spy for France.  He did not trust the convent that Ismae came from.  As the story progressed, the two of them began to slowly trust each other.  Then, this trust turned into mutual love.  There was much romantic tension leading up to the scene where they kissed for the first time.  I believed in their relationship because it built over a realistic time period.

Third, the court politics and people.  Many pages of the story were devoted to discovering the motives of many people at court.  These people at court were very well-developed characters.  Anne was the wise but young (12 years old) duchess, and she was Duval's half-sister.  I wondered how old she was until her age was finally mentioned.  She seemed mature for her age, but at times, she would show how young she really was.  A few other interesting characters in the court  were Chancellor Crunard, Madame Dinan, Madame Hivern, D'Albret, and Marshal Rieux.  These were a few people whose loyalties were not always clear.

I loved this book, and if you like YA historical romance with a hint of fantasy, you will enjoy this book.  I cannot wait to see Sybella's story in the next book in the series.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Belles by Jen Calonita

Belles (Belles, #1) Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.

My Review:
Belles is a story of Southern secrets, scandal, backstabbing, and more.  I completely enjoyed this book.  I started it one night and finished it by the next afternoon.  


The plot kept me turning the pages, wondering what would happen next.   There were many dramatic events in the story, and it was always interesting to see them unfold.  Since the summary had mentioned a secret, I kept reading, wondering what this secret could be.  At the end of the story, you do find out the secret, and it was a great twist to add to the story.  I loved seeing the characters' reactions to this secret (I won't say what the secret is).

I liked reading the POVs of both the main characters.  I immediately liked Izzie.  She was a nice girl who had been dealt a bad hand in her life.  Her mother had died when she was young, and now her grandmother was in a nursing home.  She made the best of what she had, and she was a sweet girl.  It took a bit longer for me to warm up to Mira.  She at first seemed like the stereotype of a rich, popular girl, but she was better on the inside.  She did not like everything that Savannah did, and I liked her more as she began to separate from Savannah.  Mira really grew as a character through the story.

I also liked both Hayden and Brayden.  I liked Brayden when I first met and I was surprised when I found out he was dating Savannah.  I didn't understand why a nice guy like him would want to date her.  Hayden is Mira's older brother.  He was the one in the family who seemed to really reach out to make Izzie feel welcome.  Mira was not trying to reach out to Izzie, but her brother was.  He was just a really good guy.

If you like YA books with a lot of drama and some romance, read this book.