My Wandering eyes have found: Shadows

Title: Shadows
Author: Paula Weston
Publisher: Text Publishing
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, angels & Demons, Romance
Pages: 388

So I did a little indulging on the Chapters/Indigo website and bought 3 books, completely different from one another. My reasoning for such spontaneity are as listed: 1) it’s been a while. 2) I legit had read all which sit on bookshelf. 3) I look for any excuse to go book-shopping :). So This particular website was rather kind to me and introduced me to Shadows by Paula Weston. So once I foudn this little treasure I had no choice but to consult my book-guru Goodreads and what jackpot it came out to be. Needn’t I forget the fact that I bought this book despite it being a hardcover and that is a big time deal. For one simple fact {I may have mentioned it before but I will repeat} I ABHOR hardcovers.


It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.
And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

-Goodreads

I do not know about you, but I get a feeling that this book will not be your typical girl meets mystery-drowned boy. I haven’t been interested in a book surrounding angels and demons since Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I think this could be it. Yes, I am getting my hopes up and yes, waves of chills went down my spine whenever I look at the cover. That’s just how they bait me I swear. It feels very much that it should not be in the YA section.

My hopes for this book is that I will get a series of unexplainable events, people ending up dead, maybe some whispers of Gabby Winter’s brother from a shallow grave {maybe even find out that he didn’t really die and is actually imprisoned in a dark place}. My aspirations on the romance are that I don’t want instant trust from Gabby. Goodness knows that a stranger coming into your life and talking nonsense isn’t someone you bring home to meet the folks. I basically I want this romance to build up and to make sense. I won’t accept reasoning that because she sees him in her dreams, that he is a good person. That’s just ridiculous-ness at it’s finest right there. {not to mention overdone}.

I do hope Gabby will after a series of horrible scary happenings have no choice and man up and become the warrior her dreams make her out to be. I want Gabby and her black knight go places no mortal has ever gone and maybe…just maybe end of the world happenings, but I think that’s a little stretch seeing it is the first book.

I really hope this book will standout and wow me, nay, I need it to blow my mind. {with old age comes picker times bwahahah} Doesn’t it sound sweet?! I am get hyped up! The proper review for Shadows will only follow sometime maybe next month, but warnings: I do have a book in between to get to beforehand so it might be pushed till December. It’s almost fitting though if it was ready for December don’t ya think? Nevertheless the more I read other reviewers comments basking the book in nothing but magnificence only furthers my anticipation.

Anyways that is where I will leave you all tootles!

-Meli

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Meli’s Nostalgic Tales: The Dark Heroine/Dinner with a Vampire

Title: Dinner with a Vampire
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Type of book: Trade paperback
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 549

Have any of you ever been a victim of quotes on books compelling you to read it because it’s supposed to blow you away? Well, that is what happened to me, this book promised, and I quote, to be “The sexiest romance you’ll read this year…”

four words…What the hell happened???!!!

Do not get me wrong, this started off beautifully, totally sucked me in. Our main Character Violet is left alone by her friend awaiting to go party and suddenly she witness stranger beings going at it all of which end up dead, followed by having said executioner seeing that there is a witness and deciding to abstain from killing her. There are some theories as to why he left her live, but let that be discovered at your own leisure. Golly, Violet Lee, what were you thinking when you saw a massacre happening decided not to use all means to get away fast enough? I liked her, I liked her a lot. When she got kidnapped and became a potential meal for a house full of vamps, she didn’t turn into a lamb and succumb. She fought…like a fearless bastard {my friend’s latest saying} and said “no way am I giving up on humanity! I am an amazon!” which was great!

The thing is these vampires were not as I accepted, in this society, only people of higher positions {military or presidential and so forth} know they {vamps} exist and there is a treaty in place. {Gawd I love talk of treaties feels so much more bad ass}. So should say a vampire kills a human then here comes the next war. Alas, Violet Lee is not our usual specimen; she is in fact the daughter of the Secretary of State for Defense {wowza} and he wants nothing more to start a war but wants his kid safe. I think.

The author’s writing style I enjoyed immensely, her description was appetizing and I think this is one of the reasons I got as far as I could. Violet in her own way appeals to the compassionate side of these vampires, even the son/prince of them all Casper Varn, who is a spoiled hot-head yet deadly couldn’t turn away. I believed I could get through this and write nothing but awesome things about this book.

Unfortunately I cannot. Why you may ask? Because I have yet to reach the end and I am not sure if I ever will. Ladies and Germs, I reached up to page 338-339 and I could not do it anymore. The unspeakable happened…

…They had sex. ;__; Do not get me mixed up I do love some smut, but I felt it killed the whole dynamic of where the book was going. Violet and Kasper had this ongoing sexual tension: he was forbidden to feed off her, touch her or even get near her, all of which he did not heed. Violet couldn’t stop wondering why Casper was an enigma which made her want to seek him out even more. My friends, Violet took a turn for the worse, her sleeping with the enemy not only sealed her fate as a human but comprise the lives of millions. All I could keep thinking about is “why are you so selfish? Did you REALLY have to get it in??” She couldn’t stop crying about missing her family and friends and that humanity meant everything to her but as soon as Kasper would place his poisonous lips onto her, she’s be like “Being human what now?”

I had enough, I expected something else I actually wanted her to plot to get herself out of that mansion, maybe submit Casper a betrayal and more drama. Who knows maybe there is a turn around and maybe I’ll find out but as of yet I keep glancing at it and I cannot muster picking it.

So based on what I read that is my opinion, if you decide to take a gander I accept spoilers.

Grading: 3/5

yours truly Meli<3

Mandy’s Miscellaneous Flavours: Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock (Review)

Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence

Nick Bantock

Chronicle Books- September 1991

Hardcover

Romance/Mystery/Illustrated novel/epistolary book/fantasy/Paranormal

28 pages

Image

Griffin: It’s good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right — the wine glass has more impact than the cup. –Sabine

But Griffin had never met a woman named Sabine. How did she know him? How did she know his artwork? Who is she? Thus begins the strange and intriguing correspondence of Griffin and Sabine. And since each letter must be pulled from its own envelope, the reader has the delightful, forbidden sensation of reading someone else’s mail. Griffin & Sabine is like no other illustrated novel: appealing to the poet and artist in everyone and sure to inspire a renaissance in the fine art of letter-writing, it tells an extraordinary story in an extraordinary way.

***

I have to admit I’m not quite sure where to begin with this book, but I do know that I wish I could take a picture of each page and post it here, but I’ll refrain myself. This is a book blog after all, not a picture album (also imagine the copyright issues, yikes!)

With that said, I should probably begin this review by saying that Nick Bantock’s book isn’t for everyone.

If you’re the type who prefers their books to have a clear plot and narrative, Griffin & Sabine is unfortunately not for you. However, if you’re up for an unconventional form of storytelling, and have an appreciation for art, then you should give this book a try. I know I don’t regret it.

 Also as the title suggests, yes, it’s a romance. Yet it’s so typical of me to finally read a romance “novel” that isn’t truly a romance novel.

I haven’t encountered any books like this one before, so its peculiar format instantly caught my eye. An epistolary novel, the story unfolds (literally) before the readers’ (viewers?) eyes as a series of postcards and removable letters.

Without giving too much away, Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, is exactly what it sounds like. Griffin, a postcard designer from London, has his life turned upside down after a cryptic postcard from Sabine Strohem, a woman he has never met. Claiming to be from the Sicmon Islands, Sabine adds a splash of colour and intrigue to Griffin’s grey and dreary existence. So of course they begin to correspond regularly, leading the two to ultimately fall for one another.

As Griffin writes in one of his handmade postcards: “Why doesn’t this alarm me as much as it should?”

I can honestly say I was thinking the same thing.

As the readers, we are not given any more insight into the characters’ or story’s development. All we have to rely on are the letters that we have before our eyes, and the unfounded trust in the words of Griffin and Sabine. We are forced to be some kind of detective, putting the pieces (or rather letters) together to better grasp what is happening. Despite being so restricted of material, it is notable how heartfelt and believable the connection is between the two star-crossed lovers. However, the “realness” of the exchanges is forever disrupted by subtleties that add to the mysterious and even mystical feel of the book. For example, a major difference between the letters of Sabine and Griffin are how they are dated. Griffin’s always have a date, Sabine’s never do. This shouldn’t really matter; however, Sabine’s timeless and dateless letters only build up Griffon’s theory of his slow descent into madness. His final letter to her is heartbreaking, while Sabine’s last letter basically says:

Shit’s gonna go down.

With all that said, the world has changed since then. This book was published in September of 1991. Now we live in a time of emails, texts messages, instant chat and tweets. Ultimately leaving one to wonder how a book in this format would be received if it were written today.

Seriously, when’s the last time you handwrote a letter?

I thought so.

Mandy

Michelle’s Paper Garden: Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy


Title: Hemlock Grove
Author: Brian McGreevy
Publisher: FSG Originals
Year: 2012
Type: Paperback
Genre: Horror, paranormal, mystery, werewolf, urban fantasy

Summary:
The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12510849-hemlock-grove]

Review

I watched the tv show before I even knew it was a book, so one would assume that I have spoiled the book and all of its mystery, but that’s not completely true. I have only read about 100 pages and so far they are keeping more or less true to the book. However, the book tells us what the characters were thinking, while a televised version could never do that unless you have Sookie Stackhouse around. Their thoughts and even some of the backstory that the show left out are very interesting and give the characters a slightly different feel. For example, in the show, Peter is motivated in his quest to stop the murders by fear of being locked up s everyone suspects him, while in the book he is motivated by not only fear, but also pity.

Anyway, onto the actually book! I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it is pretty good. It isn’t as confusing as the tv show, well at least not yet. Things are given more of an explanation in the book. The author can write very well, which is evident through his character Shelley who is mute but writes beautifully in her emails to her uncle. However, there are some points when he completely loses me and I have to reread the paragraph and figure out what he’s talking about. Some of his wording is awkward and there were a couple of words that I had to look up because I hadn’t the slightest idea what they meant. Also, the dialogue is weird to say the least. I didn’t think it overly realistic.

The constant reference to Peter’s balls was a little awkward for me. I don’t have any, but I am pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be able to sense trouble. They are not supposed to have spidey sense!

So far it’s a good read. I haven’t given up on it yet. We will see what happens.

Meli’s Nostalgic Tales : Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Title: Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Type of book: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Humour, Supernatural
Pages: 324

Here I thought I was done with the vampire-drama, but something about this book besides its fantabulous cover made me give it a go and am I ever grateful.

For those of us who have forgotten what it was like to be the weird kid in Teenland, this book certainly brings back some lost time. Doug Lee, 15 and starting puberty and a little rounder than most kid is your new neighborhood vampire…by accident. A hilarious accident claims to have been bitten by a hottie, but story shows it’s a little more complicated than that. From here on in we deal with the ups and down of vampirism and teenage angst.

Ah…gotta love yeah some teenage angst.

Thankfully, Doug has Jay (best bud!) to help him deal with hunger-cravings, sizzling skin when sun-exposure occurs and still be a teen. The author does great work in highlighting why these two are great friends. It just comes to show that even if you become an un-dead, you are still someone’s pal for life…literally. A new love interest from India appears to tempt our little vampire, but she too is battling her own personal drama which is pretty juicy I must say and out of the box for me. I legit leaned back and said ” whoa well you think you know a person” Beware of The Google.. Despite getting hunted down by television-pretenders Vampire Hunters and getting a secret organization for vampires to teach you the do’s and don’ts it’s a I think Doug took it all in beautifully with his “winning” personality, especially since all he wants is to meet a nice girl, maybe fall in love and feed off from so he can stop sucking animals.

Not selfish at all! *snort*

Every page was full with so much laughter it made my time on the plane a lot more enjoyable. MY ONE COMPLAINT is the ending. The author did a break away from the usual sad or happy ending, instead he gave us alternative endings to which we could choose from-ish but even then we do go back to the present and I still do not know what it all means. And I re-read so before y’all start accusing me, just know I went back and still am not sure what to make of Doug.

So if you are willing to read it, please let me know your thoughts on the ending and we can rave about it 

Grading: 4.5/5

-Meli <3

Nostalgic tales: Dream Lake

Title: Dream Lake
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Type of Book: Trade Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: romance, contemporary, paranormal–ghost

Ahh miss Kleypas but you truly know how to make my toes animate themselves and start singing a mighty fine tune. But seriously, if you guys thought Sam Nolan was delicious, y’all best make room because Alex Nolan is just sinful and no amount of finger biting will make you turn away. Although I haven’t read Crystal Cove the third instalment, Dream Lake is my overall favourite.

Alex Nolan bad soul, heavy drinker, the youngest of the Nolan kids who suffered the most thanks to his parents’ alcoholic ways. Got married and divorced made him a very bitter man. Highly believes the world is better off if it just left him the hell alone. Which I will say he probably is better off. Sadly enough for him and delightful giggles for us readers the supernatural just got thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough on Alex’s plate wait till he meets his lady-in-waiting, cute, bubbly, petite and so much sunshine you need sunglasses Zoe.

She needed a house to get a fixing for her ill grandmother and he was the best in town.

A real opposite attract kind of couple, in the previous book Rainshadow Road we got a sample of these individuals, once more the author plays the magic bit around but it’s a lot more tone down in comparison with her previous novel. Mostly I think is because of there being a ghost in the mix and his tale is equally as sad. A ghost who can’t remember isn’t as sad as a ghost who can’t remember and the lost-love who never stopped loving/waiting for him. What worked really well too was the theme of alcoholism and how it affects not only the abuser but the people around them as well and I found the author did a good job is highlighting the dangers of it without making it seem cartoony or over dramatic.

Throughout the book Alex and Zoe go through many rough patches, Alex and his devils coming to haunt him and Zoe who behind her upbeat-ness hides tons insecurities and loneliness. Nobody said love between the broken would be easy; however it was nice to see how both of them, by being with each other were in fact healing one another and together became stronger. I truly do recommend this book, a great read, great writing style and gourmet dishes Zoe cooks up will have you drooling all over.

Grading: 5/5

Meli<3

Nostalgic Tales : Girl of Nightmares

Title: Girl of Nightmares

Publisher: Tor Teen

Author Kendare Blake

Type of book: Hardcover

Pages:332

Genre: Romance, Fantasy supernatural, horror

So it finally happened, the ending, the conclusion, the final round between good and evil. I didn’t want it to end.

Once more Madame Blake takes us on a magnificent journey, time has passed since Anna Korlov made the brave decision of descending into hell to save Cas and his friends, and while everyone is grateful for her sacrifice the only one to still ponder about it is Cassio. Where did she end up going? Is she content? And what of the Obeahman, is he truly gone? Thankfully all these questions and more get revealed in this stunning sequel.

Cas is restless, angry and generally heartbroken, he feels that nobody really understands and I think in a way he cocooned himself from life itself. He is haunted by visions of his beloved Anna causing him to lose sleep, and if that’s not bad enough our once ghost busting trio have a rift. If I saw anyone who might want to reconsider their role in the group, I wouldn’t have called that person out first. I guess sometimes supernatural experience can either make you bond together like The Ghost Busters, or fall apart like so many music bands we know today.

Despite their fallen member Cas’s waste no time in conjuring his next move. Rescuing Anna— which everyone is so against it but you know what they say “love makes you do crazy things”. I just would never imagine venturing into the deep red tomb of evil would be it. It’s a bloody fantastic ride to get there let me tell you that. However, they can’t do it alone and a trip to England is proving to unfold many mysteries and a new ally/enemy named Jestine. The best way to describe this girl would be as Cas’s female version, but more mature? Perhaps just knowledgeable and better skilled? The part where they venture away to London though does highlights some very interesting places I did not know about and perhaps I will want to see from afar of course.

Either way I was torn between being thankful that she was there when they needed help and hating her when we find out her true reason for sticking around and what it might mean for Cas and his position as…the guy who fights which goes bump in the night?

All in all I felt the book was too short, I knew it had to end but it happened way too soon so that is just my little thing, overall I enjoyed it Anna got what she deserved. Of course the sappy romantic in me wanted them to be together…even if he had to die…THERE I SAID IT I WOULD HAVE NOT MINDED IF HE DIED! Wow that feels nice to let that out. I think though, reflecting on the ending again, it kind of showed mirrored what we all wanted, or at least what I wanted. that even in death, love triumphs all or something of the latter. The selfish part of me also says that it wouldn’t be a bad idea if she did continue with this story…just one more, but I know that won’t happen so I’ll settle and just let it continue in my head.

Nevertheless, I love this author to bits and if she comes out with another work I will tune in so please look into this :)

Grading : 5/5

-Meli