Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (5)

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!

My Teaser:

“I love you,” he said
quickly and quietly.

It’s pretty sad
when you have to
think about it
before you say it.

- Far From You by Lisa Schroeder, p. 10

I've heard lots of wonderful things about Lisa Schroeder's books. I've always wanted to read her
novels and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of Far From You early this evening. I so adore it. I love the writing!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Review: Trance by Linda Gerber

Book Description via Goodreads:

It begins with a subtle vibration, a tingling.
There is time to take only one breath.
The trance begins.
When it is through, Ashlyn is certain of two things:
Someone she knows is about to die.
And she is powerless to stop it.

Publication date: October 14, 2010

Source: Linda Gerber (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Trance is more than just a story about an ability that is both a gift and a curse. It is the story of a not-so-normal teen and how her ability brought a heavy burden on her shoulders, made her regret the past, and affected her family life.

Ashlyn was guilty because of the past. Her family was no longer how it used to be. Seeing the death of several people caused emotional baggage on Ashlyn and her sister. The feel of the story was mostly guilty, problematic and stressed. Through Jake and Gina, there were chances for temporary escape from the burden. Although there were glimpses into the lives of the other characters, I wanted more.

Gerber incorporated numerology with the trances. Though I am not a big fan of this, I appreciated this effort. It made sense for me, since the premonitions are connected to divination. It also suggested that trances have always existed; that it was just no longer understood because humans have lost the knowledge as the years passed and the world became more modernized.

I finished Trance in a day. The writing is incredible, smooth and captured every ounce of suspense, panic, worry and guilt. I loved the fast pace. It reflected the tense moments of Ashlyn’s life, the part where she was racing against time and striving to understand the pieces of the story brought by the trances before someone dies.

Trance is a thrilling paranormal read. Every page is gripping. I just wished there was more.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (4)

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!

My Teaser:

He looked at me with sad eyes. "I can't do that again. I won't. But I'll always be here for you, Ashlyn. Let me know when you want to talk." And with that, he turned and walked away.

-Trance by Linda Gerber (ARC), pp. 222

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Book Description:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Source: Personal Copy

My Thoughts:

After the death of her aunt Harriet, all Tessa wants is to be with her brother again. She sets out for London and discovers the biggest shock of her life. Her brother is not waiting for her at the pier. The worse thing is she has to follow the orders of the Dark Sisters to keep him alive. Tessa has so many questions about herself, the Dark Sisters, her brother and the strange Shadow world – the world that she should belong to.

Clare has done it again. Downworld London was beautifully created. It had a foreign feeling to it but at the same time I felt comfortable with the place enough to remember the landmarks. The attention to detail in terms of the clothing, the culture and the time was unmistakably remarkable and thorough. The only comment I have is that the book was written in American English instead of British English. Although this might seem applicable since the focus of the story is Tessa, it did not seem to apply for the English characters.

Tessa is loving and above all trusting. However, would these attributes keep her safe in the Shadow world? As she stayed in the Institute, she came to know about the orphans who live there, as well as their lives and what ties them to the Institute – their new home. Fascination kindles curiosity and soon Tessa found herself striving to understand two best friends. Will has this attractive mysteriousness that is very hard to ignore. Seemingly amused at all times and unserious about almost everything, his too casual behavior ignites questions in Tessa and at the same time draws her in. Jem, on the other hand is his opposite, gentle and considerate. Underneath his fragile condition is a dark secret. The characters are thoroughly developed. I found myself coming to love them.

I honestly do not know why up to now, I am still surprised at the sneaky ways of Cassandra Clare, even after having read the Mortal Instruments. She never fails to make readers believe in the story, only to reveal that there is so much more underneath what is seen. This is a read that should not be passed up by her fans and even readers who desire unpredictability.

Clockwork Angel is amazingly crafted and addictive. A mysterious, thrilling and satisfying read.


Bones of Faerie + Thief Eyes Winners

So sorry for the late update! Anyway...

Winners of Bones of Faerie:


Smash Attack Reads


Winners of Thief Eyes:

Maddie M.

(Bookish) InaBox


Congrats! The winners have been contacted and the prizes are claimed.

Thank you to Janni Lee Simner and Meg O'Brien at Random House USA!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Awakened Giveaway - International

I first met the author, Ednah Walters, on Twitter. Before that I didn't even know that there was an upcoming YA novel called Awakened.

Orphaned as a child and raised by her grandfather, Lil Falcon is concerned with navigating her new high school and is unaware she's a descendant of the Nephilim, a race of beings with super powers tasked with protecting humanity from the demons who threaten it. But when she meets Bran, his psi energy unlocks her latent abilities and opens her eyes to what she is, a Guardian.

But Bran has a secret and befriending him sends Lil down a dangerous path that will either destroy her or make her stronger.

And I just recently found out that Ednah is holding an international giveaway. There will be four winners of these:

Which includes the following:

Signed ARC of Awakened
A Guardian Legacy T-shirt
A Guardian Legacy pen
A Guardian Legacy bookmark

Enter here.

Ends next week, September 23, 2010.
Open worldwide.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Caster Contest

I'm a fan of Beautiful Creatures and a sure future fan of Beautiful Darkness. Right now, Reading Teen is featuring The Caster Chronicles in their Reading Clean Spotlight. Every Thursday, there is a Caster-related post. And of course, they've come up with this awesome contest:

First Place Winner: Signed ARC of Beautiful Darkness, Swag and Two Signed Posters

Second Place Winner: Swag and Signed Poster

Third Place Winner: Swag and Signed Poster

Click here to enter!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book Description:

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Source: Personal Copy

My Thoughts:

Collins has successfully created a story world like no other, with its continuous suspense and sense of danger. The strictness of the Capitol balances the twelve districts, the same way that the sun is making sure that the planets are obediently revolving around it. Superior technology and surgery for the sake of fashion has never scared me until I read this book. Vanity will always find a way to sustain itself and through the years it has always succeeded. In the Capitol, the intense demand for beauty and the preservation of image has altered people beyond the borders of normality. I found it distracting.

The smoothest plot I’ve read so far. It was so skilfully done. My fingers could feel the strain and the eagerness as the tension escalated with every chapter. We get to see into the lives of the characters. We get to see their faces, their hearts and their pasts. I liked how the Hunger Games made us see the true color of the tributes. It was not just a controlled environment that brought out the savage part, the instinctual part out of the tributes. It also brought out the highest level of potential in every aspect of their beings. The distinct threat of death and harm caused bloodbath, betrayal and entertainment. Aside from this, it also started alliances, friendships and relationships that could or could not be broken by the never-ending strain given by the Gamemakers and demand of the audience.

Katniss, a survivor back in her home, has experienced the worst. Denied of all the luxuries of life, she has learned how to come by, how to live in the most dreadful conditions. In the arena, she has assumed a new character – a girl that will try her best to survive, to be the last one standing, to be able to go home, even if it means getting her hands dirty with blood. She was incredibly wise and efficient. I loved Katniss Everdeen. Another character that I loved was Peeta Mellark, the boy tribute from District 12. He has the face of an innocent, a body of the fortunate and a heart that holds secrets. As of now, I am proudly a part of Team Peeta. It was impossible for me to not like him.

Addicting, heart-pounding and suspenseful, The Hunger Games is surely my favourite dystopian read. This is the next big thing after Twilight. I can imagine how people will go insane for this series once this becomes a movie.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (3)

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!

My Teaser:

"You killed her," Will said. His voice sounded stupid to his own ears, and very far away.

-Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, p. 447

I just started this today. I loved Cassie's books - City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. I like this so far. Tessa is so interesting. Will is so charming. Can't wait to finish this!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fast Forward Monday (26)

Fast Forward Monday is about 2011 books that I want to read.

Taking Off by Jenny Moss

Release Date: January 4, 2011

A high school senior, who wants to be a poet and is caught up in a romantic triangle, meets Christa McAuliffe before the space shuttle Challenger accident.
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
Release Date: January 4, 2011

Writing her own love story could drive a girl insane!

When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast. That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth—that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real.

Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
Release Date: January 4, 2011

*Cover to be revealed.
Happiness is a bloody knife.

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.

It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities....

I loved Bleeding Violet so much. I'm really looking forward to Slice of Cherry. I like Dia's writing. It has its own unforgettable flavor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Impression on Injane by Douglas K. Pearson

Book Description via Goodreads:

Most people think I'm crazy because I see things they cannot. But if they saw the blood and the torture, or felt an ounce of the pain I feel, they would know I'm not insane. No one believes me and that makes me more alone than I feel. To those who meet me for the first time, I'm Jane; once they hear my one-sided conversations and terrified screams, they refer to me as Injane.

First Impression:

When I got an email from Pot-Boilers, I didn't know what to expect. And when I read the first chapter, I was left wanting more. Jane's perspective was really interesting. Seeing through her eyes was both terrifying and intriguing, like seeing the real world for the first time. Having no one believe in her words is quite common when it comes to situations that are unbelievable and defy logic. Somehow it puts more weight on her shoulders, to carry her own words and know that to the people around her, they are weightless. I was amazed with the intensity of the beginning of Injane. In the end, I was curious and hungry for more.

Join the Injane Facebook Group.
Buy Injane.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (2)

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!

My Teaser:

My body sagged to the ground and I shivered violently from the cold that suddenly encompassed me. Cherie pushed to her knees in front of me, her eyes wide.

- Intrinsical by Lani Woodland, p. 79

I've read good things about Intrinsical and I'm so excited to find out what's so great about this YA novel. I'm just starting to read it and so far it's good.
What's your teaser?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Review: The Bent Sword by Stephen Gashler

Book description:

When a daydreaming peasant named Steffin decides to take control of his own destiny, an adventure begins that has serious consequences. Though his adventures are reckless, Steffin's passion is contagious, and he eventually recruits men to fight against his nemesis, the Lord of Boredom. Yet, the journey is difficult, and problems constantly block the path these comrades are taking. Will the Lord of Boredom succeed in quelling what could be the greatest of all adventures? The Bent Sword is as an inspiration for anyone who ever wondered why life isn’t more like a storybook.

Source: Stephen Gashler (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Gashler wove two stories in one. The fantasy and the reality, different yet the same in one element: magic. Clever and humorous, the story assumed a life of its own and thrived within our inner child-selves, rekindling a passion for creation. Impossibilities are twisted into possibilities in this debut. It makes one wonder about the logic of children, whether they do not have basis or have the wrong basis or adults simply have lost their imaginative logic.

Steffin, a simple peasant from Peaville, is a dreamer. With a burning passion for wondrous and epic quests, living in a very boring neighbourhood has proven to be difficult and his life has become a series of routines until he meets a mysterious sage who tells him about his destiny. Energized and thirsty for adventures, he sets out to figure out things and truths about his fate and his world. But not all things are as they seem. Future is both predestined and changeable, bending to our will and fighting spirit. Together with his recruits they set out to fulfil their quest in a reckless and passionate attempt, battling their nemesis on the way.

It was a bit difficult for me to really get into the story. But as I watched Steffin’s journey and began to see how the line between fantasy and reality blurred, I found myself wanting to find out more about the fates of the characters. The world of dreams was a very interesting place to be in. It was filled with the stuff that cartoons are made up of, something so pure and untainted by the defiant logic of reality. I loved the twists and turns of the story. They kept the plot interesting. The sarcasm and humor of the characters brought a great deal of entertainment.

The Bent Sword is completely hilarious, inspirational, unpredictable and original. Sometimes it is downright weird. But it eventually summed up to a story filled with the dreams and nightmares that make up our lives. In the end, it is not God who is responsible for our downfalls but us. We write our own stories.


Friday, September 03, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (10) + Follow Friday

Another Friday, Another Hop.

About the Hop:

Book Blogger Hop is a wonderful opportunity for readers and bloggers to make new friends and to discover blogs of their interest and passion. Through this meme, I've met friendly bloggers who share interesting insights and ideas with me.

Join the Hop!
This week's question: Do you judge a book by its cover?
When it comes to book judging, I have three steps. First, I look at the cover and yes, judge by the cover. Why? In my opinion, the cover should summarize what the story is with images. If the images aren't that good or if they don't have that vibe that I'm looking for, it's most likely not gonna attract me. Second, to give books the fairness that they deserve, I read the book description. If it intrigues me or not, I judge by that. Third, I read reviews of that book. I'm very interested to know what my fellow bloggers think of a book before buying it.
Yes, I judge initially but I don't base my final decision on that initial judgement. Because that would simply be unfair.
What about you?

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Rachel asks, What is your favorite brick and mortar bookstore?

Easy. It's a bookstore called Fullybooked. They have a branch in a mall near my university, so I visit quite often. They are the most updated bookstore here in my country.
Welcome to Fragments of Life! If you happen to drop by, please leave a comment so I can visit your blog too! Thank you!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Trailer: Radiance by Alyson Noel

Fans of The Immortals Series will enjoy this fun read, particularly younger YA readers and middlegrade readers. Riley, Ever's little sister gets to have her own adventure in Radiance by Alyson Noel.

Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

You can read the first few chapters at Alyson's site. Meanwhile, you're in for a treat. Here's the trailer of Radiance:

For more info, visit Alyson Noel's Website.

Wind Warrior Blog Tour Giveaway (September 1 - September 30)

Cynthia Roberts is one of the kindest authors I've ever met. And right now, she has something pretty awesome for all of the visitors, friends and subscribers of Fragments of Life. This is definitely one of the largest blog tour promotional giveaways ever attempted.

I'm excited to participate in this blog tour with Cynthia and I'm so delighted to share the Wind Warrior to romance readers. First of all, what is Wind Warrior about? To answer this, it would be best to read the book description:

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again.

Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivates their hearts.

Guess what? Everyone has the chance to compete for five prizes which will include:

1. Romantic Two-lid willow picnic basket with deluxe service for two ~ $125.00 value

2. Succulent Godiva Chocolate Tier ~ $75.00 value

3. Exquisite Pearl & Crystal Necklace ~ $50.00 value

4. Amazon Gift Certificate ~ $25 value

5. Amazon Gift Certificate ~ $25 value

To view the gifts & read further descriptions visit her website.

Contest Rules:

1. Leave a comment at the end of this post

2. Tweet the following text: Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts A story of longing, wanting & a love so strong it conquers human evil. On sale now at Major Book Retailers

3. Post the same tag on your Facebook and/or Myspace Profile.

4. Become a follower of the blog you visit.

5. The list of participating blogs are registered on Cynthia’s website and you may enter to win on every one, however, only one family member may do so in a household.

6. Open to INTERNATIONALLY not just the US & Canada.

7. Each participating blog will randomly choose five entrants to compete for the grand prize pool where the final 5 winners will be randomly selected.

8. Winners will be chosen on Sept. 30th and notified via email by Cynthia.

9. All finalists must provide their email, name and official delivery address at the time of finalist selection to Fragments of Life.

10. All prizes will be shipped no later than Oct. 30th directly from the distributor.

11. The steps above will be checked to determine your eligibility.

Make sure that you leave links so that your entries can be verified! Otherwise, they might not count.

What are you waiting for? Contest starts now.