30 Day Animorphs Challenge: Day 17

button 30 day animorphs challenge

Welcome to the Moonlight Library’s 30 Day Animorphs Challenge!
Despite Project Animorphs in 2013, I clearly do not talk about Animorphs enough.
This particular challenge is taken from the Heck Yeah Tumblr Challenges archive on Tumblr.

Day 17: Three heartwarming moments

Animorphs 32 The Separation.jpgI’ve always been a Rachel/Tobias shipper, mostly because I admire Rachel as a role model and Tobias is irresistibly damaged and vulnerable yet independent and self-sufficient. They sweeten my life together. My first heartwarming moment is in #32: The Separation, where Rachel is split into two Rachels, the Mean Rachel and the Nice Rachel. After they’re put back together, Cassie offers to talk to Rachel, but she refuses in favour of taking some time out with Tobias. He says to her, “Let’s go. The two of you and the two of me. Let’s go. Let’s fly.”

Animorphs 29 The Sickness.jpgMy second heartwarming moment is in #29: The Sickness. Ax falls seriously ill, and he’s homesick and a million miles away from his mother. Cassie fulfils that role, taking his temperature and smoothing down his fur and calling him ‘baby’. There’s just something about poor Ax, so alone and so ill, and Cassie using her nurturing side that really warms my heart.

Animorphs bk08.jpg My third heartwarming moment is in Book #8: The Alien, after Ax bites Visser Three in rattlesnake morph. The Visser’s host body is poisoned, and the Yeerk bails. Alloran begs Ax to kill him, and tries to end his own life, but Ax, even though he’s looking at his enemy, he just can’t do it, because this is what the Yeerks do, they enslave people and use their bodies against their will, and Ax can’t kill Alloran in cold blood, even with Alloran begging. I love Ax’s honour in this part, and it really warms my heart to see him stare down his brother’s killer and walk away, knowing his most dangerous enemy will return.

Waiting on Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike (84)

button Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
It’s all about spotlighting upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
Share your books and remember to visit Breaking The Spine for more great books!

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

Sleep No More

Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

Expected publication:  29th April 2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

From Goodreads:

Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn’t tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate’s murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.

Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…

Release Day Book Blitz: The Ex Factor by Elisa Dane

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Ex Factor
by Elisa Dane
Release Date: 04/22/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl.

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it.  But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died.

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.

Available from:Amazon * Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

The warm, squirrely sensation festering in my gut grew stronger with each second that passed. Despite my best efforts to ignore it, and him, I finally gave in and looked over my shoulder. I was immediately sorry I’d done so.

 Jet eyes filled with what appeared to be a heavy amount of disgust regarded me coolly. I frowned and glanced down at my feet, insecurity smothering me like a thick blanket. Why was he mean mugging me? I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. Why was he so pissed?

I took a chance and dared another peek in his direction. I was shocked to find him glaring at me still, his expression angrier if that were even possible.

 He crossed his arms over his chest and raised a brow. “Seriously? You’re just gonna stand there and look pretty the entire period? How ‘bout you at least move out of the way so the rest of us can get what we need?”

 I blanched, unable to speak, let alone move. In another circumstance, I’d feel giddy about his reference to my “being pretty”, but as it stood, I felt sick. Clearly irritated, a healthy dose of sarcasm coated his deep voice. Why were there never any holes around when you needed them? I was ready to crawl into one and assume the fetal position.

 “Back off, asshat,” Erin snapped. She brushed past me and opened the cupboard I’d been standing in front of, and pulled out a stack of aprons. With a huff, she snatched an aging blue apron from the top of the pile and flung it at my handsome hater, the soft cotton fabric hitting him in the face. “She’s new and doesn’t know where everything is yet.”

 He didn’t say anything else; just scowled for what I assumed he felt was good measure before pulling a ball of pastry dough out of the small refrigerator below.

 “Ignore him,” Erin said, as she handed me an apron. “Bodie Scott is a douche with a bad temper, and totally not worth your time.”

 I mashed my lips together and gave her a nod, doing my best to ignore the pang of hurt whirling in my chest, and the odd tingling sensation skimming across my flesh. My short time at Grant High thus far had been anything but great. I’d been heckled by a group of Victoria Secret Angel wannabes. I’d flirted with a hot guy who turned out to be dating the one person who’d tried to befriend me. For reasons unknown to me, I’d pissed off the only other guy I’d come across in ages who’d had any sort of impact on me. If the morning’s events were any indicator of how the rest of my day would be, I was screwed.

~

About the Author
I’m a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!
I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it’s my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.
 
Author Links:
   

***GIVEAWAY***

1 ebook of Ex-Factor & $10 Amazon gift card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

New Release Review: Black Beast by Nenia Campbell

Black Beast (Shadow Thane, #1)

Title: Black Beast (Shadow Thane #1)
Author: Nenia Campbell
Publisher:
Nenia Campbell
Release Date:  2nd April 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook
Page Count: 284 (paperback)
Source: Author (giveaway)
Rating:

2 of 5 hearts

Nenia is a friend of mine, but as you can see that hasn’t stopped me from being any less annoyingly opinionated on this book, the first of hers I have read. You should pity her. Also, I won it in a giveaway, so you can’t even claim she should expect me to be nice or anything, even though I have been looking forward to reading this ever since I saw the blurb.

Black Beast is framed by the point of view of a young up-and-coming hunter witch named Finn, because he’s obsessed with the new prey he’s locked on to: Catherine Pierce, a teen Shifter who hasn’t settled yet, which is out of the ordinary in the Otherworld. Although most of the POV is from Catherine, occasionally Finn’s creepy POV is added in as well, besides the framing, which sometimes works and sometimes does not, seeing as how Catherine is really the protagonist. Also, Finn’s POV just serves to be creepy. Did I mention he’s a creep?

Catherine is determined to live life under the radar, but it doesn’t help that everyone at school think she’s a freaky outcast, and the Otherkin – witches, vampires, Slayers and other Shifters – all hate her as well. Even amongst Shifters she’s a freak. Catherine works part time in a second hand book shop, and takes home a mysterious dark-magic book one of the customers was interested in (we never find out why – just one of the many, many questions left unanswered in this book), then she’s attacked by the Witch hunter, and shenanigans ensue when she decides she’s incapable of dissecting a cricket because of her Shifting ability, so she enacts a daring break-and-enter-and-destruction-of-school-property to free said crickets.

The plot is a bit of a mess, and the climax of breaking into the school to rescue the crickets was decidedly anti-climactic. I was hoping for a second showdown of Catherine vs Finn where Catherine kicked his ass all the way back to Creepytown, but I was disappointed. There was almost no point in having Finn in the book, as we spent most of our time in Catherine’s head as she moped around not doing very interesting things, having weird dreams and occasionally shifting.

However, the shifting moments were pretty cool. I loved being inside Catherine’s head when she shifted into an animal. The worldbuilding was intense and awesome, with so many factions bristling on the edge of war with one another, a whole history of previous conflicts, and although I was confused about whether regular humans knew about the Otherkin for a while, I eventually figured it out. I loved how the world was so complex and I can see this series continuing indefinitely because of that.

The book plays a very deliberate homage to Twilight, pairing Catherine up with a potential love interest in biology class, and several other sneaky references. It also offers refreshing changes to your typical paranormal novel in that Catherine’s mother is not absent, but involved in her children’s lives and she’s tough and she makes rules she expects her kids to abide by. She’s pretty cool.

I thought Catherine was going to face more intense or difficult trials and hurdles than she did in this book. Instead she spent it fending off people (whether it was a guy with a crush or someone out for her blood), being snarky, and, quite reasonably being a normal teenage girl struggling to follow the rules. Even the Shadow Thane mentioned in the blurb didn’t really feature, and the community group subplot went nowhere.

I prefer my books to gather up their threads at the end and provide answers. Even if one or two overarching issues were left undisclosed and ready to create conflict in the second book – I fully expect Finn to be back in the next book – there were way too many plot threads unravelling and too many unanswered questions to really complete the story. An extra twenty thousand words wrapping up those threads and giving an actual climax involving a certain Shifter/Witch showdown wouldn’t go amiss. I couldn’t help but be disappointed, but at least reading this book has shown me that Nenia’s writing is not for me.

View all my reviews

Stacking The Shelves (80)

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Tynga’s Reviews where it all started to find more great books!

For Review:

The Concealing (Spirit Warriors #1)

Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote. But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.

Love this blurb, and I love the idea of each friend being able tot urn into a specific animal. I really hope I like this, because I’m the first stop on the blog tour!

Purchased

Starglass (Starglass, #1)

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime–one that will determine the fate of her people.

Phoebe North used to be quite the prolific reviewer on Goodreads (not sure if she still is) and ran the Intergalactic Academy, a sci-fi book review blog, so I am very interested in seeing her take on sci-fi. One of the things that most interests me is Phoebe’s own Jewish heritage and how it has influenced this book. Also, it was on sale for $1.99. Although I like the paperback cover better:

Starglass (Starglass, #1)

30 Day Animorphs Challenge: Day 16

button 30 day animorphs challenge

Welcome to the Moonlight Library’s 30 Day Animorphs Challenge!
Despite Project Animorphs in 2013, I clearly do not talk about Animorphs enough.
This particular challenge is taken from the Heck Yeah Tumblr Challenges archive on Tumblr.

Day 16: Three moments of nightmare fuel:

You know, the Animorphs series has a reputation for being really dark and gritty ‘for a children’s series’. I personally don’t believe that the later books are really aimed specifically at children: I believe that as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter audience grew and matured, so did the books, and the same thing happened with Animorphs. I was about nine or ten when I first started reading them, and about fifteen or so when the series ended. It was a mature series for younger readers and never spoke down or simplified things for its audience.

So the darkness could be pretty intense.

Here are my three moments of nightmare fuel:

Animorphs 33 The Illusion.jpg The first and most horrific will always be in Book #33 The Illusion, when Tobias is getting tortured. Not the torture itself, though that is pretty awful, but what happens when the Animorphs bust in and rescue him. It’s a bloodbath. Marco in gorilla morph leaps on top of the (glass? Plastic?) cage holding Tobias and tries to unscrew the screws to free him whilst being stabbed repeatedly by a Hork-Bajir Controller on his back. Drops of Marco’s blood splatter onto the cage, and then a steady stream. Marco’s in agony, but he’s determined to rescue Tobias, even going to far as to nearly die himself. I don’t even like Marco all that much, but that one scene has always stayed with me, even as a child, and re-reading it as an adult didn’t help. Marco was so heroic, and Tobias so helpless, and no one could help Marco and he was bleeding to death for some guy he doesn’t particularly like and often clashes with but who is part of the team.

Animorphs bk10.jpgThe second moment of nightmare fuel again stars Marco. For a character I don’t particularly like he sure has a lot of the more memorable and emotional scenes I seem to remember. In this instance the action happens off-page, but it concerns Book #10 The Android, after the Animorphs have broken into the Yeerk stronghold to steal the Pemalite crystal. The Animorphs are left with no choice but to bust out in their biggest, meanest morphs, but they are trapped by ruthless Yeerk guards. A bloody battle ensues, and Marco is tasked with protecting the crystal, and in his point of view we see Erek standing by the window, waiting for the crystal that will let him rewrite his programming and save the Animorphs. Once again, Marco sacrifices his own safety to get the crystal to Erek so Erek can save their lives. Marco actually dies, but Erek restarts his heart after annihilating the enemies, utterly decimating them. My nightmare fuel is made worse because its left up to my very vivid imagination to think about what happened when Marco was ‘dead’ and the action happened off-page.

The Andalite Chronicles front cover.png My third moment of nightmare fuel is in The Andalite Chronicles. At one point, Loren, Elfangor and Visser Three in his stolen Alloran body find the Time Matrix, and as they are being pulled into a black hole, the only way to escape is to use the machine. Because all three want to go to their separate homes, the Time Matrix is forced to create a weird combination universe that satisfies all three criteria. The universe is not complete, though. Loren’s mother knows about Andalites, which is impossible. Loren and Elfangor go to a McDonalds so Loren can have something to eat, and the serving guy simply has no face, because although Loren knows him and her friends back home told her he’s crushing on her, all she ever noticed was his acne. Loren’s McDonalds and the weird fake-universe the Time Matrix created is my third moment of nightmare fuel.

Waiting on Deception’s Princess (Deception’s Princess #1) by Esther M. Friesner (83)

button Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
It’s all about spotlighting upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
Share your books and remember to visit Breaking The Spine for more great books!

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

Deception's Princess (Deception's Princess, #1)

Deception’s Princess (Deception’s Princess #1) by Esther M. Friesner

Expected publication:  22nd April 2014

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:

Some lies lead to true adventure…

Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it’s her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father’s favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle—it’s easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she’s determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court’s deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father’s friends and enemies close—but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.