Posts Categorized: paranormal YA fiction

Book Review- 13 To Life by Shannon Delany

02 Jul, 2010 by in paranormal YA fiction, shannon delany, St martins griffin Leave a comment

published June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin
details Paperback, 320 pages
isbn 0312609140
4.5 stars

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide–secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early

Warning: Minor spoilers.
There are so many things that intrigued me about this book. It is deep. In fact, when I get a little time I’m going to have to go back and re-read it a second time. At the end of it all I was thinking…”Wait, What?!” Russian mafia, Wanda, CIA, more wolves? So many unanswered questions and references are alluded to but not resolved, it will keep you guessing.
From the second we are introduced to Pietr and his blue eyes I was in love. I really would have swooned to see him speaking more Russian. You know, complete sentences more than “Da” and “Nyet”. Something about a mystery man who can speak another language is a pull. I love that he is strong, straight forward and yet guarded with his past. My favorite scenes were the kisses he stole from Jess. I mean, WOW!
Jess…come on! Please stop letting him date Sarah. What is wrong with this picture? I know she suffered head trauma and all but… The evil twin she used to be is bubbling beneath her surface ready to surface any second now. I can see it coming. And meanwhile, in her innocent state, I think better to have her know the truth than get strung along and lied to. Okay, I have ranted.
What do I love about her? I think Shannon Delany has written a lot of her own strengths and personality into the heroine. She is great with horses, isn’t afraid to muck, can shoot a gun, packs a punch, tries to redeem a lost soul and has some guts. Jess and her friends are intellectuals. There are lots literary references in this book. So many I lost track: Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, Homer’s Odyssey, romeo and Juliet, and the Merchant of Venice. Plus the book is poring in Russian folklore, history and heritage.
Overall I really enjoyed 13 to Life. The setting has a small town feel butted up against commercialism and shallow societal snobbery. There is a definite dislike of cheerleaders. My other favorite characters in the book were Amy and Max.
I predict: Derek is a werewolf. He can smell and taste Pietr’s kisses and I am thinking he has something to do with the break in at the school
  • Sarah loses it sometime soon and turns to the dark side.
  • There is more to Jessie than meets the eye. She is somehow tied to Pieter’s family and their past or parnormal.

Other books you may enjoy: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble and Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda.

We shall see! I will definitely be reading the sequel.

Book Review- Hex Hall

19 May, 2010 by in book review, paranormal YA fiction, rachel hwkins 2 comments

published March 2nd 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
details Hardcover, 336 pages
isbn 1423121309

Synopsis from Goodreads…”Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her. “

Readers of Harry Potter will enjoy Hex Hall. Main character Sophie is sarcastic and snarky. Her roommate Jenna is a vampire and love interest a warlock. Add in three evil female witches, a ghost from her past along with Lord Byron… and you have Hecate Hall!
I bought this book after reading so many of LadyHawkins tweets on Twitter. She has that same sassy personality that shines in her debut YA novel. My favorite scenes were the hours spent bantering, fighting and spending suspension between Archer and Sophie. What a combination those two are. I love Archer, he’s a keeper. And I can’t wait for book two so we can learn more. It is a shocker of an ending! I gave “Hex Hall” 3.5 teetering towards four stars. There were references to jewelry in the book Of course, I was all over that! Enter the Jenna inspired bloodstone necklace giveaway below.

Super Book Giveaway

07 Apr, 2010 by in meg cabot, paranormal YA fiction, sarah dessen, Stephenie Meyer 91 comments

We just hit 400 fans on facebook which means a celebration is in order with a super fun giveaway! Our prize pack includes…

This Lullabye– Sara Dessen

Speak-Laurie Halse Anderson

Prom Nights From Hell– Cabot, Harrison Jaffe, Meyer and Myracle

2 Rustic Goth handmade Etsy shop Laminated bookmarks

One signed Eternal Conflict Twilight Inspired Music CD

One Fire and Ice Button

One Princess Charm Necklace

To enter to win: simply leave your name below

+3 additional entries for each dollar donated to our Chile relief funds via PayPal. 100% goes directly to families there!

Contest ends May 7th and is open internationally Good Luck!

Book Review- Devils Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

25 Feb, 2010 by in book review, paranormal YA fiction, sarwat chadda 1 comment

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423119991
4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads :As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn’t normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order’s ancient battle against the Unholy.

Billi’s cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He’s ready to reclaim his place in Billi’s life, but she’s met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order’s ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years — a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London’s firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Sarwat Chadda does an amazing job of weaving historical content, religion and myth into this story of Billi Sangreal’s effort to accept her life as a Templar. I found his writing to be rich and highly intelligent. Chadda makes the vampire, ghuls, werewolves, warriors and fallen angels his own. “The Dead should not linger” is what he told me…

Billi is a strong willed protagonist with a mind of her own who become attracted to a mysterious man who comes to her rescue and helps save her life. But also enter in to the equation Kay, her life long friend w ho is an eternal optimist and has powers he yet will realize over the occult. The classic pull between good and evil with a twist of romance and history made this an awesome read. I think you’ll find Devil’s Kiss to be creepy, yet classical at the same time. Chadda announced his second novel, the Dark Goddess “comes out July (UK) but Jan (US) and the versions will be subtly different.” We can’t wait! Follow him on twitter @sarwatchadda and check out his website

Here’s the trailer for Devil’s Kiss: and a photo gallery I made on Flickr with images that reminded me of the book and taught me about the Knights Templar You’ll be sucked in as I was to all of the history in this book!

Win a tatted templar cross in the post below and stay tuned for more Devil’s Kiss inspired giveaways!

Waiting on Wednesday "13 To Life"

03 Feb, 2010 by in paranormal YA fiction, shannon delaney, St martins griffin, waiting on 4 comments

Our Waiting on Wednesday is 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
To Be published June 22nd 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin
details Paperback, 320 pages

isbn 0312609140 (isbn13: 9780312609146)

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide–secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early

SQUEE! I love the cover and of course the werewolf. Can’t wait!!!

Need by Carrie Jones

12 Jan, 2010 by in need, paranormal YA fiction, pixies, werewolves 2 comments

published December 23rd 2008 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

details Hardcover, 306 pages

From Goodreads “Now fans of Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr have a new author to devour.

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

With suspense, romance, and paranormal themes, this exciting breakout novel has all the elements to keep teens rapidly turning the pages”

I chose this book because I am fascinated pixies and the photo on the cover pulled me in. Here’s the funny part…I got about three chapters into the book and something about the writing just rubbed me the wrong way. I thought to myself “this writing reminds me of the Fairy Path series I read a while ago.” Looked at the author, they are one and the same.

I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and give it another go. I really related to her character Nick. Only problem was I just couldn’t get past the Amnesty International plugs that seemed to be blatant advertising, the phobia repeating and the strange and obviously dumb decisions of the main character Zara. She keeps doing the exact opposite of what is smart, trying to be the martyr that she is. The writing and dialogue is very simple. I just couldn’t stay engaged as much as hard as I tried. If it weren’t for the one mention of sex and nudity, I think it would be a better middle reader rather than YA fiction. I enjoyed some of the character’s personalities (and the gold glitter), but I can only give it two out of five stars. Something about Carrie Jones’ style and I just don’t click, though I wish it did because I am interested in her subject matter of fairies and pixies. Not sure I will read Captivate, but I have heard other reviewers say they really love her stuff. So for another reader it may be a good match.

Carrie’s website: is the book trailer for Need…

Waiting on Wednesday "Shadow Hills"

06 Jan, 2010 by in paranormal YA fiction, shadow hills 2 comments

“Shadow Hills” by Anastasia Hopcus

to be published July 13th 2010 by Egmont USA

details Hardcover, 400 pages

isbn 1606840835

Synopsis from Goodreads: ” Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

Visit Anastasia’s website at

Or follow her on twitter @anastasiahopcus Here she is wearing one of our Patch black wing necklaces inspired by the book “Hush, Hush”- Becca Fitzpatrick Anastasia found our blog and was the winner of our first Twilight giveaway. Ever since then we have been huge fans! We can’t wait until July and the release of “Shadow Hills.”

Click here for a chance to win the first chapter of Shadow Hills plus Brightly Woven at her blog

Bree Despain’s Launch Party

04 Jan, 2010 by in Heather Gardner Photography, Matthew Kirby, paranormal YA fiction, the Dark Divine, the king's english, The Six, utah authors 2 comments

Bree and I…she is just beautiful!
Saturday Bree Despain hosted her launch party for the Dark Divine at The King’s English bookstore in Salt Lake City. I arrived at 3:05, five minutes late, and had to wait in line two rooms away from where Bree was reading. They finally let us in and we found a seat on the floor where it was standing room only…and we still didn’t all fit! Spotted in the crowd were Sara Zarr, author of “Once Was Lost,” Brodi Ashton author of “Echo,” Emily Wing Smith author of “The Way He lived”, AmyO administrator of TwilightMOMS, Bree’s writing buddies “the Six”, Bree’s husband and two sons as well as Matthew Kirby of the 10-ers.
Bree read to us all from The Dark Divine where Grace tells her family she accidentally ran into Daniel, the dark main character of the book. She explained to us how she named the book with the help of her six writing friends’ vote after originally pondering the title “Daniel Divine.” She shared writing and editing tips with fellow aspiring authors in the crowd and updated us on how the sequel is coming along. It is obvious from Bree’s reported life schedule that her family comes first and her husband is very supportive of her writing.
After the reading we all filed in line for purple frosted crescent moon cookies and a chance to get our purple Dark Divine nail polish. Bree was kind to each of her guests and personable. She is very approachable and friendly. The owner of the King’s English, Anne Holman congratulated Bree saying “We have hosted a lot of very famous authors here at the store and Bree just blew them away!” They sold out of all copies of The Dark Divine to guests at the signing. Congratulations to Bree on her great launch! Pick up the Dark Divine, you won’t be able to put it down. Scroll down on the blog for our five star review as well as TDD journals and jewelry.

Brodi Ashton and Cam Ballou, guests and friends of Bree

Here are Bree’s upcoming events as listed on her website

“1. On January 5th, I will be the special quest on the “Book and a Chat” show on You can listen online, and even call in and ask me questions.

2. On January 6th, is hosting a group chat in honor of TDD. Come chat with us and ask me your questions.

3. I’ll be doing a reading and signing at the West Jordan (Jordan Landing) Barnes & Noble on January 16th at 2pm.

4. I’ll be participating in an Authorpalooza at the Sandy B&N on February 6th. This is a great opportunity to meet several local authors at once, and pick up great V-day gifts for your friends and family.

5. On February 13th I will be signing books at the Orem B&N. Come get a signed TDD for the special someone in your life–just in time for Valentine’s day.”

Fallen by Lauren Kate

01 Jan, 2010 by in paranormal YA fiction 1 comment

Excerpt From Goodreads: published December 8th 2009 by Delacorte Press

details: Hardcover, 452 pages

characters :Lucinda Price, Daniel Grigori

isbn: 0385738935 (isbn13: 9780385738934)

“There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.”

Once again I will start by saying I chose this book because of its cover. It is by far my favorite cover of the year, absolutely stunning in every way. Even the paper feels good in your hands while you are reading it!
The story itself is one I am going to have to wait for the sequel to decide on. The plot was slow moving and I kept waiting and waiting for Luce to find out, along with the rest of us what is really going on. I relished the descriptions of the old buildings on campus, the graveyard, the dreams and Daniel’s true self. And I have to say I kinda like Cam in a way. I like my bad guys bad and my good guys good, Luce and Daniel’s personalities seemed watered down to me. By the end of the book, I was hoping Luce could have found a way to be an active participant in her own story, rather than being afraid. I also hoped we would learn more about the shadows that keep haunting her and why they are there.
I prefer a stronger heroine, who can fight back , which I am hoping to see in the sequel. Luce and Daniel have a lot of catching up to do, which for me was wanting in this book. I really liked Penn and Arrianne’s role in the book and felt they were fleshed out more than Gabbe. This book was refreshing in that I think it is suitable for Young Adults. There was a little drinking and fighting, but all in all, the content was good. The Epilogue did leave me waiting for more, but this first book as a stand alone, I think merits a three out of five stars.
Here is the American book trailer