Golden Lily Review

Title: Golden Lily
Series: Bloodlines #2
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: June 12, 2012
Pages: 418
Acquired: Autographed copy from Author event in Santa Monica Barnes and Noble.
Goodreads Rating: 4.43
My Rating: 4.5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

My Thoughts:  I had this book in my possession since it first came out. I was lucky enough to have attended Richelle Mead's event in Santa Monica last year to get my copy autographed. I kept putting off reading it, wanting to get a refresher on Bloodlines first. And now that I was able to get a copy of Indigo Spell from my library, I knew it was time to finally give this bad boy a read. 

Favorite Quote: 

I knew Dimitri would've taken my suticase anyway. That's how he was, a lot remnant of chivalry in the modern world, every-ready to help others." Page 22

What can I say, other than it was nice seeing Dimitri again.. Boy is he still hot! And Chivalry for me is by far the sexiest attribute a man can possess. 

What I liked: 

I still really enjoyed seeing Sydney's struggle with her beliefs as an Alchemist and realizing that there is more to the Vampires than what she was always been thought. One of my least favorite things about YA books (and my friend Viv can attest to this) is strong men losing their manliness and whining so damn much. It has happened to Jace in the Mortal Instruments series, (but I have high hopes for the last book) and it was not happening to Adrian in this series. But my man (and Richelle Mead) didn't disappoint me too much and we saw Adrian finally stepping up the plate in more than just one way toward to the end of the book. I desperately waited and waited and bugged my friend Viv several times about the moment all Bloodlines fans have been waiting for and was pleasantly surprised when it finally did happen! I am hoping to discover more about this new turn in the story with Indigo Spell.

What I Didn't Like: The story still was pretty slow for me until the last 100 pages or so. We're still seeing a lot of character development and story line plots being sewn in, but I am waiting for some of that action packed pages that we saw in Vampire Academy. I also want to hear more about whats happening at Court, and a possible Lissa appearance would be nice too. But Richelle Mead has so far never led me down and I know each book will continue to get better and better.

For a little treat. I am including a video that I took from last years author signing of Richelle Mead reading pages 204 - 208. She specifically read those pages, since they included no spoilers. So for those of you, you have not read this book yet. No fears! Well thats it for now. On to Indigo Spell!

Happy Easter!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to wish all those who celebrate the holiday a Happy Easter! I have enjoyed my weekend, as it my last weekend off until Thanksgiving, thanks to Nursing school! I was able to spend some time with my family and friends which made this weekend superb.

I also had a great book weekend too. I attended a book signing on Thursday night and have another great giveway which I will put up most likely tomorrow. I also was able to complete my re-read of Bloodlines and am about 3/4ths through with Golden Lily. If  all goes well I should be able to start Indigo Spell tonight.

I just wanted to thank everyone once again for making my blog launch such a huge success. You guys have far exceeded my expectations and once again I am so thankful for all of you! I am still going through everyone's admissions for the giveaway for Prodigy tonight and will notify the winner by tomorrow morning.

Well that's it for now. I would love to know what you're reading now. And make sure to back for my second giveaway tomorrow.

Bloodlines Review

Title: Bloodlines
Series: Bloodlines #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 421
Acquired: Borrowed
Published: 08/23/11
Goodreads Rating: 4.28
My Rating: 4.0
Original Rating: 3.0

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning

My Thoughts
This was my 2nd read-through to get ready for Golden Lily and Indigo Spell.  I had previously read this, right when it first came out and had only rated it 3 stars on good reads. But I enjoyed it much more the 2nd time around. 

What I Liked:  The action packed last 150 pages. Adrian's humor. Eddie's devotion and mostly Sydney's struggle in fighting against what she was taught to believe and what she is starting to realize for herself. 

Quote that summed up this book for me: 

"As I drove away, I decided the Alchemists needed an entire department devoted to handling Adrian Ivashkov."  Page 145

What I didn't Like: I understand that with a new series, some what of an introduction and character development phase must occur. But 300+ pages of introduction is just a little too excessive. I would have liked to seen more of a development regarding the attack and Jill's death and Adrian brining her back to life. And lastly, even though I know ti's coming in the other books, but I need me some Adrian lovin' ASAP! 

On to Golden Lily :) 

The Passions of Dr. Darcy

Title: The Passions of Dr. Darcy
Series: The Darcy Saga
Author: Sharon Lathan
Pages: 432
Acquired: NetGalley for review
Goodreads Rating: 4.82
Published: 04/02/13
My Rating: 5.0

Goodreads Synopsis:

George Darcy is the second son of a wealthy landowner in Georgian Era England and, at 22, is considered to be a brilliant, rising star in England's field of medicine. Dr. Darcy refuses the easy, comfortable pathway and enlists as a physician with the British East India Company, embarking on a personal quest, where he strives to change the face of medicine while yearning to fill the void left within his soul. His search for family, enduring love, and lost companionship is a quest not wholly realized until his return to England and Pemberley. There's a new generation of family and friends that will heal the physician, and to his greatest surprise, the true love of his life awaits.

My Thoughts: Anyone who knows me personally knows how big of a Pride and Prejudice fan I am. A few years back I discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction and till this day I will do anything I can go get myself a copy of one. This series is a P&P continuation and the story leaves off where the original P&P ended. I have been a fan of these series for many years now and couldn't wait until this book came out.

What I liked: Everything! The humor, the love, the friendships and the family of course. And as a nursing student I loved the medical references.

What I didn't like: Not being able to correctly say the Indian words.

Thank you and Welcome!

Hey Everyone! I hope all of you had a great weekend! What is everyone reading this weeked? This weekend I took a break from reading YA to feed my Jane Austen Fan Fiction fix for a while. I had received an e-book from Netgalley from one of my favorite adult authors and had to give it a read. I am about half way done and afterwards instead of finishing the Across the Universe Series, I have decided to get caught up on the Bloodlines series, starting off by re-reading Bloodlines. 

I wanted to take a comment and thank everyone who is participating in my first giveaway and who chose to follow my blog. I know there are hundreds of wonderful blogs out there and I am very honored to have you follow mine! The giveaway will still be open until this Friday, which I will then choose the winner and have the book mailed out by Monday. I have loved meeting all of you and reading about your favorite books. In doing so, I have been able to add a few new titles on to my TBR. 

This Thursday I will also be attending another book signing for Stacey Jay, the author of Juliet Immortal and the sequel Romeo Redeemed. You might see another gievaway coming your way ;) Hope everyone has a great week. Make sure to comment and let me know what you're reading! 

Update Regarding Giveaway!

I decided to go ahead and make the giveaway international!

Marie Lu Book Signing - ***GIVEAWAY #1 - SIGNED COPY OF PRODIGY***

Hey Everyone! Thank you for stopping by! I just came back from attending an amazing book signing at Vroman's bookstore in Pasadena. I had the great privilege of meeting Marie Lu, the author of The Legend series, which I have to say has been one of my favorites of the last couple of years! So when I found out that Marie was going to be coming to a bookstore near me I just had to go out and see her. And I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate my new blog, by giving away a signed copy of Prodigy! If you haven't read this series already you must!!!

So here are the Rules: 1) Subscribe to my page! 2) And since I want to get to now some of my fellow book lovers, I want you to leave a comment on my this post and let me know what your favorite book is and why. I will pick my favorite response and they will be the winner of the book! Sorry to any international followers, but this will be US only this time! Deadline for the giveaway will be Friday, March 29th at 11:59 pm
Update: This giveaway is now closed! Winner will be announced by Monday, April 1st. (And no it will not be an April fools joke!)

My Thoughts on the Signing: This is the first signing I had been able to attend in a while due to my school schedule so I was very excited it was on a Thursday and I was able to attend. Unfortunately for some reason there was not as big of a turn out as I was expecting. I think it may have to do with the fact that Cassie Claire and Lily Collins, the actress who will be portraying Clary were at the Grove in LA doing a signing for Clockwork Princess. But regardless, Marie was very grateful for everyone who showed up. She explained a little bit about herself and told us how she became a writer. I was really interested to know that she had written 4 completed manuscripts before she able to get one sold. As a budding writer I was impressed how she was able to keep writing and not get discouraged. She also spoke a little about the last book in the trilogy. It will be titled The Champion, and is currently in it's first set of revisions. If it is completed in time we might see a Fall 2013 release. So let's all keep our fingers crossed! I personally cannot wait to get my hands on it!

Okay guys, that's it for now! I have another book signing that I will be attending next week. It's for Romeo Redeemed, the sequel to Juliet Immortal. And depending on how well this giveaway turns out I may consider getting a copy of that for a second giveaway! Thank you all for reading and look forward to chatting with all of you very soon!

The Madman's Daughter Review

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Author: Megan Shepherd
Pages: 420
Acquired: Library Book
Goodreads Rating: 3.79
My Rating: 5.0

Goodreads Synopsis:
In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

My Thoughts:
I read a few reviews for this book from bloggers who had received ARCs of this book, and based on their reviews I had been anxious to pick it up, and boy was I pleasantly surprised.

What I Liked: I loved the Gothic creepy aspect of an Island filled with man-made half animal/half human experiments. I loved Juliet's struggle of loving her father, but yet despising his work and what he created, but at the same time finding herself some what curious about them. As a fan of historical fiction I really enjoyed how the book started with the trials of a fallen girl and her trying to make it in London Society. And as a student nurse, I loved all of anatomy and surgical references the author threw in. This book had some incredible plot twists that I did not see coming and that kept me on my toes and that ending was a killer!

What I didn't like. As much as I tried I just could not get into the love triangle. I felt both of the relationships were rushed and and feelings were developing before the characters even had a chance to get to know each other.

I am very excited that this is going to be a Trilogy and am looking forward to reading the next book, but 2014 is just oh so long away!

Next 2 reads: Million Suns and Shades of Earth!

What is everyone else reading? Have you read/ or do you plan to read The Madman's Daughter? And if so what your thoughts?

Anna Dressed in Blood

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Series: Anna
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316
Acquired: Library Book
Goodreads Rating: 4.01
My Rating: 4.0

Goodreads Synopsis:
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Thoughts: I had been wanting to read this book for a while know. I think I had actually checked it out of the library a couple of times, having to turn it back in unread. What drew me to the book I had to admit, was the beautiful cover. Yes peeps I too am guilty for judging a book by its cover. But after I heard that Stephanie Meyer had purchased the film rights, I knew I had to move it up on my TBR list.

What I liked: The first thing that drew me to this book was the fact that it was told in a male's perspective, which we do not get to see as much in the YA world. Secondly, not only was told by a boy, but the main character Cas, was just absolutely hilarious. I loved seeing the bromance in this book and seeing the way Cas, protected and took care of his mom.

What I didn't like: The story was interesting, but it was missing that little something special that would make this a 5 star book for me. However, I did enjoy this story and am still looking forward to the next book, which I will hopefully get read in the month of April.

Scarlet - Book 2 of The Lunar Chronicles

Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 454
Goodreads rating: 4.38
My Rating: 4.0

Goodreads Synopsis:
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.(less)

My Thoughts: This was another book that I just could not wait for. I read Cinder last year and absolutely adored it. Shortly after, a blogger I follow had received the ARC of Scarlet at ALA and said nothing but good things about it. The suspense was killing me, but alas I waited like everyone else until it was released a short time ago. This was another book that I checked to see if my library acquired each and every day until I was number one on the hold list for it.

What I Liked: I really enjoyed the new characters. I love how badass Scarlet is, and how she stood up in front of a crowd of people to express her opinion and protect someone who she believed was being wrongly accused. And there was Wolf. I don't know about any of you, but I would love to have a big macho guy by my side helping me find my Grandmother. Granted there was a lot more than the eye could see with him, but hey there's always the lore of bad boys. And lastly there was Thorne. What could possibly be said about Thorne other than he was there to add tons of laughs while you were rooting Cinder on her path.

What I didn't Like: Yes, I know that this series is going to be a quartet, and there are two more books to come, but what I missed most about this book was the romance between Cinder and Kai. It was one of the aspects that had me hooked and that I adored about Cinder. Yes we saw Kai, struggling about about what to do about Cinder, but I cannot wait to see them interacting again in the next book.

A New Blogger's Squeal of Joy!

Hello All!

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was filled with nursing clinicals and studying for an exam on respiratory disorders. But I was able to get some reading in. I'm about half way through in Scarlet and I am enjoying it thus far. I am just gotten to the point where things are starting to get interesting, but unfortunately I must be school first and review for my exam! More to come on my thoughts on Scarlet once I finish it, hopefully by the end of the week.

What I wanted to share with you all is my journey to start getting ARCs for review. I know this is something that all new bloggers go through. I wanted to start of small and took some advice that I read on other bloggers pages, about their journeys to get books from publishers. I joined NetGalley and Edelweiss and requested to get some ebook ARCs. I kept checking my accounts every day to see if there were any responses. And this morning I woke up to two "Thank you for your request but we have already reached our quota." from Edelweiss. Yes, I was bummed but it had been something that I had been expecting so I wasn't too disappointed. But then I logged into NetGalley and was pleasantly surprised to have gotten approval to read and review a book which will be released in June called "Beautiful Goodbye," Nancy Runstelder. The premise looks interesting and I feel very honored to have been given this opportunity after having only created a blog less than a week ago! I will be starting this read as soon as I am done with Scarlet!

Sever - Last book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy

Title: Sever
Series: Chemical Garden
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Pages: 371
Goodreads Rating: 4.0
My Rating: 4.0

Goodreads Synopsis:

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.(less)

My Thoughts: Honestly I could not wait to read this book. I checked my library every day, three times a day to see when they would get it in and luckily I was first in line to read this. I adored the first book Wither, and could not wait to get my hands on the second book Fever, but like many of you out there Fever disappointed me and kept me wanting for more. But because I fell in love with the plot and the characters in the first book I did not give up hope.

And alas my waiting paid off, mostly thanks to the author herself. Lauren DeStefano is one of those of authors who is completely and utterly invested in the characters and the world she created. And by following her on Twitter and on Facebook and watching all the little teasers she would put up (and yes she put up plenty) made me waiting on my tippy toes for this book.

Things I liked: I really liked the character of Reed and the extra flair that he brought to the story. Another thing I really liked was how Lauren was able to make me change my ship team. Up until this books I was Team Gabrielle all the way, but after reading Sever I have to admit that Linden started growing on me and up until the end I was torn with who I wanted Rhine to end up with. Something else I really enjoyed was a couple of plot turners that I was not expecting showing up.

What I didn't like: Gabrielle did not make an appearance until the end and I would have loved to have seen him show up sooner in the story.

In conclusion: I did really enjoy this story and was have glad to have read it. I believe Ms. DeStefano did an amazing job on her first series and I cannot wait to read more of her work next year.

NEXT BOOK: Scarlet, sequel to Cinder!

Let's get ready to blog!

Hello Everyone!

After being a huge reader and fan of blogs for many years now, I finally decided to make my own blog.  I am a huge fan of blogging for many reasons: 1) They are where you can go to find out about great new books coming soon. 2) With so many great books to read out there, you can can streamline your choices and prioritize your TBR pile  and 3) They are great places to make friends from all around the world who have the same passion for reading as you do!

Before I start my first review I wanted to let you know a little about myself. I am a 28 years old nursing student, who will take any opportunity to get lost in a book. Yes my time to read leisurely is very limited, that it why it's so important to me to choice the books I am going to read sparingly. I love to go to book signings and collect as many autographed copies as possible. I really enjoy meeting all the authors and meeting other book lovers. Actually I met my first blogger at the Richelle Mead signing for A Golden Lily last year and have been hooked on reading blogs since then. Since I am a full-time student, my budget to buy books is very limited right now, so I relay mostly on my public libraries and have not one but 2 library cards. Thankfully between the both of them I am able to get majority of the books I want to read.

I can't really say I have a favorite genre, but I do tend to read mostly Young Adult books. However, my favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice and I absolutely must read each and every Jane Austen Fan Fiction that I can get my hands on. I am also an aspiring author and have been working on my first novel for over a year. It's a contemporary with a twist! But once again since my time is so limited I am not able to get to work on it as much as I would like.

Well that's it for now folks! Feel free to ask me any questions along the way. 

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