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Review – Blood Singers August 7, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult.
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Title: Blood Singers

Author: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Series: The Blood Series

Publication Date: March 8, 2012

Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett


Available at: Amazon Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Twenty-year old Julia Wade, a young woman tragically widowed, is in the middle of a bizarre bid between two mythical species who are vying for the unique properties she offers; her blood. The vampires need her to balance the food load of the human species and give them their coveted “Lightwalkers.” The Were wish to be moonless changers; a Rare One can make that a reality.

Julia wants to belong to herself.

Can she free herself and begin a new life?


Julia Wade is an average high school student, in love with her high school sweetheart. They do what normal teenagers do. Eventually they get married in Las Vegas then he tragically gets killed and she gets kidnapped by vampires. In the end, different factions end up fighting over her because she’s a “Rare One”.

The book’s premise was unique. The writing was very engaging and while I understood Julia’s grief after the death of her husband I wished she had shown more spine. Still she found her footing and became someone I could like if not admire. Maybe she’ll grow more in future books.

The men in the books are numerous and varied. There’s William the vampire, Joseph the werewolf, then there’s Scott the Blood Singer. They’re each unique and have something to recommend to themselves. My favorite is William but it’s hard to say who the front-runner is.

There was an unexpected twist in the book that once you figured it out, it took a long time to culminate. Other then that this was a great read. There were other unexpected turns that took me by surprise.

I have one problem with the book that really bothered me. I think it was excessive to use Julia’s clenching bladder in the action scenes. I think one scene with a clenching bladder is more then enough. . .

Other then that this is a really good book.  I’m anxiously awaiting September for the release of the next book.


Review – Where She Went July 29, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult.
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Title: Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman

Publication Date: April 17, 2012

Publisher: Speak

ISBN-10: 0142420891

Available at: Amazon Barnes and Noble


This is Adam and Mia’s story, in Adam’s perspective. Three years after the car accident that took Mia’s family life. Mia and Adam are no longer together and Adam is now trying to pick his life back together when he bumps into Mia again in New York City. He’s a successful rock star, she’s a budding cellist who has just performed at Carnegie Hall. Can they find closure over what might have been or will they be able to start over again?


This book took me by surprise. I didn’t read the blurb so I didn’t know it was told from Adam’s perspective. It was well done. His bewilderment over why Mia has left him is superb. His hurt shines through the pages like a beacon even though it’s been years gone by.

I was caught up in the suspense of finding out whether or not Adam and Mia would get back together or not. I was also caught up in the emotion of Adam’s suspended grief. For he was never truly allowed to grieve for the family he too lost. And not only did he lose Mia’s family, he lost Mia.

It was a roller coaster of emotions as Adam encounters Mia again and they rekindle their relationship. Things don’t go as Adam dreamed they would.

Adam’s life isn’t what he thought it would as a rock start either. His success as a musician didn’t bring him the happiness he thought it would. His association with a movie star and his new-found rock star status leaves him constantly on the lookout for paparazzi. He’s on the outs with his band.

I would say this book doesn’t live up to how good the first book was but it doesn’t disappoint either. It’s just as emotionally tender and there is just as gauntlet of feeling in this book as the first.  It just lacks a certain something that made that first book really awe inspiring. I still give this a high rating for this was extremely well-written and if I didn’t have the first book to compare it to, I wouldn’t be left with a slightly unsatisfied taste in my mouth.

Review – Dark Seeker July 25, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3 stars, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult.
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Title: Dark Seeker

Author: Taryn Brown

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publish Date: October 4, 2011


Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble


Seventeen-year-old Janie Grey comes from a line of Seekers, a group that hunts the undead. One night she meets Kai, who she mistakes for a Daychild, a half-demon, half-vampire. Only he isn’t like a Daychild. Not only does he have human traits, soon he’s breaking down the walls around her heart.


The opening fight scenes almost completely turned me off of this book. They were so corny! The dialogue was completely laughable and hard to believe. I kept on plugging though and the book got better. Soon I became more invested in the characters as I got to know them. The bad lines happened less and less often. I was able to concentrate on the storyline a lot more even if the storyline wasn’t much better then the corny dialogue.

Basically Janie’s life is centered on her Seeker duties of killing the undead. The undead being all vampires and vampire/demon hybrids or Daychildren. Then she meets Kai who throws those definitions out the window and her life into confusion. The ensuing romance commences as they find out that a new breed of vampire is trying to be created by the Daychildren.

Janie was a somewhat likable character. She wasn’t that smart though. She took on a lair of Daychildren by herself and she was ill-equipped. I don’t consider that smart. Kai had to rescue her. It’s hard to get behind a girl who can’t really take care of herself.

Kai was pretty blind himself. Every other minute he’s rescuing her from one scrape or another then he’s saying “What am I thinking? You can take care of yourself.” That’s a contradiction. Obviously she can’t take care of herself if you have to swoop in on your motorcycle and save her every time you turn around.

Janie  could still kick ass though. She had some mean fighting skills and she could hold her own in an evenly matched fight. She showed an independence of spirit I admired even if it was reckless to the point of stupidity. I admired her independence not her recklessness. She also showed a willingness to let her guard down when the time called for it.

Kai was sexy as all get out. There was a love triangle with Matt, the wresting captain, but Matt didn’t stand a chance. I mean, c’mon! Kai had that dark mysterious past going on for him. He was also very sweet when he wanted to be. And there was no denying the fire between Janie and Kai.

A big obstacle came between Kai and Janie. I won’t say what it was for fear of spoiling the book, but I find it hard to believe that Janie would ever just forgive and forget so easily. I had a really hard time suspending belief.

On the whole, it was a light and fun read that I enjoyed. I’ll look forward to reading the next in the series and I already plan on reading the prequel!

Review – If I Stay July 25, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 5 stars, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult.
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Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Publication Date:  April 6, 2010

Publisher: Speak

ISBN-10: 014241543X

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble


After a crushing car accident, Mia is torn from her family and ripped from her body. A talented cellist, she relives her life’s precious moments with her family, boyfriend, and friends.  She’s forced to come to the decision of whether or not she should stay or if she should go.


This book was astounding. It was just breathtaking. Mia was real and alive and you could sympathize with her from the first page to the last.  Shy and insecure away from the cello, she comes alive with her music. She has only a few friends, but she’s loyal to those few that she has.

Mia comes from a family of extroverts and she’s a decided introvert. She’s a classical music lover and they’re all rock’n’roll. Yet their love for one another is deep and abiding. It shines throughout the book and it makes itself known. I loved that about this book. That alone made this a “feel good” book.

Another “feel good” aspect of this book was Mia’s relationship with her brother Teddy. They had a close bond that was hard to break. I thought that was endearing and touching.

Adam and Mia were a great couple. They were real, with flaws, and totally believable. Their flaws didn’t make them any less romantic. Although for one moment in the story that I thought was a bit far-fetched and I had to stretch my imagination a bit as far as Adam was concerned. I tried to tell myself that he was really, really desperate so he really, really wasn’t thinking.

Aside from that, the book brought up some very deep feelings. I’m not ashamed to admit I leaked tears at one point of the book. It was just good. As you read the book, you know that whatever Mia decides, whether she stays, whether she goes, it will be heartbreak. It was heartbreak. What she did decide, made me realize where the author would lead on to another book and I was so glad for that.

Whatever you do, don’t let this book pass you by. You’ll regret it. It’s unforgettable.

Review – Duplicity July 1, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult.
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Title: Duplicity

Author: Nikki Jefford

Publisher: Nikki Jefford

Publication Date:  May 20, 2012

ASIN: B0084V0L7E

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn’t seem to get that Lee’s boyfriend, Raj McKenna, is off limits. Then there’s the problem of Adrian Montez. He expects one of the Grays to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is onto them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper.

If they work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.


I wasn’t in love with this second book as much as I was with the first book. The jokes fell flat and it felt like Lee was pouting a lot of the time. It also felt like Gray was sulking. I realize they were in a tough situation but instead of taking the hard knocks they seemed to act like spoiled teenagers part of the time. Not all of the time, just part of the time.

Some of those situations, such as the strange contact who shows up looking like the Grim Reaper, was rather unrealistic and corny. I also thought the instance where Raj kissed the second, duplicate Gray was inevitable yet cliched. The romance between Marney, Gray and Lee’s Mom, and Mr. Morehouse, Lee’s guardian was also rather predictable.

Adrian as a villain didn’t ring true. He didn’t come off as powerful or formidable. I know he was meant to show a soft spot, but I think his soft spot showed too much of a weakness. Instead he just floundered as an intimidating warlock.

Still, the book was well-written for all it’s flaws. I enjoyed it as light-hearted fun. I was able to withhold my judgment somewhat and immerse myself in its superficial pleasures. It was not without its rewards. I would recommend this series for anyone who’s not looking for something serious or who’s looking for something fun.

Review – Entangled June 29, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Paranormal Romance.
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Title: Entangled

Author: Nikki Jefford

Publisher: Nikki Jefford

Publish Date: February 20, 2012


Available at: Amazon

Summary (From Publisher):

A Resurrection Spell Gone Wrong

Two months after dying, Gray wakes up in Charlene’s body. As a witch, can anyone
blame her mother for attempting to bring her daughter back to life? Only now
Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in twenty-four hour shifts. The
race is on for Gray to find a way back inside her own body before Charlene
purges her from existence. Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts,
not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But
Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever.


This is truly a young adult book in every sense of the word. Graylee and Charlene truly act like the teenage twin sisters they are. They fight like adolescent girls over clothes and other minor woes. They tease each other.  Charlene has a hard time getting over the heartbreak of a break-up. They’re typical teenage girls.

Except for the witch part. Charlene can float and Graylee can turn invisible. Pretty cool stuff. Even Raj can freeze people in their tracks. In that way they’re not so typical.

Then you have the evil twin part of the plot. Charlene is hell bent on purging Graylee from her body after a resurrection spell goes wrong. Basically obliterating her existence. It sounds corny but it works for this book.  In fact the whole book got in touch with my inner sixteen-year-old that I never knew existed even when I was sixteen.

The romance between Raj and Graylee was sweet. Sweet as only romances between two teenagers can be. It evolved naturally and that was nice to see.

Raj was an interesting character. He had a lot of depth and emotion to him. I think he was my favorite. His tenderness towards Graylee was touching.

Graylee acted like a typical teenager. She made mistakes that a teenager would make but was remarkable in her own way. Graylee engendered sympathy for her plight as the book wore on as she was so obviously the victim.

It was a cute and fun book. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a good light-hearted read.

Review – Legend June 27, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Sci-Fi, Young Adult.
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Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: Putnam Juvenille

Publish date: November 29, 2011

ISBN-10: 039925675X

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble


June is a military prodigy. Day is the Republic of America’s most wanted Criminal. They have nothing in common but their worlds will collide when Day murders June’s brother. June will be tasked with hunting Day down.


In the beginning of this book I had a lot of unanswered questions. The book takes place in Los Angeles so which lake are they near? How is Los Angeles sectioned into sectors? Who and what are the Colonies that the Republic have been at war with so long? None of my questions were ever answered but they didn’t become very important after awhile as the story evolved.

The novel is written in alternating perspectives between Day and June. It could be confusing, but it works. You’re given glimpses into two very disparaging worlds. The elite and the very poor. I still didn’t get a very good grasp of the world, but I was sufficiently gripped by the characters to keep reading.

Day is able to scale buildings in a matter of seconds. June is able to do likewise. They play a very intriguing cat and mouse game that held me breathless. There were a lot of twists in the plot. Enough to keep you guessing.

Day is motivated to find plague medicine for his family. June is determined to find her only brother’s killer, the only family she had left. They’re both extremely sympathetic characters which made it hard to cheer on just one person in the chase.

Even though the world building is lacking, the character development makes up for it. It’s still a worthwhile read.

Review – Sprite June 1, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 2.5 stars, Fantasy, Young Adult.
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Title: Sprite

Author: Leigh Michael

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publish Date: April 30, 2012

ISBN-10: 1468184415

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

From Goodreads:

Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she’s not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?


The Good:

I thought this story flowed evenly. It moved along nicely. The rhythm alone could have kept my interest up. The action was quick-paced and there was never a dull moment.

It had some interesting concepts to the story. There were some mythology points that I’m not sure were true or not but they were still interesting.  There were some character types that were interesting like the encantado, men who turn into dolphins, to selkies, men who could turn into seals.

The Bad:

I had a lot of problems suspending belief in this short novella. This story takes place underwater, yet they talk. With their vocal chords. You need air moving through your vocal chords to speak which is why I have such a hard time believing this is possible.

Another thing I had a hard time believing was when she saw someone’s tear falling down their face underwater. Wouldn’t that tear simply be lost in all the water?

Then there was the incident with her writing a letter with a pen underwater. How do you get a pen to work underwater? I suppose they have special pens and papers. I suppose I can let that one go for the sake of the story.

I also had problems with character development. Annabelle had a tendency to use sarcasm in all the wrong spots causing her to sound like a petulant child. The other characters weren’t very well developed causing them to appear shallow and one dimensional.

Finally there was the cliffhanger. The story just ends with no real resolution. You’re left with only questions left unanswered.

All in all a most unsatisfactory read.