Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade (Nightshade #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: ATOM
Publishing Date: Dec 28th 2010
Length: 480 pages
ARC: Courtesy of ATOM
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal romance

5/5 ***** Nightshade- Seductive, powerful and the best debut novel 2010! 

  ~ The Author ~

Andrea Cremer spent her childhood daydreaming and roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Minnesota, but she thinks of her homeland as the “Canadian Shield” rather than the Midwest.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. When she’s not writing, Andrea teaches history at a very nice liberal arts college in St. Paul.

In the little spare time she can find, Andrea stares up at trees, rescues infant rabbits from predatory cats, and invents names for pug puppies with her husband. She has an unfortunate tendency to spill things – white carpets beware!

Her debut novel, Nightshade, the first of a YA fantasy series, will be published in fall 2010 by Penguin (Philomel).

Author profile by Goodreads  

For further information check out http://www.andreacremer.com/  or her blog http://www.blurredhistory.blogspot.com/

~ The Novel ~

Nightshade was first published in October 2010 by Philomel. It is the first novel in the Nightshade trilogy. The second novel, Wolfsbane, will be released July 12th 2011 by Philomel and the third, Bloodrose in 2012.
Andrea Cremer also wrote a prequel to Nightshade, Shadow Days: A Nightshade Novella. You can read it for free, click here

~ The Story ~

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Summary by Goodreads 

To read an excerpt of Nightshade click here

~ The Review ~

I started reading Nightshade with high expectations, because there were so many positive reviews about it, and they weren’t disappointed, rather exceeded.

Nightshade is located in the fantasy genre, it combines elements of our human world with otherworldly experiences and elements of the animal kingdom. As many other werewolf novels before, Cremer achieved to create a unique picture of a new werewolf world. But as I noticed in no other novel before, she gifted humans with animal-like gestures and wolves with human feelings. The wolf-like gestures Cremer describes appear so natural, she must have been living with a pack of wolves studying their every movement to create such a coherent picture.
The transition between human and wolf form of our heroine Calla and her pack mates is always fluid and there are no abrupt breaks of change or for example loss of memory. I like the fact that Cremer’s werewolves get the chance to control both forms and connect emotions, memories, mimics and gestures with both of them to extend their personalities to their fullest.

Her characters are comparable to no other. Our heroine Calla is strong and fearless in war, an alpha, but when it comes to love and controlling her heart she is totally lost in a maelstrom of feelings. Her heart is torn between desire and duty, between Shay and Ren, a human boy and her destined male alpha. Shay and Ren are characters just as strong as Calla regarding my affections.
Nightshade is the first novel that doesn’t let me fall for the forbidden but appropriate love couple, the boy who  I don’t expect getting the girl!
Other novels know how to direct my attention at the “right” hero, the one who always gets the girl and doesn't break my heart by being abandoned. That Ren totally got me just shows the talent of Cremer to create powerful and tempting characters. I will hope till the last page for Ren and Calla, and even if their relationship doesn’t work, there will always be a place in my heart for Ren, sexy and more than selfaware on the outside, but vulnerable and insecure at heart. 

Cremer created a love triangle I am more than interested in, but she also involves sub plots that are no less thrilling and important for the course of the story. In the end of Nightshade I care about every single character, who are all so varied and well-thought-out.

Furthermore she applies a writing style, that is one of the best I’ve got to experience so far. She has a good feel for syntax and choice of words, the right sense for plot arrangements, just as my favourite author would be capable of.

This novel  is a mixture of romance combined with a love triangle, supported by slightly erotic but esthetic elements, which make it a very seductive and exciting read!

Nightshade surprised me like no other novel before by applying a major plot point, change in nature and character so early. As Nightshade is just the first novel in a trilogy I would have expected this certain plot point being part of the third novel. Then after a moment of confusion I really appreciated the idea of involving aforesaid surprising event in Nightshade, because it makes me think of the huge events and surprises Cremer has planned for the next two instalments and makes me giddy. I can’t wait for Wolfsbane to come out!

Cremer opened the gates to a new realm of werewolf novel that keeps your heart hammering against your rip cage, your mind busy with the magic of Nightshade and your body in the arms of your favourite alpha.

Although it stands out due to a high complexity in word, characters and world, Nightshade can be easily described by a single word: perfect!

~ We love this book because… ~

1) the best dates begin with a knock out
2) of two different type of boys and two very different ways to dance
3) we always wish for a guy to be reasonable and consistent, but sometimes we are more than happy about the result when he just couldn’t help himself
4) new alliances mean new enemies but also beginnings and friends
5) even little brothers deserve some romance

~ The Verdict ~

I was so happy about receiving a shiny Nightshade proof copy, it was my very first ARC that was sent to me after a  request. There couldn’t have been any better novel to be my first ARC!
Nightshade overwhelmed me, it played with me, gave me room, took it away again and left me breathless after numerous chapters, especially the last one.
It immediately became one of my favourite books of 2010, and I know it is on top of many other  2010 Best Books blogger lists, which is a really great achievement for a debut author, but Andrea Cremer deserves each single praise! I highly recommend reading this novel, it is one of 2010’s great and will always be granted a place in my all time favourites.

~ Nightshade is touring, don't miss the fun! 


~ Huge thanks to ATOM for sending me Nightshade by Andrea Cremer!

Bye bye 2010

With 2010 an awesome year has come and is almost gone by now. We were busy with work and studying, but never forgot the joy a book can bring. I never imagined being a book blogger or even having followers at all. I started my blog in August 2010 and I am so happy about the developments of my blog, the things I've learnt and the many new people I've met and friends I've made. Starting my blog was the best idea I could have had in 2010!

Thank you so much book lovers, bloggers and readers. I can't await to start 2011 with you and read many new greats books.
I am leaving for London tomorrow, so this is my penultimate post. Hope you all have some more great holidays and a Happy New Year!

Sarah aka Miss Page-Turner

PS: My last post? My review of wonderful Nightshade, which became one of my favourite books 2010 and is released today in the UK! Because every year starts and ends with a good book;)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Most Anticipated Books 2011 Teaser edition

Here are my most anticipated 2011 releases which I cannot wait to get my hands on! They are mostly part of a larger series, but there are also a few debut author titles. You find a small teaser beside each cover, so be careful if you haven't read the series, they can definitely be understood as spoilers. When I couldn't find a teaser I just posted a teaser of another book in the series, fun teasers or a summary. Feel free to share your most anticipated books in the comments, maybe you can find some of yours in my list...

My Top 10 most anticipated books 2011 ~ Teaser edition ~

  City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Jace caught her hand in his. "Just say it again."

"I'll never leave you," Clary said.

"No matter what happens, what I do?"


Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

“Someday, Will, I will go where none can follow me, and I think it will be sooner rather than later. Have you ever asked yourself why I agreed to be your parabatai?”

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace is not abducted by aliens, nor does she see lights in the sky that turn out to be just helicopters.

Sam and Grace's mom do not "get it on."

Sam does not get a dog.

There is absolutely no part of the story that takes place in the snow. Or on the beach. Or in a pyramid.

(You can find Maggie's fun teasers here)

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer   

“And why would I do that?” I asked.
I already knew the answer. I’d risked everything to save Shay. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat if it meant I could get back to my packmates. If I could save them.
He stepped back and extended his arm, clearing my path to the open door.

 Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast

"No. Yes."
He grinned. "Which is it?"
"I don't know. I can't think when you kiss me like that," I told him honestly.
"Then I'll have to do more of that kind of kissing," he said.

Timeless by Alexandra Monir 

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.
(Timeless Summary due to lack of teaser material)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver 

"It's so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it's over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed."

Die For Me by Amy Plum

"I HAD KNOWN there was something different about Vincent. I had felt it, even before I saw his photo in the obituaries. It was something just a little east of normal, but too obscure for me to put my finger on. So I had ignored it. But now I was going to find out." 

The Caster Chronicles #3 by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

"Lying on the ceiling. Refusing to go to school. Not opening up to me. Climbing water towers. "No, she's all right." 

(Beautiful Darkness- Caster Chronicles #2 Teaser due to lack of  #3 material)

Red Glove by Holly Black 

I reach out for her shoulder without thinking, rubbing my fingers over the cotton. I no longer know how to say aloud what I feel. Sorry my brothers kept her in a cage, sorry that it took me so long to save her, sorry I changed her in the first place. Sorry I’m bringing up those memories now.

“Don’t,” she says.

New Releases Dec 27th – Jan 2nd

Let's have a look at the wonderful books being released this week!

Dec 28th
The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain (Goodreads~ Amazon)
Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods novella) by Melissa de la Cruz (Goodreads~ Amazon)

Deadly Little Games (Touch #3) by Laurie Falia Stolarz (Goodreads~ Amazon)

Once in a Full Moon (Full Moon #1) by Ellen Schreiber (Goodreads~ Amazon)
Sapphique (Incarceron #1) by Catherine Fisher (Goodreads~ Amazon)
Fallen Angel (Fallen Angel #1) by Heather Terrell (Goodreads~ Amazon)
Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren’t  complicated, I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver #4) by E. Lockhart (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Bitter Melon by Cara Chow (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
See What I See by Gloria Whelan (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Jan 1st

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (Goodreads~ Amazon)
The Romeo And Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Never Been Kissed: A Novel by Melody Carlson (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

I KNOW each of you wants at least one of them! Tell me which;)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best I've Read 2010 ~ We love this book because...~ edition

I started my book blog in August 2010 and somehow I 've read most of my favourite books this year since then, may it be because of the pub dates or the influence the blogging community had on my choices and tastes. I decided to display five reasons why we just have to love each book, to tease you a bit and if you already read the book remind you of the things you might loved about it just as much as I did.

Here is the best I've read in 2010! We love these books because...

 Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

1) of its strong female heroine and her love for books
2) it makes one of your three obligatory wishes be: Turning all 21st century men into 19th century gentlemen
3) even people not technically gifted will enjoy the magic clockwork can produce
4) Cassandra Clare shows, once again, her talent to employ outrageously exciting plot turns and twists
5) after reading it, you will be careful about boring-dusty-attic-comments

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

1) there must be a chance for love
2) we fall in love with men reciting poetry and telling us fairy tales so easily
3) poetry has it's roots in freedom, but is even steadily growing branches and leaves in banishment
4) we want our very personal roof crusher who goes to the ends of the earth and back again for us
5) we want to read “Comprehensive Compilation of Dangerous Words and Ideas” out loud all day long and don't care about a possible regulator hearing

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

1) the best dates begin with a knock out
2) of two different type of boys and two very different ways to dance
3) we always wish for a guy to be reasonable and consistent, but sometimes we are more than happy about the result when he just couldn't help himself
4) new alliances mean new enemies but also beginnings and friends
5) even little brothers deserve some romance 

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

1) of its beautiful idea of paper crane memories
2) of our favourite wolf-musician. There aren’t many wolves able to play a guitar, are there?
3) of its melancholy
4) it shows that even sub-plots can be steamy 
5) it underlines that sometimes parents shouldn’t know every little secret

Fallen by Lauren Kate

1) of its idea of eternal love and fate
2) a starlit beach has the potential to make you feel so much closer to heaven
3) even if you don’t believe in guardian angels, they are present, always protecting you
4) we love drawing and the way it lets us express our feelings very personally
5) an identity is more than some random lines on a file 

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

1) you may get lost in a labyrinth of dark streets but will always be found by light
2) distances of hundreds of miles can be a matter of seconds when you are searching for love
3) we’ve already bought a stock of gold and green contact lenses
4) we are looking up at the night sky and hoping to encounter the sparkling beauty of another universe 
5) Caster animals are man’s best friend

Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast

1) we want to be called a queen by our very own warrior
2) of the (un)dead and the beast
3) Scottish accent can be so sexy
4) sometimes you just need to move on to get the chance for a new start
5) some bonds aren't meant to be broken  

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

 1) reality is just an option, but sometimes it means everything
2) melodies remain but songtexts can change
3) of traps and races that make us feel like we’re on a rollercoaster ride
4) sacrifices are never worthless
5) in war, even rivals team up to fight a common enemy 

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

1) of the miracles a certain red notebook performed
2) of a paradise illuminated by eighteen miles of heavenly words
3) Santa has never been so cosy before
4) we can vividly image being the next crimson alert victim of the WashingtonSquareMommies
5) of its delightful oxfordian excurses 

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

1) we love creative birthday presents
2) we love the rural charm of its setting
3) we want to have our own Jumping Tree
4) a simple history lesson can be so much fun
5) everyone has a purpose in life

In My Mailbox #13 Christmas edition

The idea of In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.

First I need to say that I am in love with my mailbox! I was so overwhelmed :) Thanks you so much mum and dad :-*

 ~ In MY Mailbox ~ 


* Smaragdgrün by Kerstin Gier (German)
* Torment by Lauren Kate
* Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe
* 50 € GC
* 100 € GC
*  Sony E-Reder Touch ( immediately put all my netgalley stuff on it and I love it!)
I won:

* The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa   

~ Many thanks to Loni @ A Casual Reader .It was such a great surprise to win the first two novels in The Iron Fey series. And of course I will tell you how I liked it;)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your day be filled with fun and food, family and friends and of course books:) I'll do a few more posts this year till I leave for London Dec 29th and I am already curious if Santa was so kind to drop a carton of books on your porch.

xoxo Sarah aka Miss Page-Turner

Book Review: I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore

Title: I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (UK)
Publishing Date: August 2010
Length: 368 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy, science-fiction 

4/5 **** John Smith- hottest alien out there! He is number four, but you are next!

~ The Author ~

My name is Pittacus Lore. I am a Loric Elder, from the Planet Lorien, which is three hundred million miles away. I am approximately ten thousand years old. I have been to earth hundreds of times, and I am here now.

Fun author profile by I Am Number Four.co.uk 

Pittacus Lore is the pseudonym for the writing duo James Frey (author of "A Million Little Pieces") and Jobie Hughes.

~ The Novel ~

I Am Number Four is the first novel in The Lorien Legacies series and was published August 2010. The sequel to I Am Number Four is The Power of Six and will be released in 2011.

For more information visit http://www.iamnumberfour.co.uk/

~ The Story ~

There were nine. Three are dead. I Am Number Four.

Nine teenagers and their guardians are hiding on Earth … protected by a charm that means they can only be killed in numeric order, three are already dead. John Smith is Number Four. And his mortal enemies, the Mogadorian, are hunting him down.

The only way to keep off radar is to keep moving, never staying in one place for long. Finally in the firing line, all he can do is adopt the guise of a student and pray his unusual gifts – his legacies home; Planet Lorien – stay hidden long enough for him to settle into this new community.

But others seem to sense his otherness and when small-town life sucks him into its intrigues, it’s only a matter of time before his true nature is revealed. And that means there’s no space for love, friendship or a future if it means protecting not only himself, but the other five …

Summary by Goodreads

You can read an extract here!  

Want to find out what’s your legacy? Take the fun test here!

~ The Review ~

Usually I am not a fan of science fiction novels, but after reading and liking The Host by Stephenie Meyer so much last year I opened up a bit for this so far unknown genre. When I watched the I Am Number Four movie trailer I knew I had to read the novel first before I watch this awesome looking movie.

Behind the novel I Am Number Four stands the extraordinarily interesting concept of a group of alien teenagers with special powers that is sent to earth in order to survive, protect our world, grow strong and defeat their hunters one day.

I Am Number Four is told from John’s point of view and although he isn’t from this world his thoughts and feelings doesn’t appear so alien. He is a strong character who fights for his believes and planet. Very likeable about John and his mentor Henri and are their peaceful intentions, they are superior but do good.

I immediately felt a connection to our protagonist John, who is an alien and has always been a loner so far due to his strict movement schedule as a hunted Lorien. He is the type of boy I would love to welcome in my circle of friends, arms and heart. Although he must be ten times stronger than any human I want to protect him from his loneliness and give him the save haven he has been searching for so long. He has already found a great fan in me! 
The story around John arriving in a new town, building up a human façade and getting comfortable with new friends is a good placed contrast to the overall looming danger through the Mogadorians. Although John got to take his time with falling in love with the female protagonist Sarah on the one hand, he is under a permanent stress and danger to be found by his enemies on the other. The story is action-packed and completed by the steadily growing love story between John and Sarah.

Single chapters often don’t merge into each other seamlessly which takes away coherence and regular pace. Lore’s writing style is solid but without any artful ornaments or rich metaphors. His writing style supports the character of a science fiction story, but doesn’t fit my expectations one hundred percent. 

I found it exciting to learn more about Loric traditions and the life on Lorien before it was destroyed. The elements we expect science fiction themed novels to contain are space rockets and aliens and I Am Number Four obviously features both. But it isn’t a plain novel, just containing the obvious elements and no other content. I Am Number Four shows fascinating new features like legacies, special powers John develops with growing strength in physics and personality. In addition there is a bond between those nine teenagers sent to earth which protects them all so that they can only be killed in a certain order.

The constellation of nine alien teenagers being hunted by their enemies, the Mogadorians, combined with Loric magic has such a great suspense potential. John’s mysterious powers develop gradually and there are many more secret gifts hidden.

~ We love this book because… ~

1) we want to have our own super dog
2) of the best cêpan in the world
3) we check each chest we find if it unlocks by the touch of our finger
4) we enjoy hay rides
5) you don’t need to use alien powers to get the girl, but sometimes they can be useful to keep her alive

~ The Verdict ~

I Am Number Four starts with a slow pace in the beginning just to end with a serious grand battle, but it is captivating all the time. This novel is like an adventure quest I would like to play on my games console.

~ Want to watch the movie trailer that made me want to read I Am Number Four? ~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coveresque feat. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (US vs. Spanish vs. German)

Tell me, which Before I Fall cover do you like best?  US on the left, we've got the Spanish cover in the middle and the German one on the right side. All three covers are very different in colour and presentation of motive. I've got my favourite, which do you prefer?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday #11

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What I am waiting for on this Wednesday: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (July 2011) 

I finished Nightshade a week or so ago and while reading I was wanting Wolfsbane to be already published. I could continue reading the story around Calla+ Ren & Shay  forever!

Betrayal, loss, pain, fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive?

Summary by Goodreads

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010 Completed

The Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn at Book Chick City was my first challenge so far and I really enjoyed it, as I thought of the thriller genre as a very wide term, from crime thriller to romantic thriller! I also read many thrilling YA novels! Carolyn, thank you a lot for hosting this challenge:)

Here are the novels I read for the Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010:

Teaser Tuesday #12

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share a couple of “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 Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Die Bücherdiebin (German edition of The Book Thief) by Markus Zusak

"Es hat wohl keinen Sinn, dich um einen Kuss als Belohnung zu bitten, oder?"
 "Weil du mir meine Schuhe gebracht hast, die du stehen gelassen hattest?"

"There's no point in asking you for a kiss as reward, is it?"
"Because you brought me my shoes, that you had left before?"

(freely translated into English)

~  p. 317

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Releases Dec 20th – Dec 26th

Let's have a look at the wonderful books being released this week!

Dec 21st
Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange #3) by Lesley Livingston (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales, and Secrets by Francesca Lia Block (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Out for Blood (The Drake Chronicles #3) by Alyxandra Harvey (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
The Book of Spells by Kate Brian (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

There’s Cake in My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4) by Rachel Vincent (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
How to Bake a Perfect Life: A Novel by Barbara O’Neal (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
Dec 23rd
Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox #12

The idea of In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.

 ~ In MY Mailbox ~ 

E-ARCs I got via netGalley:  

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder 

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?

Summary by Goodreads