Review: None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published November 20th 2012


Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…

The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl's bucket list.

Sophie's beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can't help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?

As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy's list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together...when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself.



This book was a case of good, slow, quick, quick, slow, good, great. We have mostly a story about Sophie and her friends, and how they all react to this bucket list that's found. While Sophie is good friends with Ella and Grace they all have their quirks, their little secrets and they all are typical high school kids. And that's refreshing because many books try to create characters far too old for high school. These girls were it. And because of that I enjoyed the story more. There was also an extra bit of romance thrown in, and Ella and Grace have their own problems when it comes to the love side of the story.

Review: Jenny Pox (The Paranormals #1) by J.L. Bryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published July 22nd 2010



Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

* * *

Not recommended for readers under eighteen.

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 2) by Laini Taylor

Publishers: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published Date:  November 6th 2012
From: Bought
My rating:
5 out of 5

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

It took me a while to get back to this series. the first book 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' was stunning. The world building extraordinary from the start. The concept of the story, a girl who is somehow connected to demonic creatures and an angel, was crafted together so beautifully I was gripped. I loved the romance, I loved Karou and I wanted to read more. 
But then we have that dreaded interlude where we have to wait for book 2. You've been there, I'm sure. I didn't want to read book 2 until I could read book 3. So this was my dilemma. I waited.
But then my reading hiatus kicked in so here we are finally. 
Book 2 - Days of Blood and Starlight has a different feel to it than book one. so we know Karou has the soul of Madrigal. But Karou is still her own person. Still loves Zuzana and Mik but she's broken after hearing Akiva tell her he killed her family.
Instead of staying and moping, and let's face it, who wouldn't. she disappears from the world. It's only after a few chapters we find out she's actually in Morocco and she's encouraged the demons (good and bad) to settle there while they regroup. she's also taken up the task of creating more creatures but what I love about this part is her character. She decides she isn't going to just recreate all of Thiago's close colleagues. She's ruthless and sneaky enough to pick and chose who gets remade.
One of the characters I loved most was Madrigal's other Kirin friend - Ziri. He's a nice demon, young and bit in love with Madrigal/Karou. His story really becomes the main character arc of the book. What Ziri does has a lasting effect on the rest of the demons to come, and on Karou. 
Back to Akiva and what he's up to. With his two angel friends, they decide they're not going to openly kill the enemy anymore. To do so goes against everything Akiva was striving for when he dreamed the dream with Madrigal. He hasn't forgotten Karou, in fact, he mourns her, even if she isn't dead. 
The book finishes nicely, ready for book 3.
What I liked the most? The writing doesn't fail in the slightest. The story is still ongoing and you can feel the world's expand as you're reading it. Such an epic fantasy, I'm maybe a little sorry I waited too long read it.
-CB x

You can reach Laini Taylor here:
Web  Goodreads

Available from Amazon:

Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published September 4th 2012 by Strange Chemistry



On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance. 



Essentially a good mystery with a bit of spooky history thrown in. Ever since I watched Haven I've been curious about the Roanoake disappearances. I thought there would be more evidence as to the whereabouts but it all went slightly in a different direction than I was hoping.

A stand-alone story.

Miranda grew on me. Initially I didn't take to her. Mostly I felt sorry for her, especially for the suffering she went through because of her father and his drinking habits.

She grew on me after his death although after investigating his hidden box and finding the weird weapon I would have taken the time to do more searching. Especially as she had so many questions regarding her mother.

She also gave Phillips the benefit of the doubt. This wasn't a romance with a bit of story involved, this was a story that would lead to romance once it was done. So many books these days put too much emphasis on getting the smoochies in instead of getting on with the story.

She did grow as a character but I didn't get any outward, as in looking outside her state, country, world. Because she'd never left her hometown I thought this was strange. We get the scene where she tries to go over the border but if she's spent so long on her own without friends I wouldn't expect her state of mind to be so positive.

Phillips, the second main character, had an interesting side to him. Between him and Miranda solving the mystery I thought they'd make a great team.

I didn't like they way the story went. A little too odd, and really contrived. I don't mind bending history but the way all the characters came back after disappearing and they aren't who they were before, well, it didn't gel with me.

The snake on her cheek. This wasn't really needed in the story. Great pains were taken to help us be intrigued by this but we could have solved it a different way.

Thank you to Strange Chemistry for allowing me a copy before the book release. I'm sorry it sat on my shelf so long before being able to offer a review.

Available from Amazon:

CB Note to readers: This is a new type of review I'm starting aimed to get to the point and exclude waffle. Points are easier to read. If you prefer this than the usual review please let me know!
It's been a while but I'm back reviewing now!