Monday, January 9, 2012

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Jessica Packwood found out she was a Romanian vampire princess, she had the shock of her teenage life. Turns out that was the easy part. Now, married to Prince Lucius Vladescu, she has to claim her throne and convince a vampire nation she’s fit to be their queen. But Jess can’t even order a decent meal from her castle’s Romanian staff, let alone deal with devious undead subjects who would love to see her fail.

And when Lucius is accused of murdering a vampire Elder and imprisoned without the blood he needs, Jessica finds herself alone, fighting for both their survivals. Desperate to clear her husband’s name and win his release, Jess enlists the help of her best friend Mindy Stankowicz and Lucius’s mysterious Italian cousin, Raniero Lovatu. But both of them are keeping some dark secrets. Can Jess figure out who to trust – and how to rise to power – before she loses everything, including the vampire she loves?

Full of romance, mystery, and danger, the highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side shows that sometimes a princess has to earn her “happily ever after” – with a sharpened stake in hand.
I LOVED this book! Beth Fantasky does an excellent job of developing her characters, and she is a master at keeping her readers interested. Her work continues to draw me in, and I can not wait for her next book!

*Warning: Spoilers for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side are in this review*

First, if you have not yet read the story of Anatanasia "Jessica" and Lucius, you should do so at Beth Fantaskey's website, as Jessica Rules the Dark Side does not include their wedding, though does reference it. Now that that's said, I can move into the spoiler free summary:

Antanasia Dragomir Vladescu (aka "Jessica Packwood Vladescu") was not ready to become queen of the clashing Dragomir and Vladescu clans (with the Vladescus being more powerful). But a princess has many enemies, and her new husband, Lucius, wishes for them to quickly ascend to King and Queen so that Jessica will be protected under the full royal guard. In the meantime, Jessica is trying to adapt to her new, violent vampire culture. To help her, she enlists the help of her best friend, Mindy, and Lucius's cousin Raniero (the vampire who had danced with Mindy at Lucius and Jessica's wedding) comes to the castle shortly after, with the intent of helping Lucius and looking out for "Mindy Sue". To make things even more complicated, Lucius is accused of destroying an Elder and faces the punishment of destruction himself if he is found guilty. Jessica must now try to find evidence that her husband is innocent, and determine who really killed the Elder before time runs out.

I must admit, I love how strong Jessica is. This novel is primarily about Jessica growing as a person and learning to stick up for herself (but there is still plenty of romance, mystery and adventure in there, too). I really love the fact that unlike a lot of young adult romance novels out right now, our main character doesn't need her prince to do everything for her. She is an independent young woman who is learning to hold her own and stand up for what she believes in. This novel is a perfect example of how an amazing romance story can still hold equally strong partners.

I also loved the side story that develops circling around Mindy and Raniero. I won't say too much regarding that in fear that I will spoil it, but trust me when I say that their story will make so much more sense if you read the wedding story.

All in all I would absolutely recommend this to any YA Paranormal Romance lover! (But do read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and the wedding story first!)

Beth Fantaskey's Website:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)Wither by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every newborn has become a ticking genetic time bomb- males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape- to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than loosing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

Wither was a unique and interesting read that kept me captivated, and at times, horrified. The setting of the book was one that I struggled to accept. The idea of teen brides being forced into polygamous marriages for the sole purpose of continuing the human race honestly freaked me out. A lot. I had heard great things about this book, however, and I decided to give a try. I'm glad I did.

The story of Rhine captivated me from the start. She was brave, and smart, and stubborn, and I admired her strength in the face of adversity. At first I hated Linden, but I found myself later pitying him as I realized how ignorant he was to the real world. As for the sister wives Jenna and Cecily, I pitied them in the beginning and then I began to see them as they truly were. The character development in this novel was stunning.

As long as you can look past the creep factor of young teenage polygamous brides, I would recommend this book to lovers of unique and creative stories.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Juliet- Anne Fortier

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?

In my opinion, this book is an easy 5/5
I'll be honest- The only reason I read this book was because it was Romeo and Juliet. I'm a sucker for that story. I wasn't expecting much out of it. "Modern day Romeo and Juliets" are usually too similar for my taste. However, this book was different. It focuses mainly on versions of the story that came before Shakespeare's famous play. In this version, Romeo and Juliet aren't whiny little kids that randomly fell in love. There's a story.
Julie and her twin sister Janice are orphaned when they are young and adopted by their great aunt and moved from Sienna, Italy to West Virginia. Their great aunt dies when they are 25 and leaves Janice her entire estate, but only leaves Julie a key to a safe deposit box in Sienna that belonged to her mother. She's told her name is really  Guilietta Tolomei and that whatever is in the deposit box was very important to her mother and could contain a fortune. So, with nothing to lose, she sets off for Italy and meets Eva Maria Salimbeni along the way, who makes such a big deal over her name that she insists on accommodating her in any way she needs, including volunteering her godson, Alessandro Santini, to take care of those needs. Guilietta and Alessandro hate each other from the start.
Alessandro aside, she gets to the safe deposit box and finds it filled with notes and stories and genealogy from a Guilietta Tolomei and Romeo Marescotti from the 13th century- The true story of Romeo and Juliet! Mystery and adventure unfolds as Guilietta digs in to the past and finds some interesting things out about her famous ancestors- Including a curse on her family. Now she must set things right, or at least make sense of it. But she's not the only one interested in her findings. She soon becomes the target of a deadly stalker and those who want to use her.

I would really recommend this book if you like romance, fairy tales, books like The DaVinci Code, or just looking for something good to read. I guarantee you'll love it.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow (Sky Chasers, #1)Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Description:

If a sudden attack destroyed the only world you'd ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there's no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home fifteen-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend, Kieran, will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure that he's the best choice. Still, there's a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the sky, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly's dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable- a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon's leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and they find themselves at the helms of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and the decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

First and foremost, this book was an emotional roller coaster. One moment you're plunged into total despair, the next moment your bursting with excitement, and the moment after that you're going "get them, get them!". I love books like this one, that really pull you in.

The story circulates around two main characters: Waverly and Kieran. Kieran and Waverly are the first male and female conceived in deep space. Now at 16 (Kieran), and 15 (Waverly), they are in a relationship, and are being pressured to get married and have children (to help carry on the human race while Waverly is at her most fertile). Unfortunately, on the day Kieran proposes, the sister ship to the ship they are on attacks, stealing all the young girls. It becomes clear that the sister ship, The New Horizon has had a problem with fertility, and they don't want to die out. Now Waverly must help lead the other girls through the trials and tribulations that await them. In the meantime, Kieran must deal with the insanity on the home ship, all while trying to help find and save the girls.

Based on the jacket description ("she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth" and "she and her boyfriend, Kieran, will be pioneers for the New Earth"), I kind of expected some romance in this story. Yeah... not so much. There was a little, don't get me wrong, but nothing at all like the jacket makes it out to be. The thing with Seth? Wait, what thing with Seth? That's right, no thing with Seth. And Kieran? The romance there didn't really ring true to me, to be honest. I wonder how it would have sounded with Seth. Maybe I'll find out in the next book. Maybe not.

But aside from the lack of anticipated romance, this really was a great science fiction novel. It's creative and believable (in the context of the book). I would recommend it to any YA Sci-Fi lover.

Amy Kathleen Ryan's Official Website:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fateful by Claudia Gray

FatefulFateful by Claudia Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jacket Description:

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It's 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they're sailing on-the RMS Titanic- reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He's in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it's because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously...

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec's past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him- and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic's first- and last- voyage.

To start off with, I had extremely high expectations for this novel. I loved the Evernight series, and I am a huge Titanic geek. When I heard this book was coming out, I could hardly wait. That being said, this book was awesome. My only complaint was that the Titanic itself played a minimal role. The fact that the story took place on the Titanic only meant that you knew that the characters were going to have to face the sinking- other than that, the story could have been set anywhere that the division between social classes was clear. Aside from that, this book lived up to my expections all the way.

To start off, I have to say that I loved, loved, loved the main character, Tess. She was amazingly persistent, independent, self-reliant, and intelligent. That is something that a lot of novels unfortunately leave out. Tess isn't scared off easily... she's far too persistant for that.
I also loved Alec- Tess's love interest in the story. Alec is interesting, complex and very personable. Despite the fact that he is a werewolf, Alec's character is still believable and as realistic as a werewolf first-class passenger can be.

I also enjoyed many of the other characters in the story, including Irene, Ned and Mikhail. Through these characters, Claudia Gray proves yet again that she is highly talented in writing interesting sub-plots along with her main plot.

I would highly recommend this to any paranormal YA lover, but I would warn any die-hard Titanic fan that the Titanic is not primarily featured throughout the story. I would still recommend it none the less.

Claudia Gray's Official Website:

P.S. Sorry it's been so long since we all posted last. It's been a crazy month, but we hope to get more reviews up soon! Thanks!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

All You Desire (Eternal Ones, #2)All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jacket Description:

Temptation Treachery Passion

Haven Moore fled to Rome a year ago, leaving behind the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader, Adam Rosier. Now she's back in New York City with her beloved Iain. But Iain's supposed to be dead. And if they blow his cover, Adam won't give them any second chances.

Meanwhile, Beau Decker is missing. His life rests in Haven's hands. The Horae, a group of mystical sisters, hold the key to Beau's fate. They want to lock Adam away forever, and Haven is his only weakness. To save Beau, Haven must seduce Adame and lure him into the Horae's lair.

But Adam Rosier has always had a funny way of seducing her. And the closer Haven gets to her enemy, the more she succumbs to his spell. Beau's life hangs in the balance- but this time, Haven can't even trust herself. Every decision she makes will shape her destiny.

How far will she go for the people she loves?

All You Desire was everything I look for in a sequel. It was a realistic continuation to the previous novel, The Eternal Ones, and it pulled together strong characters, strong plots, strong settings, and strong emotions. It also threw in many surprising plot twists, that left me wondering who to trust, and who to believe in. This book had me so emotionally attached to it, that I had to stop reading it at some spots and tell myself "Breathe, Brandi. It's just a book. An awesome book, but it's still just a book."

So, onto my [spoiler free] summary of the story:

*Warning: This summary assumes you have read the Eternal Ones. Some minor spoilers for the Eternal Ones might be included in this summary

All You Desire begins with Haven and Iain living out their fantasy in Rome. But that fantasy is quickly disrupted when Haven's best friend, Beau, goes missing after he travels to New York to find his soul mate. Haven, desperate to find and save her best friend, goes back to New York, and there the main plot unfolds. Haven finds herself caught up between to ancient forces in her quest to find and save Beau: Adam Rosier, the man/demon who has been trying to make Haven his wife for the better part of two millenia, and the Horae, a group of 12 sisters who are determined to destroy Adam. Haven is in over her head more than she realizes, but she's willing to do anything to save Beau (besides give up Iain, that is).

All You Desire ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I can't wait for the third book. Kirsten Miller does such an amazing job of pulling you into her story and never letting you go. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who loves YA Paranormal Romance.

Kirsten Miller's website:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We Took The Pledge To Just Say No To Illegal eBook Downloads

Hey everyone,

As many of you probably know, illegal downloading of eBooks is a huge problem right now. Hundreds of thousands of copies of books are being stolen from authors and publishers. It's depressing to hear about, because it is a big factor in the publishing industry's current slump. It can also keep authors from getting series extension contracts, which means no more of our favorite books and characters. But we can help stop illegal eBook downloading by taking the pledge to never illegally download, or accept illegally downloaded eBooks, and by spreading the word that it is stealing and it is wrong.

On the left side of the page, you will find a button saying "This Blog is Free of Illegal eBook Reviews. It looks like this:

By clicking on the button in the sidebar to your left, you will be taken to "Just Say No To Illegal eBook Downloads", a blog that shares information about illegal eBook downloads and their consequences. The URL is

We here at Wisdom From A Teenage Bookworm swore to never write a review of a book that was obtained by illegal methods, and we hope you will, too. Just Say No To Illegal eBook Downloads also has buttons saying "I Said No To Illegal eBook Downloads" (that you can put on your personal blog/ website), and "Illegal eBook Downloading is STEALING" (that you can also put on your personal blog/ website or anywhere really, to help spread the word about illegal eBook downloads).

We hope you take the pledge, and read on! :D