Saturday, October 30, 2010


Despite getting some bad press lately, Thanksgiving embodies the idea of being grateful for what we have and for other people. This November, YALR Blogs wants to spread the joy and show our readers and fellow bloggers how grateful we are for all the support we've received.

We're also collecting donations for Kids Need to Read, sponsoring literacy among all children.

For our big Thanksgiveaway November giveaway you can enter to win one or more of the following prizes:

  1. a signed copy of Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
  2. a signed copy of Glass, by Ellen Hopkins
  3. a signed copy of Virals, by Kathy Reichs
  4. Fall Goodie Basket (contents to be announced after the contest is over)

You can enter for all of the prizes. You can only win one book, but everyone has a chance to win the Fall Basket, even if they've already won a book. There are several ways to acquire contest entries:

  • leave a comment on this post - this is the one required item to enter to win and constitutes one (1) entry.
  • blog about this contest +3 entries
  • tweet about this contest +2 entries
  • be a blog follower +1 entry
  • be a twitter follower +1 entry
  • make a donation (via YALR) to Kids Need to Read - $5.00, +6 entries; $10.00, +15 entries; $15.00, +20 entries; $25.00, +35 entries (Higher donations can be made and will receive entries based on the amount and entrants will also receive special acknowledgement as well as YALR swag. Higher donations will also be automatically entered into our big December giveaway unless a prize is won in November.)
  • donate gently used books +5 entries per book
If you would like to donate books, you need to include your name, age, address and the name you used to comment on this blog entry (for verification of official entry). Books should be mailed to:

A. Vilate
P.O. Box 541812
Houston, TX 77254

To donate to KNtR, use this paypal link:

An official email will be sent to you confirming your donations and entries.

The contest deadline is November 25, 2010. The contest is open internationally. If a winner is under the age of 17, they must have a parent or guardian claim the prize.

Good luck!

~ Vilate

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Viewpoint Thursday

This week (and I apologise for being late in posting this) we're talking about A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker, which had a favourable reception from all three of us. Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. 

Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. 

Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

Renee: Alright. Are we ready to discuss A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL by Kristin Walker?

Aly: Yep

Vi: Absolutely. :)

Renee: OK. What was your overall impression or opinion about the book?

Aly: It was funny!

Vi: I liked it.  Only took me a few hours and it was an easy read.

Aly: Seriously, it was funny, and I needed something light.  But on the other hand, I liked that it truly was an ensemble book despite being focused on Fiona.

Renee: I agree. It was very funny and I liked that it was a light, easy read, with lots of great ensemble characters. Were there any storylines that you liked more than others or any characters you didn't like?

Vi: I liked the way it all worked together.  Even though there were subplots, it all felt attached to Fiona's, and it was seamless.  It made it very easy to get and stay invested in all of the characters, even though I didn't like Gabe.  He played his part and was important to the plot.

Aly: I think that was what was great about the book.  I really liked all the characters and ones that you were suppose to change your feelings about as the book developed -- I did change feelings about.  It wasn't overly predictable... parts...but lots that I wasn't expecting.  And I liked how quirky it was, but that there was growth for the characters, etc.  So really - overall I am very positive about it.

Renee: Reading the back of the book, I thought it was going to be a very predictable book, where the jock would fall for Fiona, all the couples would learn something new about each other, etc. However, I'm glad that the story gave some surprises (for me, at least) in the relationship department and plot-wise.

Renee: I do have to say, though, that by the end of the book, I still wasn't completely in love with Marcie, Fiona's best friend. I never really took to her in this novel…

Vi: I actually felt like Fiona was taking on a little too much responsibility for some of the bad things that happened.  Even though she wasn't in any way innocent, I didn't feel like she should've taken the blame with the Marcie situation.  And the one real issue I had (which was small) was the part where Fiona was told that Marcie didn't lie, she just didn't tell Fiona anything.  A lie of omission is still a lie and Fiona wasn't to blame for talking about Gabe when Marcie was the one who didn't admit to what was going on.

Aly: But really, an 11 year old was giving Fiona advice at that point... HaHa!  But yes, I see your point.  However, I do think Fiona needed some extremes since she seemed a little clueless of emotional clues at times.

Renee: Hahahah. Fiona was a little clueless sometimes! I had a feeling from the beginning that Marcie was hiding something, but Marcie seemed to overreact to a lot of things concerning Fiona for the first half and just seemed a bit harsh, esp. since she wasn't being completely honest. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking Todd, though. I usually find those types of characters clichéd, but not the case with him.

Vi: Todd ended up being one of my favorite characters.  He actually seemed much more dialed in to Fiona's personality than others.  He came off as a jerk at first, of course, but I think he was almost more open to changing his attitude than anyone else.  He was the confident jock but he actually rolled with the punches really well, as evidenced by his back story of losing football but going with cheerleading and making the best of it.

Renee: Yes, yes, I loved him!

Aly: I agree on the Todd part.  And I loved Fiona's parents.  They were present, but so very different than what you usually see in YA.  I loved the scenes with her parents.

Vi: I liked her parents.  They were quirky and I felt like they provided Fiona with a great foundation.  I liked that they were supportive of her, although when things were going wrong, she didn't end up getting a lot of advice from them.  So, I liked them and they were there, but I wish they'd been utilized just a little bit more.

Renee: I was so surprised that they were there at all! I'm so used to parents being absent or an obstacle to the young adult protagonist getting what he/she ultimately wants, that I liked seeing her parents’ quirky/flirtatious relationship present in the book.

Aly: I think by watching her parents you get an idea where Fiona gets some of her personality and spunk.  And even the other adults in the book were varied.  I liked that.  Granted at times we want more adults... But this is YA and it is from the perspective of a teen; and my guess is most teens shut out the adults. LOL!  I would have liked more for her parents to be there but just because they were so much fun.

Renee: That's true. In most YA, I usually look forward to when we can get back to the teen's POV, lol. But is there anything else anyone would like to add? I liked that the "Trying the Knot" school course actually sounded believable (with the managing a budget, etc.), so I could buy the different stories in the novel. Anything else worth mentioning? We haven't talked about Johnny…

Aly: See the "Tying the Knot" class seemed the most unbelievable to me at first, and I know I *eye-rolled* but she developed it okay.  And, as for Johnny... I like when a character that you don’t expect to turn out to be one way does.  I really liked him & his connection with Fiona.

Vi: He reminded me of someone I used to know, so I liked him right away.  I also pegged him as the guy who'd end up with Fiona simply because he was set up with her best friend, lol.  But that didn't make discovering his character less than it should've been.  He was great and I loved seeing his interactions with everyone.

Renee: I liked him too. He came out of nowhere for me. I wasn't really paying attention to him, because I was keeping my eyes on the Tood/Fiona dynamic. So when Johnny emerged as a bigger character, I was like, "Hey, hey! Look at you!" :)

Aly: Well you did a good job with picking this book.  It was fun...

Vi: I loved how fun it was.  I didn't have to think too hard about the underlying meanings or anything, and it was refreshing.

Renee: Same here. I was ready for something that was light and not riddled with paranormal teen angst ;) Thanks for another lovely chat!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contest Winners Announced

Hey everyone! I'm a little behind on announcing winners to a couple of the contests lately, so it's high time I got on this. Winners are chosen randomly using Scrabble tiles (the most arbitrary system I have! lol). Here they are!

Jamie (Spacecadet570) wins the signed copy of Firelight, by Sophie Jordan.

Laura, aka Booksnob wins the copy of Magnificent 12: The Call, by Michael Grant. I hope you and your son enjoy the book!

Congratulations to both of you. Please email me at to claim your prizes. Thanks to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more fun giveaways!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steampunk Saturday: Behemoth

Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon Schuster
Pages: 481

Reading Level: 12 and up *Books for Boys*

Enjoyment Level: High

I’ve been a huge fan of Scott Westerfeld for a long, long time. I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve read and after Leviathan, I couldn’t wait to read Behemoth. Then I found out that I’d get an interview with him. *Squee* Of course, I was super-professional and we had a good time. You can check out my interview with Scott Westerfeld on the podcast.

From GoodReads:

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

I love this book! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Leviathan, but I loved that one, too, although it’s not as action-packed as some books. Behemoth delivers the action and tension that people might’ve missed in Leviathan.

The story continues with Alek and Deryn, though this time they’re in the grand city of Istanbul (Constantinople). It’s a brilliant backdrop for the story with its vivid inhabitants and tense political undercurrents. The descriptions of the city made me want to go there. The details of the fictional story meshed so well with the true history of Istanbul that it seemed like the events in Behemoth could’ve really happened.

All of the characters jump off the page. The development deepens and people who were interesting in Leviathan are even better in the sequel. The tension for Deryn’s character (pretending to be a boy) is very heightened. I found myself biting my nails in some parts because I just knew she’d be discovered.

And I can’t do a review without talking about the amazing illustrations. How happy am I that someone thought to put artwork in a book like this? I figured I’d grown out of enjoying art in books, but now I think it’s just because it hasn’t been an option. I love seeing the beautiful illustrations in Behemoth. They enhance the story and give me intricate details I might otherwise miss.

Because I love this so much, and because of my interview with the author, I want to share the story with you. You can win a signed copy of Behemoth. Here are the rules:

  • you must be a twitter or blog follower
  • you must tweet, blog, or facebook about this giveaway
  • you must leave a comment on this blog entry giving us your name, age, and links to where you tweeted about the contest

Deadline to enter is 10/31/2010. Good luck!!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantasy Friday: Crescendo

Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon Schuster
Pages: 432
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: High

I felt like I was waiting forever for this one! I wasn’t, but anticipation had me all tied up in knots for a while. I loved Hush, Hush, and was excited when I interviewed Becca Fitzpatrick (hear it on the podcast) and heard about Crescendo.

From GoodReads:

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away, and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

These are the things I wanted to do to the book at various times during my reading:
  • throw it through the window
  • shred it
  • set it on fire
  • burn it with acid
  • erase most of the words
  • stomp on it…

Personally, I find my reaction a sign that this book is totally awesome. Totally frustrating, sure, but I was completely invested, hence the list of ways to destroy it.

It’s a different Nora I found in this sequel to Hush, Hush. Not different in a way that felt unnatural, but I thought she was stronger for her experiences in the last book. And maybe a little more paranoid, as well. I understood her mental lapses when it came to Patch and what was going on. Her passionate new love for him mixed with her paranoia and it made me alternately feel for her and want to smack her around.

The bad guys are brilliantly hidden throughout the novel. It felt more like a good mystery than a paranormal romance, with all the red herrings, misdirections, and hidden agendas. Avoiding spoilers as much as possible, I did not suspect the real bad guy, and yet I suspected everyone at one time or another in the course of the story.

Hush, Hush was what I considered a stand-alone book, but Crescendo has burst into the series, bringing with it a deepening of Nora’s story and many, many new questions about her life. Becca Fitzpatrick gave me characters and a plot that just about did me in. The only “bad” thing I have to say about this one is that once again, I’m left on a cliffhanger.

The anticipation might give me a stroke.

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Viewpoint Thursday: Wicked Lovely

Thursdays are great days here on the blog. Aly, Renee and I get together to chat about different books. We did the Wicked Lovely chat a while ago, but with my sister's wedding approaching fast, I'm apparently getting really flaky. I thought I'd already posted this one, but it turns out I didn't! So here it is - finally.

Vi: Today we're discussing Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr. What did everyone think about the book?

Renee: I really liked Wicked Lovely. Faeries or the fae are probably my least favorite of the paranormal creatures that are coming out in fiction these days, but since I felt that Wicked Lovely focused more on the romantic elements between Seth and Ash and Keenan and Donia, I didn't mind it as much.

Aly: I would also agree that Fae are not my favorite paranormal creature. Partially because they tend to be so devious and mischievous. But I liked the characters. Well I have a huge crush on Seth so I kept reading because of him. I did feel the book took a little bit to get going though.

Vi: So this was the second time I read Wicked Lovely, and I think I appreciated it more the second time around than the first. I felt like I liked the characters more and the story held more tension for me. I remember liking it the first time I read it, but now I actually want to continue the series, whereas before, I could take or leave the other books. And I loved Seth even more the second time reading it!

Aly: I am skipping the 2nd book so I can go right to Seth in Fragile Eternity. LOL

Vi: Okay, so any favorite characters? I have to say that I love Donia, myself. She rocks.

Renee: I actually am like Aly and went out and bought Fragile Eternity (book 3) so I could get more of Seth. I loved Seth and Ash, both together and individually, and actually Donia was my least favorite character of the bunch. I kind of wish we learned more about the grandmother though... because I think she has an interesting past.

Aly: Oh I also liked Donia. I thought she offered another level to the book. And I loved Seth, and I liked Ash. I think I agree too with Renee that I would have liked to have known more about the grandmother and her past and everything with the fae.

Vi: I honestly didn't like Ash as much as I thought I would. She's okay, but as far as heroines go, Donia got to me more. And it's interesting that you two are interested in the grandmother. I'd never really thought about her at all. She's barely been a blip on the radar for me. I guess I'm sort of neutral about her. I definitely didn't like Keenan's mother, but she was a very creepy and good villain.

Aly: See that is the issue with the fae. Most of the time they are scary and creepy. They like to have fun at the expense of mortals and usually they don't have true feelings (i.e., love) and so a relationship with them is kind of limited. However, I do feel that in some ways Keenan really did care for Ash. And as for liking or not liking Ash - I didn't love her but at least she didn't annoy me. And as for the grandmother - I always love back stories.

Renee: Agreed. The fae seem very fickle, so it was hard for me to make up my mind about them, especially regarding Keenan. I agree that I think he really does have some kind of feelings for her beyond her practical purpose for the fae, but I always second guessed myself.

Vi: I got the distinct impression that Keenan cared for Ash, and that he truly cared for his people. He wanted to bring them balance and be the king he should've been. That made me like Keenan, even though I was rooting for Seth and Ash.

Vi: What did you think of how Keenan's mother didn't care at all for him, but his two advisers seemed to care for him like a son? I found it interesting, myself. Thoughts?

Aly: See this is what confuses me about the Fae. You have different courts. You have summer and winter or Seelie and Unseelie and I don't always understand if they are on the same side or different sides? It's like because Keenan was one thing and his mother a different thing, then they were enemies but the two advisers are like royal advisers or pseudo-parents or whatever. Which seems to fit most fantasy stories. But I kind of liked the two advisers.

Vi: I know that in most schools of myth-thought, there are Seelie and Unseelie courts. It's pretty typical. The mythology in Wicked Lovely has the Winter Court, the Summer Court and the Dark Court. I kind of got the impression that his mother didn't have to dislike Keenan, but she just wanted the power. But I liked that the advisers seemed to care for Keenan, even though they didn't really have to since he was technically their boss.

Renee: I liked the idea of two different courts, and thought that was an interesting way to develop an enemy with a family twist -- making it even more sinister. I guess I just felt that the non-romantic aspects were less developed in this book, and maybe later in the series once the courts have been restored you'll learn more about the fae world.

Aly: Thanks ladies... that helped explain some stuff for me. Now did anyone feel like it took awhile to really get anywhere? I felt that 100 pages in, we were still talking about some of the same things in the first couple of chapters. It was almost as if I could skip them and then picked up and continued on without missing anything. Was it just me?

Vi: I think that may have been why I didn't love the book the first time I read it. I didn't really notice it the second time, but that might be because I already knew what was going to happen. I did think that Ash hemmed and hawed a lot over certain things, like Seth, and that had she made a decision sooner, things might've been resolved quicker. Or the author could've thrown a few more bad things Ash's way to impede her a bit.

Aly: I think I agree. I was surprised at how long it took to get to the whole point of Ash and Keenan going against the Winter Queen. I kept thinking it would happen a little earlier. And yes, Ash hemmed and hawed a lot. She liked Seth. He liked her. Why not move it along a little faster.

Renee: The general pace was pretty subdued throughout for me. Don't misunderstand: I really enjoyed this book, but I never felt like it got to a point where I couldn't put it down. It was a nice little teen romance book for me and the tension about whether Keenan would find the Summer Queen and all of that never really felt monumental for me.

Vi: I feel like I've picked up several books recently with a lack of tension. I felt the same way with this one, even though I wanted to know what would happen I could put it down and do other things without feeling the craving to read more. I did like it, though.

Aly: Same here...which is why I could see you not picking up the next book for a very long time. So where there were parts that I enjoyed. It wasn't like this amazing read.

Vi: Would you recommend this out to other people?

Aly: I know a lot of teens who like it and yes, I think there are people who really like this genre and would enjoy the book.

Renee: I would definitely recommend it -- there's obviously a huge market for this kind of book in YA right now -- although I might not call it the strongest of its type out there.

Vi: I think that the romance element was strong enough to attract some girls who are less-inclined to read, and I would recommend it to those, but I agree that there are other books who do the genre better for the more reluctant readers. Any last thoughts?

Renee: Wicked Lovely gave me enough to make me want to continue in the series, and I think it does have very strong character development with less conventional teen romance elements -- doesn't Seth have multiple piercings? A refreshing change :)

Aly: I think that is part of what I liked. Seth isn't exactly the type of lead romantic character on some level (multiple piercings, etc.) but I think that is another reason I loved him so much.

Vi: Thanks for the chat, ladies! Once again, it was fun, and I'm glad we all enjoyed the book.

It was another great chat for me with these two amazing people! If you want to help us continue this discussion, please leave us a comment. We love to hear from you. ^_^ Thanks for stopping by!!

~ Vilate

Monday, October 11, 2010

Middle Grade Monday: The Magnificent 12

The Magnificent 12: The Call, by Michael Grant

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 243
Reading Level: 8-12 (*Books for Boys*)
Enjoyment Level: High

It’s quite the thing these days for books, especially those for younger kids, to come complete with stuff to do online. The idea is to make it more fun for kid who love to read, and more appealing for reluctant readers. You get to become part of the adventure, which helps to bring the characters and plot to life. I could discuss this at length, but I’ll leave it alone for the time being and just give you the link to the book's website. :) Magnificent 12

From GoodReads:

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal—also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

It was good to know, starting out, that this book was the first of a series, because otherwise, I would’ve hated having so much left unwound at the end. (Some of you may know how much I hate cliffhanger endings these days.) Even though I was drawn into the action, I kept thinking that they’d never be able to wrap anything up by the end of the book. They did, of course, wrap a few things up, but it was easy to tell that the entire story was still left hanging.

I’m not sure how many books will be in the series, but if they can make it a full twelve, it’d be pretty interesting, considering some of the little details that are in the book – like how the monster they’re fighting has to die twelve times before she can really be killed, and the first death is in the first book. But I feel like that’ll only be cool if they make her die once in each book now.

The main character is pretty funny, and easy to connect with. He’s “got a series case of mediumness” which a lot of kids will understand, and yet he’s something of a hero right from the beginning because he doesn’t let bullies bully him, and he stands up for other people. This gives him an advantage and a head start as a hero.

The other characters are fleshed out well. The villain is properly creepy and villainous. Grimluk, the quasi-mentor of Mack, is also a little creepy, but interesting, being 3,000 years old. There’s a definite feel of ragtagness to the group who ends up together by the end of the book, and that’s fun to read.

There’s enough humor and tongue-in-cheek witticism in here to reach out to reluctant readers, plus the action keeps going and pulls the reader in quickly. The story is fun and would even make a great read-aloud selection for teachers and parents.

While I know that a lot of my blog followers tend to read more of the older teen choices, this book would make a great gift to anyone with younger brothers and sisters, or any other young person you know. And the publisher has provided me with a signed copy for a giveaway. Here are the contest rules:

  • Be a Twitter or a blog follower
  • Retweet, facebook, or blog about this contest
  • Leave your name, age, and why you’d like this book as a comment to this post

Deadline to enter is October 18, 2010. Good luck!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Body Finder Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Minamostaza! You are the winner of the signed copy of The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting!

Please email us at to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered - we very much appreciate all your support!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teen Fiction Tuesday

Impossible, by Nancy Werlin

Publisher: Speak
Pages: 364
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: High

I knew this book was coming before I actually got it. I had browsed online at Barnes and Noble and saw it as a “coming soon” title, liked the synopsis and was excited to read it.

Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child’s birth. How can Lucy succeed when all of her ancestors have tried and failed? But Lucy is the first girl who won’t be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents beside her. And she has Zach, whose strength amazes her more each day. Do they have enough love and resolve to overcome an age-old evil?

There are very few books out there that I love from start to finish - and this is one of them.

The author does a great job. She sucks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let go. The characters are great, the trials they go through are written so that you believe it, and the love story is beautiful. She mixed in the fantasy elements so well that I almost believed that it all could happen. It was just a gorgeous book.

I would recommend Impossible to anyone!

: Thyra :

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fantasy Friday: Firelight

Firelight, by Sophie Jordan

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 323
Reading Level: 14 and Up
Enjoyment Level: Dragons!

I LOVE dragons! If you’re one of the blog’s long-time subscribers, you probably know that by now. How exciting is it for me to see another dragon book? It’s like it’s here just for me!

From GoodReads:

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Even though I didn’t get the ARC myself, I read the one my sister had. I couldn’t wait! I raced through the book pretty quickly, shelving several things I needed to do that day. That should tell you pretty solidly that the story sucked me in. Bliss!

I love Jacinda. What a great character. She feels so real, and her emotions come across so well. The dynamic she has with her family and the other people around her is natural, and not once did I feel snapped out of the world by anything awkward. Though there were times I wished Jacinda would see something I did, or do something I wanted her to do, it was never out of frustration with the author. I felt so in tune with Jacinda that I wanted the best for her.

The other characters are all fleshed out well. The various depictions of family create an interesting backdrop for the story, and cause plenty of tension throughout the book. Jacinda’s love interest, Will, is amazing, and I totally want to meet him in real life.

Only one thing kept me from giving this a five-star rating on GoodReads, and that was the ending – and only because I’m so tired of cliffhanger endings. It’s not even that Firelight has a cliffhanger, but it really feels like one to me, where there are several plot points that weren’t resolved at the end. It’s mostly frustrating just because I have to wait, wait, wait for the sequel.

Now it's your turn to read it! We're giving away an autographed copy of Firelight (massive cheering can now ensue). Just follow the rules below. Deadline to enter is October 13, 2010.

  • Follow the blog or our twitter.
  • Tweet, facebook, or blog about this contest.
  • Leave a comment on this post with your name, age, link to tweet/fb/blog, and the reason you'd like to win.
That's it. And be sure to check out my interview with Sophie Jordan on the podcast. Good Luck!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

(photo by