Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The greatest love story ever told is a lie.

I'm just going to go ahead and say that I loved Stacey Jay's Juliet Immortal.  Loved it!!  The book was so unexpected, such a great read.  The idea of Romeo and Juliet being (im)mortal enemies, fighting each other throughout time for the souls of true soul mates, Juliet for light, Romeo for dark.  That plot just sang and when I picked it up to read (after that too-flowery first chapter), I was all in.

The second chapter was where it really took off for me.  When Juliet lands in the body of Ariel Dragland, the girl's memories assault her.  The guy in the seat next to her--who besides being a total tool looks a little…well…dead--made a bet on how quick he could get into Ariel's pants.  When the skeeze starts waking up, Juliet discovers something that's never happened, not in three hundred years: Romeo's taken over the body next to her, and before she can say a word, his hands are around her throat.

Juliet's escape is filled with tension.  Blood, fighting, and a few of Shakespeare's best lines whispered by a very homicidal Romeo to his "love."  It set the tone perfectly, introduced the conflict/plot and our two leads, their eternal feud.  Though she was fleeing for her life, my money was on Juliet all the way.

The introduction of Ben was probably my favorite.  It was so freaking fantastic: Juliet's on the run for her life; the Mercenary Romeo is hot on her heels; and suddenly a savior arrives.  He's kind but has a past, good-looking with a crooked nose and gentle hands that get Juliet's pulse racing.  The part where he says "And I won't let anyone else hurt you either" is…*sigh*  I loved the way Jay wrote Juliet and Ben.  The parts where they were together were the best imo; the plot that I'd loved so much initially actually took a back seat once their relationship picked up.

I've been reading books lately that seemed "too long," but this one was a good length.  It wasn't too long, but there was enough there to sink your teeth into.  I found the ending satisfying; it wasn't my favorite part, but I wasn't left wanting anything.  And that really is saying something b/c there were so many (SO many) ways this one could go.  The book wrapped up pretty quick, was perhaps a little too tidy, but I'd rather have that than loose ends.

The plot was there; the emotional conflict was heartbreaking at times; the romance was terrific.  I enjoyed Juliet immensely, glad I picked it up.  Am thinking Stacey Jay may be a ninja author in Shakespearean disguise J

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

POSSESSION by Elana Johnson

Possession by Elana Johnson is about one girl's fight to control her own life.

There are plenty of other things going on the novel--a dystopian society led by Thinkers, a best friend/boyfriend who's been brainwashed, a Baddie named Jag with great hair and a dangerous disregard for the rules, enough missing family members to make any reader say, "What the heck?"--but the main struggle is Vi's bid for independence.

The jacket summary was golden.  In Vi's world, girls are not allowed to walk with boys.  Kissing?  Don't even think about it.  There's no wiggle room.  What the Thinkers say is law, and you follow it.  Period.  Yet even with the voice inside her head telling her what not to do (the Thinker just won't shut up and let Vi think for herself), the teen still refuses to listen.  Each time she breaks the rules, it goes down on her record, and this time she's broken one too many.

She's captured their attention--and they want her.  But Vi's not the type of girl to be taken easily.  She goes on the run with Jag, begins to fall for him.  But with the constant threat of the Thinkers looming over their heads, Vi's not sure who to trust--certainly not Jag, probably not Zenn, maybe not even herself with that voice inside her head.  Like the jaket says, it's a game of control or be controlled--but Vi's not sure she wants to do either.

The story was interesting.  I've always loved seeing young female heroines stand up and take on The Man (aka The Thinkers).  The romance with Jag was solid.  He was sarcastic enough to match up perfectly with Vi, who had an instant and believable attraction to the bad boy.  Jag was a rule breaker with a ton of secrets and a thing about hair, but like Vi, I was into him and his "Jag-winner smile" from the start.

The thing I missed was getting to see Vi and Zenn's relationship pre-brainwashing.  From the summary, I thought that's where the story would start, but it wasn't.  I know through Vi's thoughts who Zenn used to be, but I'd have love to see the transformation.  As much as I liked Jag, I got the feeling I'd have probably been on Team Zenn J  What??? Ninjas always go for the underdog people!

The book felt a little drawn out.  I didn't think Jag and Vi needed to be running so long, and I wasn't a big fan of the final showdown.  After all that evasion, I expected something more climactic, more struggle, more action (but that could've just been me).  On the cover, there's a quote from James Dashner that mentions how much he loved the end. Well...I'm going to be honest and say it wasn't how I wanted it to go.  (Don't worry; no spoilers here)  Like I said, I was a huge fan of Vi and her strength, her will to save herself.  In the end Vi made a choice--and it was her choice--but I thought she could've chosen better.  For me, it felt a little like giving up L

There is a second book, though--Surrender--and I'm sure it'll be great and (hopefully) have a more satisfying finish.  Good book, good characters, interesting world.  I'd recommend it, and I'd love to hear what you guys thought about the end.

Have a great one,

Ninja Girl

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Hey there! If I wasn't excited enough about completing my book, I found this lovely award, courtesy of TG over at What I Read and What I Thought, just sitting there in my comments section :D  I really do love the spirit behind these blogger awards, and I can't wait to pass it on to five of my faves!

The Liebster Blog Award is for those fantastic blogs that have yet to reach the 200 follower count.  As TG said, "up and coming bloggers" who have yet to be discovered by all the wonderful people out there in the blogging community.  I, for one, am so happy I started this blog; it's introduced me to some great people, allowed me to express my opinions (and get feedback on those opinions ;)), and I've gotten some of the best recommendations on books.  What more can a ninja ask for?

Here are my five picks for those bloggers you might not have found yet, but who are just too good to pass up!

1) What I Read and What I Thought -- TG is awesome you guys! I don't know why she doesn't have more followers, but believe me when I say, if you're not following her, you are missing out.  Her reviews are tops, and she's a thoughtful and entertaining reviewer/commenter.  She's also got a great giveaway on right now for a copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  Go on over there and help her reach that 100 mark!!

2) The Write Obssession -- Lan is another blogger I just love! The questions on her blog always give me pause, make me think about questions as a writer I just hadn't considered.  And her reviews are stellar!

3) SLEEPLESS IN SOMOA -- Lani Wendt Young is so funny it'll make your stomach ache (in the best way possible, I promise ;)) Her stories about writing and her family and just everything on her blog is so entertaining! I love to go over there and see her posts.  Plus, she's a writer and somoan; we have many a thing in common!

4) Cup of Tea Reviews -- Three girls with great thoughts on books and great recommendations! I love to get recs, and I've already found a few off of their blog.  If you haven't already, go check them out :)

5) Once Upon A Prologue -- Another very cool lady!  Molli has great taste in books (very similar to my own), so I love checking out what she has to say.  Her blog has a terrific, inviting look to it, and her reviews are wonderful.

So, there you have it! Thank you so much again TG for nominating me, and thanks to all my followers for following ;)  It is a very good day to be a ninja!

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ANGEL BURN by L.A. Weatherly

The jacket summary drew me immediately.  Something about heaven and souls, a girl with a "gift," an assassin, an impossible romance--all that's like ninja literary candy you guys.  How could I resist???  Even if it was hardcover and cost eighteen bucks (yikes!), I knew the book was going home with me.  The summary was intriguing in a vague sort of way, but still hit on a lot of the things I look for in a great paranormal read.  The cover, too, as you can see is gorgeous and I just loved the author's penname (Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly…now, doesn't that make you want to dive right on in there?)

I don't usually do this (I try to summarize as best I can on my own, using my personal brand of ninja flair ;)), but just so you can see what I'm talking about:


Willow knows she's different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars.  Willow has a gift.  She can look into the future and know people's dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them.  She has no idea where this power comes from.  But the assassin, Alex, does.  Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does.  He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them.  When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

My friends that is straight off the inside cover, and if it doesn't make you want to read it, then the first pages will.  The book's the first in a series, and I have to say, it was pretty good.  Burn set things up really nicely, established a clear setting, conflict, and characters with hefty doses of action and romance thrown in.  The changing POVs was a little confusing, but the plot was straightforward and well done.

The story features angels--real angels, wings and all, here on Earth--and turns everything we think we know about them upside down.  They play on human infatuation--even establish a Church of the Angels (think big, cultist community)--and then feed on their followers, leaving them enthralled but severely damaged mentally/physically.  These are not pure, saint-like creatures.  They're downright evil, and it's up to Alex and his dwindling band of assassins to save humanity before the angels take over.

A few things I liked were the romance (didn't move too fast), the idea (Evil Angels + Epic Plot + Impossible Romance = One Happy Ninja!), and the scale of the story (the scary churchgoers/fanatics reminded me of some of Charlaine Harris's best writing, definitely a plus).  Some things I didn’t like: The book was about fifty pages too long, the ending wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be, and Willow was fifteen throughout at least half of the book.  I thought that was a little too young to be getting so hot and heavy for a guy (but Alex was the same age…and they didn't actually do the deed, BUT…I guess, I'm just kind of a prude *shrugs*).

I enjoyed it but like I said: TOO LONG!  If you're into angels, you might also want to check out Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush,Hush or Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood (this last one's adult PR, so not rec'd for kids). Just finished my third novel last week (HAPPY DANCE J).

Happy reading all,

Ninja Girl

Friday, August 12, 2011


It's been a couple weeks since I've done a Follow Friday, but I'm glad I got in on this one!  The feature this week is Steph Likes Books, a blog I personally am very excited about (being a fan of all things YA myself), and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison!  Hope everyone hops around to see all the great blogs that are out there :)

Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?

I didn't really read as a teen (unless you count those awful books they made us read in school :/).  Actually, the only books I probably read back then were the Harry Potter books--which isn't too shabby of a start lol!  I mean, does it get any better than J.K. Rowling??

My reading habits really changed when I realized that reading can be a very pleasurable experience, that novels really could transport you to a different world, that words could create pictures just as vivid as the ones we see on the big screen.  Currently, I'm very into YA (of course), urban fantasy/paranormal/steampunk (again, obvious), but I'd really love to find some really good contemporary fiction, YA or adult.  I know there are fantastic books set in the real world, without all the superpowers/magic and whatnot, but when I go to the store, I'm just not seeing them.  In that category, I love Meg Cabot, Elizabeth Scott, Susan Elizabeth Phillips etc.  If you have any recs (in any category), I'm all ears ;)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Ninja Girl

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HEARTLESS by Gail Carriger


1.  Gail Carriger
2.  Gail Carriger
3.  Gail Carriger, Gail Carriger, Gail Carriger!!!

Man, I just love her writing.  This author is incredibly quirky/unique.  Whenever a new novel of hers comes out it's like I just know: It's going to be ridiculously good.

Heartless, the fourth book featuring Alexia and her parasol, was a great addition to the series.  These books are like little gems winking at me from the shelves.  The covers are exceptional, perfect font and coloring, Victorian in feel with a splash of edge that brings them into the 21st Century.  (And the clothes are gorgeous!)

Beyond a great sense of Steampunk style, she has a knack for characters names.  I mean, seriously, Alexia Tarabotti, Ivy Hisselpenny, Lord Akeldama, Madame Lefoux, Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings???  I about died laughing when I heard that last one for the first time.  Channing is actually a favorite of mine, and I hope he'll appear more in future books J

Conall Maccon isn't the best name of the bunch, but what Lord Maccon lacks in name ingenuity, he more than makes up for in character.  He's smart.  He's hot.  He's a werewolf.  And he's got a Scottish brogue that only comes out when he's in a temper (and/or feeling frisky *winks*).  In Heartless, Conall shows his softer side, dealing with a new addition to the Woosley pack--who's having, shall we say, identity issues?--and assuming the role of doting husband, still retaining his passion for Alexia (even though the "infant-inconvenience" makes her as big as a dirigible.)

Who wouldn't love a guy/werewolf like that?

Conall Love Fest officially complete--now, back to Heartless.  It was a good setup:  A very pregnant Alexia gets a message from a ghost, a threat actually on Queen Victoria's life, and she decides, quite pragmatically, not to let the infant-inconvenience get in the way of her duties as mujah.  Her search for the killer lands her in some unexpected situations.  She gets attacked by zombie porcupines, spends a good deal of time in Lord Akeldama's back parlor, and causes an all-out rush on hairmuffs perfect for dirigible travel.

One of my favorite parts of the book was finding out what happened to my poor Biffy.  I've got a real soft spot for that dandy.  I was worried after the last book, and I'm glad Carriger didn't just hang him out to dry.  There are plenty of people to love in the Soulless series, but I've been pulling for Biffy since book one.

I had a few issues with characters' decisions, was a bit disappointed in a few of them, but I still loved it.  Waiting for the arrival of Timeless in March 2012 is gonna be torture L

Totally looking forward to it though J

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THE VAMPIRE STALKER by Allison Van Diepen

I know, I know, The Vampire Stalker?  I wasn't really vibing on the title either (though it is a little funny/ironic considering all the love paranormally/supernaturally things are getting), but the hook was what drew me.

Amy's in love with Alexander Banks, the brooding heartthrob vampire hunter from the books she loves so well.  He's brave, bad-ass and completely fictional--until the night he saves her life.  When Alexander slips through the pages into the real world (along with his evil-doer counterpart Vigo, a majorly nasty vamp who Alexander has been chasing since forever), Amy's crush is no longer an impossible fantasy.  With Vigo on the loose, there's not much time for romance.  He's out for blood, and Alexander enlists Amy's help to bring him down, dead or alive (preferably dead).  As they work together, Amy discovers that the real Alexander isn't exactly the guy she fell in love with--he's better.

What really made me look at the book in the first place was the idea of a fictional character come to life.  Fess up people.  Who here hasn't ever considered it, your favorite MCs come to life?  Especially your literary crushes?  I know many a woman who'd want to spend a day or two with Mr. Darcy/Captain Wentworth/Eric/Bill/Adam/Samuel/Stephan/Conall/Edward/Jacob/Morelli/Ranger/Any and all of the Brothers from BDB J

It's a great idea, and on Allison Van Diepen's site, she said she came up with it after watching the video "Take on Me," by Aha.  Being completely in love with that timeless 80s classic, my curiosity was instantly peaked.  I love the way Van Diepen described the two best friends in this book, especially Katie.  I love that she played hockey and was woman enough to defend Amy and take on a vamp with a stick.  Very cool chick.  The book's written in first POV, from Amy's perspective, so I really liked her, too.  My problem was Alexander's development.  If you're going to do this kind of story, I think it's important to make the fictional crush as irresistible to the reader as he is to your MC.  Can't say that really happened, but I still enjoyed the book.  There was quite a bit you had to take at face value, some implausibility in how fast the cops believed Amy, but overall it was a good, quick, enjoyable read.

I'd recommend it to younger YA readers.  There are hints of romance, but not too much of the mushy stuff.  If you like the concept and want something with a little more edge, I'd tell you to go check out Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  It's also a quick read, but it's got more grit (and I loved Jess and AubreyJ).  And because it really is timeless…

Question: What literary crush would you want to spend the day with?

Have a great week everyone,

Ninja Girl

Monday, August 1, 2011


Hey everyone!

If you wanted something fun to do today (and the chance to win some REALLY AWESOME PRIZES!!!) head over to Colleen Houck's blog and get in on the YA Scavenger Hunt!

The author who is hosting Kady Cross has a great excerpt of her next book THE GIRL IN THE CLOCKWORK COLLAR posted for everyone to read :)

Anyhoo, just thought y'all might be interested in some book swag (btw just learned that word!).

Happy scavenging,

Ninja Girl

P.S. It's only open until midnight today, so hurry and enter some of the fantastic giveaways! And if you win let me know, so we can do a happy dance together ^__^