Monday, October 31, 2011


I'm not usually a big fan of book trailers, but believe me, this one is smokin' hot!!  I've been one of Lani Wendt Young's followers for a while now (if you're not, you should really check her out--she's fantastic).  Here's the trailer for her new book Telesa: The Covenant Keeper.

Awesome, right???  I'm a huge fan of strong women, fresh ancient mythology, and fire (Who can resist those hypnotic flames?), so this book was already firing on all cylinders for me.  Now, with the trailer, I'm even more excited!

Hope you guys enjoyed it, and Telesa is definitely at the top of my TBR pile :D

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

Two things initially kept me from reading this book (even after I bought it):

1) The comparisons to The Hunger Games

2) My fear that all Dystopians have crappy endings

Number two I think is understandable.  I've only read a few Dystopians--only two that I've loved, more that I didn't--and one of my big pet peeves is the unhappy/hopeless endings.  What?!? You know it's true.  I know just by calling a book "Dystopian" that things aren't going to be all candy hearts and warm fuzzies, but that doesn't mean the end can't be satisfying.

That brings me back to my number one.  Oh, Suzanne Collins…you so won me over.  You lifted the veil, invited me into Katniss's brutal world, and made me fall in love with her and it.  Here's how the conversation used to go--Question: "Do you read Dystopian?" My answer: "Not if I can help it."  The conversion from Dystopian hater to lover can be narrowed down to three words: The Hunger Games, and maybe even just one: Peeta.  When I picked up Divergent by Veronica Roth, I was just coming off my Hunger Games high, and I didn't want to chance disliking it simply b/c it didn't stand up to one of the best series I'd ever read.

But when I finally gave in, I was happily surprised.

I can see where all the comparisons come from, but instead of feeling like Divergent was a Hunger Games wannabe, I was instantly drawn in by the characters, the world, and the choice that determined everything.

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior isn't allowed to look at herself in the mirror.  Her clothes are a muted slate gray, the same as the rest of the "stiffs" in Abnegation.  Selflessness above all; that's the faction's motto.  But as much as she tries, Beatrice isn't as selfless as she should be.  When the time comes, Beatrice must choose which faction she will belong to for the rest of her life.  Five factions, five possible choices: Abnegation (the selfless), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), and Dauntless (the brave).  The outcome of Beatrice's choice leads to a new name, a grueling initiation process, newfound friends (and enemies), and the discovery of a plot by one faction to overthrow another.  Tris's secret could save them all…if she isn't killed first.

I enjoyed the book's mix of adventure, personal discovery, and romance.  Tris and Four were great together.  I loved how Tris stood up for Four and how Four always recognized Tris's inner-strength.  I look forward to seeing how their relationship develops in the next book.  One of my favorite character quirks was that Tris really wasn't perfect.  She was selfish at times--and I wanted to reach out and make her do the right thing, feel more sympathy, not look down on others for their weaknesses.  But that just wasn't who she was.  I didn't love how quick things happened in the end.  Some things seemed to be thrown in simply to up the drama (especially unnecessary character deaths) or to clear the slate for the next book.

Overall, a great read, and  Divergent definitely gets added to the "Dystopians I Liked" category J

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hi, everyone!  Follow Friday's here again, and I'm really lovin' this week's question :D But before I get to that, the features for this week are Book Savy Babe and The Bursting Bookshelf.  The Follow is hosted by two of the coolest ladies around, Parajunkee and Alison.

Q: What superhero is your alter-ego?

Okay, so I'm not going to pretend I had to even think about this one.  Although there are a ton of great superheroes out there, I am totally Rogue from X-Men.  Hands down, no question.  She can drain people of their life force and steal their powers at the same time--which basically means that she can have any power she wants.  Heroes tried to create a male Rogue, but there's no contest.  Peter Petrelli eat your heart out :D

Plus, I still have a bit of a crush on Gambit, so... Don't know how I'd react if a guy with a New Orleans drawl called me his "Chere" ;)

Hope you all have a great weekend,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GEEK GIRL by Cindy C. Bennett

Confession time: I don't know if you've noticed, but as much as I like reading about kick-a** heroines and rough, take-no-prisoners type heroes, I'm kinda…well…a geek.  Yeah, I said it.  Ninjas are people, too, and if it wasn't obvious by the manga-style avatar, well I'm saying it straight up.


Phew, glad I got that out of the way.  I've only read one other book provided by NetGalley, but that one was fantastic, so I decided to request my second book.  Part of the reason I was drawn to Geek Girl by Cindy Bennett was the title.  The other part was the plot, which I simply couldn't resist.

A Goth, a geek, and a bet to turn a good boy "bad."  What could possibly go wrong?

Jen's clothes are too tight, her skirts too short, her heavy make-up just this side of slutty.  Life's gotten stale for the tough-talking Goth, and she's in desperate need of a challenge.  Trevor may not be hot, but he's okay…for a geek.   When she makes a bet with her friends to turn the good boy "bad," Jen has no doubts about her ability to bring him over to the dark side.  But the more she hangs out with the geek, the more she likes him.  And falling for Trevor and his spazzy ways was definitely not part of the plan.

I couldn't help but like Jen.  In the beginning, she's a total manipulator, intent on seducing Trevor for fun, laughing about it with her friends, throwing herself at him at every opportunity.  But instead of coming off as cruel or hard-hearted, she simply seemed flawed.  After being tossed from family to family, Jen made a choice: Leave them before they can leave her.  Her snarky attitude and bad behavior were her way of taking control of her life.  Despite her appearance, Jen wears her Goth clothes like armor.  If she doesn't let herself get attached, then she can't get hurt.

But despite her best efforts, Trevor makes his way past her defenses and into her heart.  There was no way Jen couldn't fall for Trevor.  His honesty and fearlessness to be his SciFi-loving self were refreshing.  There's no way any fan of YA romance will be able to resist Trevor and Jen's unconventional yet beautiful relationship.  The pairing of the Geek and the Goth was fun and heartbreaking at times, but it was completely unique.

I loved how the two characters rubbed off on each other.  I loved how both Jen and Trevor were brave in different ways.  They gave each other permission to be themselves.  The focus not just on romance but on family and character development reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Scott's writing, and that is one of the highest compliments I can give.

I'm so glad to see Geek Girl is being re-released in paperback (with this freaking amazing cover) b/c although I got the galley, I'd really like to own the book.  If you like Elizabeth Scott, you are sure to love this book.  Geek Girl went beyond my expectations, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for Bennett's next one J

Happy reading all,

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TUNE IN TUESDAY--Soundtrack Edition

Hey, everyone!  Tune in Tuesday is a meme hosted by Greads which showcases music (and with all the book soundtracks floating around now, we all know how inspiring the right song can be).

This week is the Soundtrack Edition so I decided to post a new song I found on the recently released Warrrior motion picture soundtrack (About Today by The National) as well as a song and scene from My So Called Life that has always been one of my faves (Late At Night by Buffalo Tom).  Ah, Jordan were kind of a jerk/stoner, you wore a lot of plaid and couldn't read, but when you took Angela's hand...*sigh*  Buffalo Tom's lyrics and this scene were made for each other :o)  Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed my picks!

Ninja Girl

Friday, October 14, 2011


Matthew MacNish and Alex J. Cavanaugh are the masterminds behind this lovely new blog hop.  The idea of Pay It Foward is to do just that.  We meet, greet, and follow all the great people in the blog-o-sphere.  It's about sharing the love people!

Below I've listed three fantastic blogs you may not be following (but I follow a ton of great blogs):

1) Parajunkee--You've probably already heard of her, but if you haven't Parajunkee's View is the blog to follow.  Great book reviews, priceless blogging tips, and fantastic giveaways.  The woman rocks. Period.

2) Falen Formulates Fiction--Sarah's a cool chick with great, insightful posts about the writing process and one of the cutest pups I've ever seen.

3) Jenni Elyse--What can I say??  Jenni loves books, I love books.  She's a great lady with a fun blog and one of the best banners I've seen.

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and alisoncanread.  This week's features are Confuzzled Books and Life Between Pages. Two very good-looking blogs.  Go check them out.

Q: If you could have characters from a book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a TV series, which characters would you choose and why?

So, I'm a really bad person apparently because I'd love nothing more than to see the brothers from BDB show up in a Vampire Diaries episode and kick some pretty boy a** :D
Brooding looks, tight jeans, bad hair and pretty eyes? The Black Dagger Brotherhood don't play that.  Give me some leather and shitkickers paired with a face scarred to hell and a bad attitude.  I want to see what's left of the Salvatore brothers after Zsadist and his crew get through with them.  (P.S. I'm not usually this violent...)

Have a great week everyone!

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SPIDER'S BITE by Jennifer Estep

Annnnd another fantastic urban fantasy series to add to my list of favorites J

I can't even tell you how much I loved this book.  When I say I'm adding it to my favorites, it's in some seriously good UF company. Charlaine Harris and Patricia Briggs meet Jennifer Estep whose books are about to make a place on my shelves right next to yours.

Spider's Bite was a thrill ride from start to finish.  Seriously, I could not put it down!  Everything from character to plot to romance was enticing and well done and totally badass.  But with Gin Blanco as the main character there was never any doubt that there'd be some serious bad assery in this book.

Gin Blanco (aka The Spider) is the biggest, baddest, best assassin in the South.  She has a talent for trouble, a heart of stone, and a deadly strike that never misses.  You don't mess with her unless you want to get dead--but when someone sets her up, Gin never sees it coming.  When one of her clients sends a second assassin to kill her and tortures her mentor to death, The Spider uses all the tricks of the trade to hunt down her prey.  Detective Donovan Caine, the only good cop left in a town gone bad, rouses feelings in Gin she shouldn't be having--especially since she killed his partner a few years back.  But if working with Caine will help her find the Air elemental that killed her friend, she'll do it.  The Spider always gets her man--and this time she's out for blood.

Gin was such a great character, with such a clear yet complex motivation, that I couldn't help but love her.  Actually, I was rooting her from page one and the connection only grew stronger throughout the book.  You really shouldn't love someone who's an assassin, but I dare anyone to read this book and not fall in love with Gin Balnco.  Sure, she kills people, but if you'll notice Estep did something kinda sneaky--and smart.  In the book, Gin only kills sleazebags who deserve it (mostly people who prey on young kids).  Life's given her some pretty hard knocks, but Gin was one tough cookie.  And I do love me some cookies lol J

Now, I will say one of things that I didn't love was Detective Donovan Caine.  Although I'd put Estep's writing right up there with Harris and Briggs in every other respect, I didn't love her male leads.  I liked Finn as a friend for Gin, but Caine just didn't do it for me.  I wanted to see him step up, kick the crap out of some lowlife or do what needed to be done without Gin having to convince him.  Basically what I'm saying is Caine wasn't good enough for Gin ;)  But hopefully he'll get better in the following books.

I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.  It is an adult urban fantasy, though, so younger readers beware.  But if you are old enough to read it, I'd say go for it.  You won't regret it!

Happy Reading,

Ninja Girl

*Side note: In the book, Gin works at a place called the Pork Pit located in Tennessee.  One of my friends from high school actually worked at a place called the Pork Pit in TN J Small world, huh?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ISLE OF NIGHT by Veronica Wolff


First off, let me say that I did like this book.  I did.  I'll probably read the second one b/c no matter what problems I had, I love me some YA paranormal and the fact that it's a series just makes me want to keep reading.  What can I say?  When it comes to paranormal series, I'm addicted.  I hate not knowing what happens next J

So, onto Isle of Night.

I initially found the book on Goodreads (pretty much knew I was going to buy after reading the description), but then I started seeing a whole bunch of reviews.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the book but had one underlying problem: Despite her genius IQ, Annelise does some pretty stupid things in the beginning.  Prime example: Accepting a ride from a stranger (who just happens to be mysterious/uber-hot and knows her name before she gives it).  Yeah, not exactly genius behavior, but Ronan's pull over Annelise was later explained, so I didn't have a big problem with that.

What I did have a slight problem with was what happened once she got to the Isle of Night.  Okay, so here's the deal: Annelise and a bunch of other young females are rounded up by these people called Tracers (see uber-hot guy Ronan) who bring them to the Isle where they battle each other, academically and physically, for the right to protect…vampires.  My question the entire time was this: Why would they want to protect the vamps?  Sure, it was life or death.  Once there, the girls couldn't just say no and go home.  They had to train to survive, become stronger than the girl next to them, fight for their lives.  But in the end, what is going to make them want to protect their captors, the vampires?

In this first one, though, it's all about survival, so I tried to overlook certain things.  Annelise, it turns out, is very good at surviving.  She's lived through an abusive home life and has a great sense of self-preservation that I love to see in a young female.  No giving in for her, Annelise was a fighter through and through.  Even if she didn't have the physical strength of some of the other girls, she never gave up, and it was one of my favorite things about her.

The romance was there, but it wasn't overwhelming.  I loved Ronan, but, like Annelise, I found myself drawn to Master Alcantara, the intelligent/powerful vamp who told Ronan to bring Annelise to the Isle.  I know he was supposed to be creepy and all, but was I seriously supposed to be put off?  Thick, black hair, mysterious eyes, a man who "radiated power"?  Yes, please.  I can't wait to see him stand up for Annelise.  I want him to unleash that power on some poor unsuspecting who tries to mess with his carino, and I want it to be bold and bloody and unforgiving.  What?????  I just want him to use his power for good J

Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed the book.  It was a quick, easy read.  Could've done with a little more explanation, more action instead of exposition, but it was a good book.  Series addict that I am, I'll go back for the next one.

Hope everyone's having a great week,

Ninja Girl

P.S. You know what would be even better than Alcantara defending Annelise?  How about Annelise protecting him instead?  I'd love to see her surprise us and him :)