Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Titles- The Votes Are In!

Well, raise your hand if you're surprised, but here are the titles Blog with Bite will be reading and reviewing in March:

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost is book 1! Review Deadline: March 14th, 2010
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa is book 2! Review Deadline March 29th 2010

Timelines for posting and linking reviews will be coming shortly. Also, stay tuned for extra special content for Vampire Week next week, celebrating the release of Hourglass by Claudia Gray!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Firespell - HBIC Review by Parajunkee

H B I C R E V I E W  - by Parajunkee

Firespell (Dark Elite, Book 1) Firespell (Dark Elite, Book 1) by Chloe Neill

This book purchased with my own moolah (kindle version).

PJV's QUICKIE POV: I was very impressed with Some Girls Bite, so I think I had overly high expectations for this book, which led to a bit of disappointment. The book was entertaining, well-written and enjoyable, but it wasn't very original.

Review: Lily has been abandoned by her parents because of a two year research hiatus in Germany. They send her to Chicago, and an all-girl's private school called St. Sophia's.  Away from her friends, away from her parents, and to a world of old money and a lot of secrets.

Immediately she is introduced to Scout, one of her new roommates, and they become fast friends.  Fast enemies are also formed as she is judged and proved unworthy by the brat pack. In typical Mean Girls style they try and trick her and the insults fly around like mosquitoes in June. All the while, Scout is running around in the middle of the night and is obviously lying about something.  The headmistress, Foley lets slip that her parents might also be lying to her about their careers, and even her new crush interest might not be what he appears.

As Lily is sucked deeper and deeper into the world of St. Sophias and Scout's world, her life might never be the same.

Mean Girls meets The Covenant.  Without the weanie bikinis...let's pause for eye candy.

When they got into the meat and potatoes of this novel all I thought was The Covenant, with a few revisions. The brat pack was very typical in their behavior, reminiscent of Mean Girls and all those other movies that has a trio of ridiculous and well dressed bitches. Like I said earlier, I was entertained, and will probably read the second novel, but it was much like watching a Miley Cyrus movie. Entertaining if you don't think too hard about it.

My problems with this book lay within the plot.  Friends that Lily had and missed in Sagamore were quickly forgotten after a text message and introduction to the crush interest. Lily and Scout also became fast friends without any kind of development. It was like "Your my future BFF." "Ok." It just lacked the depth of character and relationship building that Neill's Chicagoland books possess.  I hope the second novel is better. Once again, though, excellent writing and I can see that this series might have a great future.

Recommendations: Nothing to worry about parents, book is completely innocent. Recommended for younger teens and all the way up to the adults.

2/4 BWB Rater

  1. Lily and Jason.  Discuss. What do you think the next book holds for them? 
    1. Well they will probably finally hook up.  I'm predicting that they might have a few issues with Lily maybe being destined to be evil or something. Which will probably lead to some relationship issues between them. 
  2. Lily & Scout's friendship had a lot of secrets, so in the end who did you relate to more, Lily or Scout? How about Lesley or Veronica? Would you hang with the brat pack or be a loner?
    1. I related to Lily more of course. The character of Scout was not as developed as I would have thought. Lesley was like a non-entity, and Veronica was just a typical snob queen.  I would most likely be a loner.
  3. What do think of the overwhelming trend in YA literature where the parents of the protagonists are either- dead, strung out or shipping their children off to boarding schools? Do you think this is a real look at parents today and what teens are dealing with?
    1. I think it might happen more these days than before, especially with  people having to work harder these days and more single parent homes. It might not be typical, but neither is witchcraft.
  4. Follow up to parental question.  Authors employ the missing parents to mature their teenage protagonist. The protagonist doesn't have the option to act as an irresponsible teen, because they do not have any parental supervision.  Did you find Lily's behaviour normal for a teenager, or more mature than most?
    1. Lily showed some maturity that I don't think many teenagers might posses, especially since she wasn't used to the parental abandonment, which would mature a teen. 

HBIC Review Firespell

HBIC Review Firespell by Chloe Neill posted by Tina @ Tinasbookreviews

Memorable quote:

Do you have any idea what wearing blue did for a boy with already ridiculously blue eyes………………add that to a face already too pretty for anyone’s good, and you had a dangerous combination. The boy was completely en fuego.
Page 133 (Lily’s thoughts on Jason)

En Fuego….I love it…..and that’s about as on fire as this book got. Not to say I didn’t like Lily’s adventure I think Chloe Neill is a fabulous writer and story teller- but there were some problems in the book that I had a hard time getting past. First the book starts out a bit slow…I really didn’t connect until about page 98 and during those pages getting to that point I was having a serious case of ADD. Secondly the dialog of the characters seemed a bit off for teenage banter. I mean Scully and Phil Collins were old when I was high school and I’m no spring chicken. {Side note-Also what’s up with every YA character lately being a vegetarian….I mean Lily eats toast and a veggie wrap for a days nutrition- holy Moses that’s like a snack between lunch and dinner……..end side note}

Regardless, I was invested in the outcome of the book and found myself enjoying the meatier parts of the story. Once we get some background on what reepers are and the whole society living under the tunnels the story turns into one that is highly entertaining.

Lily is certainly a compelling and mature character for a YA novel. She struggles with being the new girl and with issues of parental abandonment. I loved the friendship between Lilly and Scout, which felt authentic. Another gift to Neill’s writing is her quality of friendships in her characters. As for the other characters, Jason (Lily’s potential) lacked depth and development. I mean he had smoking hot eyes but I felt that he didn’t connect to Lily and furthermore I didn’t see or feel the chemistry between them. Otherwise, the remaining characters like Scout, Michael and Ms. Foley hold out for hope of great side plots.

The ending leaves us readers with a huge cliff-hanger with many questions ........say why does Lily have the power she has, where the heck are her parents, when do we get to see Jason shift, why does there seem to be something up with Veronica, whats up with Ms. Foley...... and then not to mention all the love blossoming that's unresolved, which I’m sure will be addressed in the future installments.


I must give props to Ms. Neill in creating an entertaining read without the use of graphic language or sex scenes. Recommended for 13 and up.

2.5/4  YA- Paranormal

BWB Discussion Questions

1. Lily and Jason. Discuss. What do you think the next book holds for them?

Like I said in my review- I don’t think Jason and Lily had any chemistry apart from the fact that he is suppose to be really good-looking. I think the future could spice things up for them so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some sizzling chemistry induced installments.

2. Lily & Scout's friendship had a lot of secrets, so in the end who did you relate to more, Lily or Scout? How about Lesley or Veronica? Would you hang with the brat pack or be a loner?

I think I related to Lily more and only because she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders-apart from the hanging with the snots a few times- her choices seemed mature for her age. I really wasn’t like any of these girls portrayed in the book so saying I would make them my friends I guess I’d have to pick Lesley. When I went to high school it was so huge there really wasn’t a particular brat pack- I mean we had cheerleaders but you just had to find a group that fit you. I’d choose loner before I hung out with snobs. And let’s all be honest here- if your writing book reviews, you’re probably not the snobbish type…..(:D)

3. What do think of the overwhelming trend in YA literature where the parents of the protagonists are either- dead, strung out or shipping their children off to boarding schools? Do you think this is a real look at parents today and what teens are dealing with?

It would be nice to see more books handling this area with more reality. I think there are kids out there from very wealthy families who get sent to boarding school or tucked away in places where mom and dad are non-existent. But even if the parents are out of the situation most teens at least have a guardian of some type. YA is very unpopular for responsible parents I’ve only come across a few that showcased parents in a positive light- the best one being Impossible by Nancy Werlin.

4. Follow up to parental question. Authors employ the missing parents to mature their teenage protagonist. The protagonist doesn't have the option to act as an irresponsible teen, because they do not have any parental supervision. Did you find Lily's behavior normal for a teenager, or more mature than most?

I think she was a typical teen, perhaps a little more mature than the average high school gal, but teenagers do possess the ability to make good choices and know what direction they want their lives to take. My favorite part in the book was when Lily finally stood up to Veronica- it was awesome and took guts!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Firespell's Discussion Questions

  1. Lily and Jason.  Discuss. What do you think the next book holds for them?
  2. Lily & Scout's friendship had a lot of secrets, so in the end who did you relate to more, Lily or Scout? How about Lesley or Veronica? Would you hang with the brat pack or be a loner?
  3. What do think of the overwhelming trend in YA literature where the parents of the protagonists are either- dead, strung out or shipping their children off to boarding schools? Do you think this is a real look at parents today and what teens are dealing with?
  4. Follow up to parental question.  Authors employ the missing parents to mature their teenage protagonist. The protagonist doesn't have the option to act as an irresponsible teen, because they do not have any parental supervision.  Did you find Lily's behaviour normal for a teenager, or more mature than most?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Firespell: HBIC Review from Emily @ What Book is That?

Title: Firespell
Author: Chloe Neill
Page Count: 246 pages
Publisher: Signet
Genre: urban fantasy, young adult
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less: Lily Parker thinks spending her last two years of high school at fancy-dancy St. Sophia's School for Girls is going to be pure boredom, start to finish. She could not possibly have been more wrong.

I've gone on record here saying how much I love Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series- the wit, the sarcasm, the characters, the unique take on a pretty well traveled narrative path. I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed Firespell as well and am excited to see how this series (the Dark Elite) plays out.

Lily is a really likeable character with an enjoyable perspective. There's no sign of any Bella Swan Syndrome here; Lily makes the best of any situation and isn't afraid to stick up for herself or for the people she cares about. Her conversations with Scout, her roommate, best friend, and partner in shenanigans, are extremely funny and well done. One facet of this book that's done really well is the way the teenagers interact with each other. Oftentimes in young adult books the dialogue and slang will seem forced or overdone; that's not the case here, which only added to my enjoyment of the story. Case and point, a segment from that most treacherous of passages, the infodump, wherein the characters are explaining the supernatural goings-on at St. Sophia's to Lily:
"Anyway," Scout said, "the power usually appears around puberty. At the beginning of the transition to adulthood."

"Boobs and earthquakes?" I asked. "That's quite a change."

"Seriously," she agreed with a nod. "It's pretty freaky. You wake up one morning and boom- you're sporting B cups and the mystical ability to manipulate matter or cast spells or battle Reapers for dominion over Chicago. Gossip Girl has nothing on us."

The power they are referring to is the cause of the conflict between the good guys and the bad guys here, and there are a pretty unique set of circumstances surrounding it that get just enough explanation to be interesting but not so much that the story gets bogged down. There's also a love interest for Lily that was just picking up steam at the end of the book, leaving plenty of unfinished business for the next installment.

Oh, and Lily has some totally kickass powers too. As Lily learns about the supernatural battles being waged in Chicago and her role in the struggle, she handles everything with remarkable aplomb. Nothing turns me off faster than pages and pages and pages of "this can't be happening!" Lily can definitely handle herself in a tough situation.

That brings me to one of the most enjoyable things about this novel. All too often, the heroine of a story is basically a null, with no personality or unique qualities that set her apart from the rest of the stable of protagonists out there. Lily isn't brooding or angsty or desperate to fit in with people who obviously could not care less about her. She's not cripplingly shy or socially inept or blindly following the crowd. Instead, Lily is her own person, knows her own mind, and wants only genuine friendship and relationships. It's definitely refreshing.

Overall Grade: A
Blog with Bite Grade: 4/4

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vote for Book 2 for March!

Once more with feeling, it's time to vote for book 2 for March- the young adult title! Remember to vote for the book that you personally want to read most. Enjoy!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa- Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

Need by Carrie Ryan- Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you"d have to fear.

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor- Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:

Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Hatchling: Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey- The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray- A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) -Patty Campbell

Vote for Book 1 for March!

The moment you've been waiting for has arrived and it's time to vote for Book 1, the adult title, for March! Remember our little talk about voting- please vote for the book that YOU want to review! The more reviews we get, the better! Descriptions below are from goodreads. Thanks!

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson- An extraordinary debut novel of love that survives the fires of hell and transcends the boundaries of time

The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide—for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.

A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life—and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete—and her time on earth will be finished.

Already an international literary sensation, the Gargoyle is an Inferno for our time. It will have you believing in the impossible.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs- Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost- The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows - her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield - and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's dark past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness - and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who craves a taste of her.

He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human - even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the demon nightmare together...

Because once the first drop of crimson falls, they will both be lost.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning- MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon- In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption... Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League -- and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father's political alliance has made her a target. As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something to Ponder

Dear Friends,

It's just about time to vote for the March books for review, and in case you didn't notice, our turnout for reviews for the last book (The Host) was pretty low. The reviews we did have were great, but the creative juices behind Blog With Bite wanted to remind our lovely audience of a couple of things before we press onward:

When you vote for books, please vote for books that you personally plan on reviewing or have reviewed in the past and will be posting here on Blog With Bite. There appears to be a misconception floating around that voting is to determine which books the HBICs will review and while we love to review books and then share those reviews with you, we want others to get involved too.

Secondly, if you review the current book selection or have reviewed it in the past, please post your review here! A reminder post with reminder directions on how to link up will be coming soon. Remember, linking your reviews and sharing your blog content with likeminded people is a great way to drive traffic to your site. Here's a perfect way to do it!

As always, thanks for joining the good times here at BWB. Does it seem crazy that we've reviewed ten books together already? Here's to many more!


The Management

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Host Reviewers

Well I guess those tons of people that voted for The Host really wanted to read it. LOL.

Our die hard reviewers came through though, because of this we will not be having a Top Reviewer this go guys rock though, and because of this I will be sending you BWB swag once it gets printed. T-Shirts and book marks! Yippee!

Check out our reviewers!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Host - HBIC review by Parajunkee

H B I C R E V I E W  - by Parajunkee

The Host: A Novel
The Host by Stephanie Meyer 
This book purchased with my own moolah.

PJV's QUICKIE POV: This is a review rehash for the BWB.  I was going to reread, and this is a book to reread, but I I've been a little ADD with my reading lately. Mostly because there is just too much going on I can't focus. Superbowl (still can't believe we won), Mardi Gras and the freezing temps have definitely screwed up my reading focus. So here is the rehash of The Host.  I'm a Stephanie Meyer fan, I like Twilight, but I really liked this book. Don't judge Meyer by her YA foray...pick this book up and enjoy.

Review: When the Host was released the cover was intimidating. I knew Meyer was a good writer, but I wasn’t that impressed with her prose to think she could pull away from the vamps and venture into something as deep as what the summary of the book was touting. Meyer’s characters are what make her book, their emotional reactions and their unique perspectives of their environment. The vampire world she created, while having a few different takes on the usual fiction was nothing new. The world of The Host was out of the fantasy and deep into the sci-fi and it takes talent to paint the picture well. This explains why it took me picking the novel up 5 or 6 times, reading the jacket – then putting it back down, for me to actually buy the book. Then once I bought it, I let it sit on my coffee table for nearly a month. I was intimidated. I was intimidated by the concept – hated the Body Snatchers movie, and I was scared that it was going to really really bad and my respect for the author would go out the window.

But then I started reading. I couldn’t put the book down. The story is in regards to a human called Melanie Stryder. Melanie lives in a world that has been peacefully invaded by a parasitic alien race. Melanie is what the aliens call a “wild” human, and the last thing Melanie wanted was to become a new home for an alien parasite. To Melanie’s unfortunate, that is exactly what she becomes, following a very violent “death” that includes her falling/throwing herself down an elevator shaft.

Melanie’s body is repaired and the alien Wanderer is inserted into Melanie’s body. So begins the symbiotic relationship of Melanie and Wanderer. Most humans fade from existence when the aliens are inserted into their bodies, but Melanie, being strong willed and stubborn refuses to leave. She is violent, noxious and determined to not succumb to Wanderer. Wanderer herself is a strong creature, but she was inserted specifically in Melanie’s body because they think she will be able to infiltrate the human resistance. Melanie desperately wants to protect the other wild humans she left behind so she refuses to let go and give up her memories. Melanie’s love for her brother Jamie and a man named Jared are so strong that through dreams and shared memories, Wanderer finds herself yearning for the two humans. Wanderer is so taken aback by these strong emotions that she literally throws everything she has ever known away and sets off in a journey to find these humans and discover what love is really all about.

The first part of this book is a very drawn out inner dialog. Wanderer is confused by her feelings and even more thrown off by Melanie herself. She questions everything around her and even her sanity as she struggles with first trying to get rid of Melanie and then finally accepting that Melanie has become a part of her. The story is a multi-leveled love story, the first part is the friend/hate relationship that forms between the parasite and the human. Then as memories are shared, the brotherly love for Jamie and then the love affair with Jared.

When Melanie/Wanderer is finally reunited with Jared and Jamie, you don’t know if you should cheer or cry, the relationships are so complex. There is no definitive line of who is right and who is wrong. At first you are excited about the reunion but then as the humans reactions to Wanderer become hostile and scary you don’t know who to side with.

As the story emerged the complexity of the situation deepened, the true good of Wanderer becomes evident and reveals the true nature of what it really means to be “human”. New relationships form and Wanderer discovers who she is now that she is part Melanie and part “Wanda”. There has been some questioning on the relationship part of the story, most people think that it is hard to believe that a love relationship could form between a human and the alien, but really in life anything can happen. If people can fall in love over the internet, with a picture and pretty words, a human can most likely fall in love with a parasite dressed up in human’s skin. Wanderer is shown as a very gentle soul, and her eagerness to help the humans and become like them draws the others to her. Its actually very moving, showing that we can surpass our differences and learn to love people/things that we really thought we hated, if we just took the time to learn about them.

During this very long novel you are kept at the edge of your seat. There is always underlying tension, whether emotional or violent. I really began to care about what happened to both Melanie and Wanderer. Even the supporting characters became larger than life. The character interaction is well done. There are no explicit or implied sex scenes so this book is also safe for teens. There are a few moments of kissing and lustfulness, but nothing graphic or overdone. The ending was well done and I almost sighed in relief when I finished the last sentence. The epilogue also implied that there could be a sequel, or at least other novels set in the world, Meyer created.

Overall the book was well done, nothing profound, but very very entertaining. There were a few threads that weren’t followed through on, and some character reactions were very unbelievable. Wanderer was sometimes frustrating in her naïveté and how she was always trying to sacrifice herself. The Seeker – Wanderer’s antagonist was a little unbelievable also, I would think that her behavior would have been noticed in her position, but it did set in motion Wanderer’s escape into the human world. Nothing to turn me off from the novel though. Over all, cheers for Ms. Meyer and I hope this shows that she has a lot more in her to impart on this world, aside from those pesky and sexy vamps which we love her for.

Recommendations: SciFi fans would really enjoy.  There is nothing overly adult about the novel, a little violence, a bit of passion (but nothing descriptive or blatant). Teens and adults will enjoy.

BWB rating 4/4

  1. Have you read Twilight? How did The Host compare to Meyer's YA series?
    1. Yes, I've read Twilight. I don't know if she would have written under a pen, that I would have recognized this as Meyer's writing. The only thing comparable was the self-sacrificing heroine. This was such a scifi very different from the Twiligh Series.
  2. A lot of readers have expressed dislike for the immense amount of inner dialogue in The Host. Did you feel the novel lacked action?
    1. I went int thinking that it would drive me crazy, but it seemed well done and I enjoyed it.  The inner dialogue is very integral to the plot of the novel, I really don't think there would be any way else to have done it.
  3. Do you feel the ending hinted at a sequel? If so, would you read The Host #2?
    1. I did feel it hinted at a sequel, and yes I will probably read #2 if it comes out. SM has been quoted by MTV as saying that there would be two more books, "The Soul," and then "The Seeker." Yeah for original titles. *sarcasm font*

The Host: HBIC Review from Emily @ What Book is That?

Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Page Count: 619 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Science Fiction
Copy for review was borrowed from a friend

50 words or less: Somewhere out there is a parasitic race that wants to be surgically inserted into your body and take over, kicking you out in the process. For your own good.

Mother always said, never trust a book whose first chapter is titled "Insertion." I should have listened, because reading The Host, which is this month's adult title for Blog with Bite (and all you voters who picked it, I'm looking at you,) was a lot like getting a chopstick forcibly inserted into my left nostril.

It's sad to say, but this is my second Could Not Finish review. I didn't even come close to finishing this book, not by a long shot.

My issues with this book started pretty much from the first word on the first page. The premise of the book sounds pretty interesting, but is never really articulated in a way that doesn't make me want to brush my teeth. Apparently, a race of beings that have no bodies or minds (minds defined here as basically receptacles for thoughts, feelings and emotions) of their own and therefore have to take over the bodies of others, which they do with entire planets at a time. As you can imagine, this doesn't sit will with the people who are still using their minds and bodies, thank you very much, and not everyone is content to just sit back and let some alien-possessed whack job saw the top of their head off and shoot someone else into their head.

For another perspective, and admittedly this was the first thing that I thought of when I was made aware of the premise of this book, I refer you to MST3K (of course) and the introduction of, at 4:34 herein, the "zucchini throw pillows." This is what I imagine the takeover of Earth must have looked like, if Ms. Meyer's account is to be believed:

Yep, zucchini throw pillows taking over the mind, enslaving the body, and hoping to extend their self-perceived benevolent reach across the entire universe, one planet at a time. The Host is 600+ pages of this.

Apparently though, there are still a few humans running around on the planet without a cranial roommate, and they tend to get rowdy when they encountered the folks who are possessed, a fact which the occupying overlords find incredibly difficult to understand, which just made them look dim beyond belief. For intergalactic conquerors, these guys seem to not know anything at all. About anything. Ever.

The story centers around a Soul named Wanderer who's inserted into a human host named Melanie. Melanie was a human who was captured in the midst of a suicide attempt; she'd rather be dead than be a host. This stubborn tenacity carries over after Wanderer is inserted because Melanie, rather than just quietly pegging out and leaving Wanderer with the anatomical equivalent of a fully furnished apartment, sticks around and refuses to give up her mind or memories. This sounds dramatic but in reality had all the intensity of two hermit crabs fighting over the same shell.
Yep, extreme crabby action.

So Melanie and Wanderer are basically roommates, sharing a mind and a body, and nobody is happy about this arrangement. You can tell, because there's a whole lot of nattering internal dialogue between the various factions where they snipe, snarl, and blather at each other until the reader is practically cross-eyed with boredom.

Then there's the whole Jared thing. I heard lots of remarks about how romantic this book was supposed to be, and how the tension between the characters (Melanie, her still-intact human boyfriend Jared, and Wanderer) was really riveting and unique, and my response to it was completely, unreservedly, and unequivocally BLECH. What is the deal with the old guy and the (almost) criminally younger woman? Why must this element be included in anything the author writes? It wasn't attractive or interesting in the Twilight series and it isn't attractive or interesting here. All it did was provide a stupid explanation for the lack of reproduction going on among the still-intact human rebels. Gross? Yes.

At this point, I had to stop reading. Life is too short to read bad books, and while I had low expectations of this book at the onset, I tried to go into the reading of it with an open mind and with the hope that I would be pleasantly surprised. I wasn't. I can't recommend this book to anyone, not even the most diehard of Twilight fans. The friend I borrowed the book from actually loaned it to me to see if I would like it better than she did, and I can now tell her with absolute certainty that if she ever needs a good doorstop, she's all set.

Overall Grade: Could Not Finish
Blog with Bite Review: 0 out of 4 stars


Discussion Questions
1. Have you read Twilight? How did The Host compare to Meyer's YA series?
I have indeed read the entire Twilight series, and while I will be honest and say that they are not my favorite books in the entire world, they were my official introduction to the world of paranormal romance, which has become pretty much my favorite genre. I have Twilight to thank for a lot of good reading, while I have The Host to thank for a splitting headache and a sour taste in my mouth. Enough said.
2. A lot of readers have expressed dislike for the immense amount of inner dialogue in The Host. Did you feel the novel lacked action? Short answer? Yes. Long answer? YESSSSSSSSSSS. I found the pacing of this novel to be plodding and incredibly boring. I wasn't interested in what happened to any of these characters or in how any of the questions of the plot got resolved. I would, however, not stop at expressing my dislike for the immense amount of inner dialogue. I would include ALL the dialogue in the entire book in my negative assessment. I try not to do things by halves.
3. Do you feel the ending hinted at a sequel? If so, would you read The Host #2? I didn't get to the end of the book because my brain couldn't take the strain so frankly I have no idea what the ending hints or doesn't hint at. I would not, however, read The Host #2, not even if hordes of weasels were hanging from my flesh and could only be pacified by a dramatic reading from the text. Not. Even. Then.

HBIC Review The Host

HBIC Seeker Review- The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Posted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews

Meyer’s takes paranormal romance into alien territory and for all of you who hate sci-fi will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and thought provoking thriller. Silvery wiggly parasites have invaded planet earth; in their quest for world domination they insert themselves into human brains thus making the human brain completely dormant while they remain a host for the “soul”. The positives: the alien species have cured cancer, diseases, wars, and have made planet earth a peaceful place to be. The negatives: they have taken over a human’s ability for free will and self-thinking.

Human’s fight back- by running, fighting and hiding. The remaining earthlings (the ones who haven’t been caught yet) do not want to be infected, especially Melanie Stryder who cares for her little brother Jamie and meets Jared (her future man) within the first few chapters. Is it me or does Ms. Meyers have a thing for the older man? She’s brave and has a kick-butt exterior, and she refuses to surrender, even after she is captured and becomes a host for Wanderer. Once Wanderer is inserted into Melanie she knows something isn’t right, the human feelings and essence is so strong that as time goes by Melanie's memories become Wanderer's and soon she becomes overwhelmed with longing for the people she loves. Melanie, who left behind Jamie and Jared, misses them terribly and soon Wanderer and Melanie begin working together to track down Melanie's loved ones, but when they find them, Wanderer is not accepted. She’s beaten, even punched in the face by Jared….(GASP) and thrown in a cave. The hidden remnant of humans hate Wanderer and don’t trust her, what they don’t realize- Melanie is alive and well hidden inside the depths of Wanda’s soul, where Wanda is the visitor in Melanie’s body.

Romantic, tender and non-stop alien action!! Actually there is no alien action; this is not your usual hard-core Sci-fi. The story is told through Wanderers perspective with Melanie battling it out inside her mind. It also centers more on relationships and the lengths we will go to save another. Much of the book deals with Melanie and Wanda's complicated love triangle with Melanie's Jared and Wanda's new love interest Ian. Meyer’s writing was beautiful; I was surprised at such a mature and more seasoned flare to her storytelling. Meyer’s strength is of course her characters and Wanda is the strength of The Host. She is constantly pulled between her duty as a Soul and the compassion she develops for Melanie and the other humans.

Swearing is minimal and the most graphic scene is a steamy kiss. Recommended for teens and adults alike.
4/4 Sci-fi, Romance

BWB Discussion Questions

1. Have you read Twilight? How did The Host compare to Meyer's YA series? I loved the Twilight series, and just like with The Host, Meyers' characters are what I became attached to. I thought The Host was much better written than Twilight due to- I felt Meyers found her style and the writing seemed more mature and much more seasoned. I still think Edward is my favorite Meyer character.

2. A lot of readers have expressed dislike for the immense amount of inner dialogue in The Host. Did you feel the novel lacked action? No way- I thought the inside dialog was very intense, I have no idea how they are going to pull this off as a movie but thats the one aspect I loved about The Host was all the inner-struggling.

3. Do you feel the ending hinted at a sequel? If so, would you read The Host #2? Yeah I think a sequel is on the horizon, I think the book would have been more dramatic had Wanda died.....but......Ms. Meyers' loves happy and I like happy too so for sure I would read it...and anything else Stephenie writes!!

The Host Discussion Questions

  1. Have you read Twilight? How did The Host compare to Meyer's YA series?
  2. A lot of readers have expressed dislike for the immense amount of inner dialogue in The Host. Did you feel the novel lacked action?
  3. Do you feel the ending hinted at a sequel? If so, would you read The Host #2?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winner of Original Sin

Blog with Bite Winner of Beautiful Creatures

Original Sin (Seven Deadly Sins)The Winner of Original Sin by Allison Brennan has been chosen with the use of

Winner #31 StephTheBookworm
Congrats Chickadee! Enjoy the book!

Thanks again to
Tricia Carr @ Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. for offering up a copy of Original Sin for Giveaway!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wondrous Strange - Top Reviewer

Monica because of her great review is also the winner of a signed copy of Darklight, provided by Lesley Livingston herself. Great job Monica, and send me your address so I can forward it over.
parajunkee at gmail dot com

Stay tuned, this probably will not be a one time thing (award for Top Reviewer) so start getting ready for our The Host reviews! I don't think we will be getting anything from Mrs. Meyer, but word on the street says we have some cool Blog with Bite swag hot off the press.

Support Monica's blog by becoming a follower!
Here is her review:

Book Review: Wondrous Strange by: Lesley Livingston

Summary: Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started work with a theatre company. Sure, she's an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off-Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up—the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley's about to step into the role of Titania the Fairy Queen in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, though, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man will plunge her into an adventure she could never have imagined.

For Sonny Flannery, one of the Janus Guards charged by Auberon, the King of Winter, with watching over the gate into the lands of Faerie that lies within Central Park, the pretty young actress presents an enigma. Strong and willful, she sparks against his senses like a firecracker and he can't get her out of his mind. As  Hallowe'en approaches and the Samhain Gate opens, Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other—and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and Faerie alike.

Lesley Livingston certainly knows how to weave an awesome faerie tale. Ms. Livingston uses a lot of classic faerie elements as well as a TON and a half of classic Shakespeare....some of it being the same thing. These are both very good things. Shakespeare in itself is hard for a young reader to understand and feel. I think in this book Ms. Livingston gives Shakespeare a platform for young readers to understand and comprehend. When your favorite character is standing, acting out a Shakespeare scene, and the author is describing the emotions, the other characters, it clicks in the head and all of a sudden you have a teen who has had their possibly first dose of Shakespeare at his greatest, instead of it being crammed down the throat in high school English.

The characters are strong and willful but I don't think the author gave the reader enough time to truly get to know some of them. I liked Sonny, but by the time the story ended, I didn't know much about him and I wasn't head over heels in love with him, which is something I quite like in my male protagonists.

The plot is quick paced, but I think the the author could have done so much more with it, this book could have been huge; at the same time, if the author made it even larger it might be more difficult for young minds to wrap around. There were also a couple points in the plot that were a bit predictable...the whole deal that Sonny makes, totally saw that coming from a mile away. Faeries are tricky like that.

Overall this book is pretty good, I am really excited to read the next book in this series, Darklight.

Discussion Questions:

- Faeries seem to be very big in YA lit lately, how does Wondrous Strange compare to others in its genre such as Lament, Wicked Lovely, etc.?

I think Wondrous Strange was set strongly on Shakespearean Fae as opposed to Lament which was set strongly on Celtic Fae. Technically Fae is Fae but the source of the folklore differs.

- How did you view the relationship with Kelley and Sonny, was it a believable romance?

I think we didn't get enough time to get to know Sonny and I don't think Kelley did either, so it can use some work.  

- Wondrous Strange was written in the typical fashion of paranormal literature, with the protagonist unaware of her supernatural abilities, meets boy who introduces her to the world... do you find these plot lines tiresome in their likeness, or do you believe there are always similarities within fiction and it is all about the deeper story?

It depends on my mood to be honest, sometimes I get bored with it, but its usually the mystery I get bored with. All the shadows and guessing games. I can continue reading plot lines like long as they don't have so much clouding it interrupts the storyline.

Received from: Purchased from Books-A-Million

For more information or for purchasing visit Lesley Livingston's webpage.

I give this book 4/5 stars. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Original Sin Blurb

Original Sin by Allison Brennan.........Thoughts from Tina

When I started this nail biting horror ride, I wasn’t prepared for it to scare the pants off me!!!! Due to the subject matter and content I had a difficult time reading through half of the book, the writing is intense and flows at a very fast pace after about 20 pages in. Needless to say I decided to stop reading Original Sin, so I cannot give this a full review- but can tell all you who love the thrill of terror to dive into this one....for those of you who are wimps like me- proceed with caution.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This Weeks BWB Feautre - Original Sin by Allison Brennan - Review

Original Sin (Seven Deadly Sins)  Original Sin by Allison Brennan

Review copy provided by Tricia Carr of Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.

Author's Website

PJV's Quickie POV:   An action packed thriller, filled with demons and evil witches that will have your spine shivering. The novel digs in after a few chapters and doesn't let go, sending you on an adventure that is reminiscent of the final throws of Sunnydale (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). My knuckles were white throughout most of this novel as the protagonist battled demon after demon, fighting for her life and the future of mankind. With each page more and more was revealed as layer upon layer of religious background, forensics, demonology, showed of the immense amounts of research the author must have put in to pen this series.

Review:    Moira is a witch.  A witch descended from a long line of magic and evil.  Her mother conceived her for the soul purpose of sacrificing her to Hell to be used as a conduit between the worlds.  A goddess her mother had said, one that walks both worlds, yet none. Moira knew the truth though, she wouldn't be a goddess, she would be a slave. She escaped and found solace with her mother's enemy, the priests of the order of St. Michael's. She learned to battle the forces of evil, she learned faith and she also learned to love.

Her mother would not stop until she was either found, or destroyed.  And all it took was one error on Moira's part, and everything she had came crashing down upon her and she barely escaped with her life. Her life, faith and reputation in tatters, Moira sets off to do the one thing she was destined to do, find and kill her mother. Her mother Fiona has other plans though...

Original Sin surprised me.  Within the first two chapters I was actually getting to the point where I thought I might have to put it aside. It was moving slowly, well written but nothing was sucking me in.  Boy was I surprised as I got deeper in the book and couldn't put the thing down! Action sequence after action sequence, Original Sin, definitely wasn't boring anymore. I'm very glad I didn't give in and push it to the side.  Original Sin has it all, great characters, fast moving plot, detailed background, excellent tone and chills and thrills to make you want to run to the nearest church and say a few Hail Marys.

PJ Fact #42, raised Catholic, very Catholic (didn't go to a day of public school) and the Catholic religion is a big focus of this novel, and it was done well. Nothing like reading about warrior priests to bring back childhood memories.  Some of those Jesuits looked like they've taken down a demon or two. Beside bringing out repressed Catholic memories the book did more than just entertain. Well worth the money, and from what I could tell, very easy to find, since I saw rows and rows of the book at every store I went to this weekend, from Rite Aid to Sam's.

Recommendations:   Adult book for adult readers, there is violence, sex and a smidge of cursing.  This is not what I would call a Paranormal Romance, there are a lot of "I Love Yous" from various characters, but the romance is not the main focus, it is the battle between good an evil.  A nice introductory PNR if you are a fan of thrillers. Fans of horror, authors like Koontz and King should take a look.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Orginal Sin by Allison Brennan Feature & Giveaway

Original Sin (Seven Deadly Sins)Orignal Sin by Allison Brennan

This week Blog with Bite is featuring Orginal Sin by Allison Brennan.  Along with HBIC reviews and author features, we are also hosting a giveaway!

Tricia Carr of Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. has kindly offered Blog with Bite 1 copy of Original Sin by Allison Brennan for giveaway. Details are posted at the end of this post.

Quotes from bloggers you know:
"...I did not want to put this book down." - FictionVixen
"...terrific mixture of suspense, mystery and a lot of action with a hint of romance..." Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings

Book Description (
Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small California town that’s about to become hell on earth.

Tormented by his own terrifying past and driven by powers he can’t explain, ex-seminarian Rafe Cooper joins Moira’s dangerous quest. But Fiona is one devilish step ahead. Hungry for greater power, eternal youth, and stunning beauty, the sorceress is unleashing upon the mortal world the living incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Together with a demonologist, a tough female sheriff, and a pair of star-crossed teenagers, Moira and Rafe are humanity’s last chance to snatch salvation from the howling jaws of damnation.

 Win 1 Copy of Original Sin by Filling Out the Form Below!
One winner will be chosen with the use of Winner will be notified by email, and has 48 hours to respond.

Rules & Regulations:
  • Must be 13 or older
  • Must be US or Canadian resident (Mailing address)
  • Please no PO Boxes
  • You must be a follower of Blog with Bite
  • Contest Ends February 8th Midnight CST
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