Midbook Review: Frags (Thomas Carpenter)

Well, there doesn't seem to be any synopsis on Goodreads (odd), so I'll have to give a run down of the book before I can say what I think so far.

FragsFrist, I thought the first book-- Gamers-- was awesome. I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but this one combines the best of science fiction with a dystopian setting. Instant awesomeness. In Gamers, the main character-- Gabby-- has to survive LifeGame to get the ultimate coding job. But there is something amiss about LifeGame and the Coders. Not to mention that anyone that doesn't "win" the game disappears to the mysterious unknown. Enter Gabby's best friend Z. She doesn't win LifeGame. In a fit of panic, Gabby leaves the city and is picked up by a group of rogues called Frags.

This book picks up with Gabby living with the Frags and trying to find out what happens to the contestants that don't beat LifeGame. There are some super shady characters, especially the head Coder. They are constantly following Gabby and the Frags, trying to capture them for some evil, ill purposed reason.

And that's where I'm at so far. Normally, I am a pro at figuring out plots, but this time I am stumped. I can honestly say I don't know where there is heading. Gabby has gone rogue, but I can't shake the feeling that she's not really alone. Oh, and btw... Gabby is awesome. She's brilliant, defiant, but also caring and extremely conflicted. The other characters are great as well. Except for one. I can't figure Mouse out. She seems to be the weakest link, but I hope I'm wrong.

So far, this one is another 4. It has been action packed since the first chapter, with no lulls. I love that. It's a total page turner. If you like Scott Westerfield's Pretties series, you would like this series. It has a similar feel, but has nothing in common with the latter.

Want to know more about the 4 star book Gamers (first in the series)? Read my full review HERE

Review: Spellcaster (Cara Lynn Shultz)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen (March 27, 2012)
ISBN: 9780373210503
Source: ebook ARC from NetGalley
Read in 2 1/2 days (5 hours total)

Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

As much as I hate to admit it, I actually (slightly) enjoyed this one. Alright, don’t beat me down yet… let me explain my previous statement. Usually, books with super mushy characters that are all “in love forever” at the tender age of 16-17 irk me. There is just something about that that drives me nuts. Yes, I do realize these characters are reincarnated soul mates, but still… A person’s brain isn’t fully formed until early adulthood, so there are some things I just can’t swallow and accept in a book. The “I love you forever you big hunk of sex meat” is one of them. Forgive me.

With that being said, however, I did find things to enjoy in this book. Did it rock my socks off? Not really, but I did laugh out loud a few times from the witty banter. The author did a great job making the characters believable (minus the relationship factor) when they spoke and interacted with one another. There were some great snippy one –liners in this book. I appreciated the snarky value of each and every one. Here is a small sampling of the sardonic writing goodness: “With the amount of boobage she was showing off, she probably could have hidden my math textbook in there. And my math teacher” (271). I seriously snorted when I read that. I found it to be hysterical. Every page of Spellcaster had at least one little snippy jewel waiting to be discovered. I loved that. Of course, by nature I’m a rather sarcastic person, so of course I would enjoy this.

I also found the plot mostly enjoyable. I had most of it figured out by page 280 or so, but it was still fun to see how things would play out. I will admit that the final outcome I anticipated did not occur. I really thought someone was going to get knocked off all Godfather style, but that didn’t happen. So, that door is wide open for book three. Oh, and there was a surprise at the end from book one that I didn’t expect either. I’ll be curious to see how that plays out. I’m predicting a skipped jail hearing or something. Pretty vague, huh? You betcha. You’ll have to read the book to find out who/what I’m talking about.

As for my one complaint… Emma and Brendan. Gag. As characters, I like them well enough. Emma is uber strong and independent most of the time. She’s caring and fiercly loyal to those she loves. But when you put her with Brendan, I want to slap her. They took the whole “we’re soul mates for life” crap waaaay too far. It almost became ridiculous for me. I get that they are supposed to have this deep seeded love that lasts for eternity. That was clear in the first book, Spellbound. A reminder on every other page in Spellcaster was overkill. Honestly, it took away from the relationship as a whole because it made it seem fake.

There were characters that I did enjoy—tremendously. Cisco was great, even if he didn’t have a huge role in the plot. His actions at the end of the book solidified my love of his character. But my absolute favorite character is Angelique. I.love.her. She is sarcastic, slightly bitter, and extremely complicated. She seems rough and tough on the outside, but she’s actually very caring once she gets to know you. I loved every aspect of her character! Throughout the book she seems to grow. (Probably the only character that does this.) Originally, she can’t stand Brendan. In fact she loathes him. But then they start to bond over their shared commitment to Emma. Add a little empath skills to the mix, and suddenly Angelique is changing her mind about Brendan. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s running around wearing a Team Brendan shirt, but she learns to see past the man-whore outer shell.

If you enjoyed Spellbound, you’ll love this book. I have no doubts about that. Unfortunately, I had mixed feelings about the first book. Honestly, I don’t remember much about it. As I read through Spellcaster, I was reminded of key events that really didn’t linger in my memory. Not a good sign. I have a sneaky feeling that by the time the third book comes out, I won’t remember much about Spellcaster either. However, I will still read the final book in the series because I do want to see how things play out. This one was a quick read with overly hormonal teenagers forging the way through the plot. If you get annoyed by the quick and serious romance factor in YA books, be forewarned. Otherwise, this is a decent, mostly enjoyable book.


On sale today...


Looking for a few good books to pick up this week? Check out some of the reading goodness available today. If you want more information about the books, follow the links below.

Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces. More information.

Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her. More information.

Waiting on Wednesday (19)


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I seriously hate having to wait for what seems like eternity to read a book that I really, really, really want. I adore mermaid books. Period. So anytime a mermaid book catches my eye, I want it. Like, right then. Alas, I have to wait until August 7th for this little beauty.

Lose yourself in the magic of Watersong, an unforgettable new series about two sisters who nearly lose their lives - and their loves - when they fall under the spell of three beautiful but deadly sirens.

On sale today...

Looking for a few good books to pick up this week? Check out the awesome books on sale today. Personally, I am stoked about Pandemonium. I can't wait!  If you want more information about the books, follow the links below.

Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. But when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there.

And Billy's nowhere to be found.

All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way.

It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes.

Especially if it means everything changes. More information.

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew. More information.

and of course...

 Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) The Talents Rivals (The Ivy, #3)  Dead is a Battlefield

Vampire's Kiss (The Watchers, #2) Balthazar

Click on the book's image for more information.

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