In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures–if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
All Mallory knows of The City is that her father–and every other witch there–fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and “Graveminder,” comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.
— Goodreads.com description
You know when you get a text message from April that says “Pg. 106 Carnival of Souls. Total Anna passage.” you just HAVE to read a book. And does she know me or what?!
Wooooo page 106. Hot stuff. Okay, so it was a little bit of instalove, but it was instalove wrapped up in secrets and this animalistic “pack sense” Kaleb had…and that was so different that I loved it.
Carnival of Souls really won me over in its world-building. It was creepy and cool and dark and mysterious and I was entranced.
Did I love the book overall though? Maybe not as much, but I think that can be attributed to the fact that I was reading it in a hospital waiting room. The violent scenes just didn’t mesh with my environment, so I think they didn’t click with me as much as they would have at another time. Do you know what I mean? When and where you read a book can really affect your reaction. In this case, I liked it but can just tell I would have LOVED it if I’d waited to read it at a better time.
By Lisa Desrochers
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2010
Tor Teen, 365 pages
Source: Purchased for my Kindle
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.
What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
— Goodreads.com description
Okay, okay, I know I, like, JUST said I was over paranormal. But, whatever, I totally enjoyed Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers.
Yes, it’s got a lot of the same elements I was sort of over: angels vs. demons, love triangles, so on. But it totally works!
I loved Frannie and her wicked streak, not to mention Frannie’s family — five girls, all named Mary? Too funny! It was great to see our main character — Mary Francis, of course — struggle with being the black sheep in an uber-religious family.
And — oh boy — I loved the half of the story told from Luc’s point of view…talk about deliciously sinful. Who would have thought I’d ever be rooting for Team Hell to win over Team Heaven?
Personal Demons is a super steamy, action-packed love story/adventure, and I will 100% be reading the sequel. Paranormal fans should, without a doubt, check out.
By Wendy Higgins
Publication date: May 1, 2012
HarperTeen, 454 pages
Source: Borrowed from Em
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
— Goodreads.com description
Paranormal fans, this one’s for you.
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is a fun take on the popular angel/demon theme we’ve been seeing in YA literature over the past year or two. This one is a little darker: The main character, Anna, has both demon AND angel blood in her, and now she must face internal and external battles that will determine whether good or evil will dominate.
Her strong pull toward addictive substances will resonate with a lot of teens – she has such a hard time resisting peer pressure, and it’s great to see her stand strong.
If you’re not a paranormal fan, I’m not sure this is the book to win you over. But, most YA readers these days are in for a bit of paranormal, so I’m not too worried.
One tiny complaint? In the book, Anna loves when Kaidan calls her “Ann.” What? No. Please no one call me that. Thank you.
Alex lives–and loves–recklessly, until a single decision leads to a heartbreaking revelation. As a mysterious threat closes in and she confronts a Council that wants to see her in servitude, Alex face a choice between love that is fated… and love that is forbidden.
— Amazon.com description
In my review of the first book in this series, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I wrote:
“The fighting kicked butt, the heroine was likable, the romance was steamy and the plot was filled with nonstop tension.”
Well, multiply all of that by 100 and you basically have my review of Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Everything was kicked up a notch in this book, and I was sucked in from the get-go.
We can’t go any further without talking about the romantic tension in Pure. Alex loves Aiden, and Aiden clearly has feeling for her, but it’s FORBIDDEN LOVE, you know, so he’s trying to pretend he doesn’t. Then there’s Seth, who clearly has a thing for Alex, too, but he’s sort of a jerk, and Alex loves Aiden so hardcore that, well, whatever. It’s a typical love triangle, no? NO! It’s not!
Because this series has what most other love triangles lack – serious emotional attachment. I mean, not to Seth. I don’t know who is going to come out of this series on Team Seth. I’m talking about Alex and Aiden. Every scene they’re in feels heavy with meaningful looks … you could slice the tension in the air. It’s done so so so well, it broke my heart and left me breathless.
But yeah, Seth’s there, too. Whatever. I guess it’s pretty believable that some would like him too, but I’m Aiden all the way so we’re not even going to discuss that.
Well, actually I’m Team Alex, because she is such a deeper character than I originally thought. She’s strong and sassy and, despite all her power, has very well-detailed weaknesses that make you feel so much of her pain. She’s a lead character you can root for.
If book two just doubled over book one for me, I can only imagine what the next installment in this exciting series from Jennifer L. Armentrout will bring!
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Wings of the Wicked
By Courtney Allison Moulton
Jan. 31, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books, 528 pages
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.
She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.
— Amazon.com description
Maybe when I read the first book in this series (Angelfire) I wasn’t in the right mood? Because I don’t remember loving it. I liked it, but I don’t remember freaking out over it. Was I on paranormal overload?
Well, WHO CARES, doesn’t matter now, because when I read this sequel, it was EXACTLY what I was in the mood for and I was FREAKING OUT.
I think it’s that I go for forbidden romances. OH, THE TORTURE! Will loves Ellie and has forever. Like, literally, FOREVER. Well, 500 years. And she loves him but they cannot be together and aghhhh the tension my heart I cannot handle it all.
I completely enjoyed it. Okay, let’s be critical for a moment: I totally skipped ahead during some of the fight scenes. Yeah, bad reader. I just like to get to the kissing parts, what can I say? But, look, if you haven’t read a paranormal series in a while and you are in the mood for a torturous romance (as I was), this will hit the spot!