Sunday, October 23, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Tempest Giveaway!



 
I have decided to host my first giveaway.  I want to send my ARC to another reader who will enjoy it, especially since I already have and it isn’t released for another three months!

I will contact you via email if you are the winner and I will post the Winner on this blog when the giveaway is finished.

You have until November 7, 2011 to enter.  You must be a follower of My Hidden Bookshelf and I will cross reference be make sure you are.  You have to be 13 or older to enter.  Participants must live in the US or Canada.  This giveaway does follow all my giveaway rules, to enter just click below to fill out the form.

Tempest Review

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Time Travel, Romance, Twins, Adoption,
Pages: 334
Plot: (From Goodreads)

“The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.”

Again I was thrilled to walk up to my door and find another Arc waiting for me!  I opened it up and was so excited to see Tempest inside that I immediately started reading it.  There is already so much hype about this book and I have heard many good things… I believe the story lived up to the high standards that were set.

I found Tempest to be gripping, dynamic, and vigorous!  It was really one of those books that kept me up all night thinking just one more chapter… then before I knew it the last page was turned and I was devastated that I have to wait over a year the next edition ( expected to hit the shelves in January 2013)! 

I was worried that there might be a few issues that I would have trouble with, my first concern was that I would get confused between the time jumps and get lost in the story.  The second was that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the scientific theories that were given to describe Jackson’s time jumps but I found that these troubles were definitely not an issue.  I found that each chapter held a time, date, and year; which helped me tremendously.  Honestly, Julie Cross has many theories in this book but they are put into layman’s terms, so they are easily understood and very realistic. This story was exceptionally well written, and beautifully unique.

I loved that Tempest was told through a male perspective, it added so much more to the story and I feel that Jackson will be everyone’s favorite character from this series.  Jackson starts as the average 19 year old, he develops lot in this tale and I believe you will find that Jackson is charming, admirable, and loyal.  When he gets thrown back into 2007, Jackson discovers many secrets and conspiracies that make this book tremendously captivating and suspenseful.  He also tracks down Holly and his romance with her is altogether alluring and enticing.  Unfortunately Jackson is left with the ultimate decision and his choice is truly heartbreaking as well as tear-jerking.

I rated this book an A+, as I was compelled and engrossed by this tale.  I would highly suggest checking out this book as I do believe that readers out there will sincerely adore it just as much as I did.  On January 17, 2012 this amazing novel will be released and I do hope you will pick it up!

My rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Monday, October 17, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Witches Review

Title: Witches
Author: Phil Stern
Publisher: Phil Stern
Publication Date: August 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Main Themes: Magic, Witches, Family Issues, & Alternate Worlds
Plot: (From Goodreads)

"They've lived among us for centuries, protecting those in need. But now a powerful wizard has appeared, attacking empowered women across multiple worlds.

A young Terran-based sorceress, the strongest of her generation, must find and stop the magical madman before he can bend the Coven to his depraved will. Along the way, however, she must also confront doubts about the role her fellow witches may have played in her own family's demise."




Phil Stern created a magically horrific story that I found truly intriguing, imaginative, and grisly.  Seeing that it was a short read it didn’t take long to blow through.  It was very fast paced, even though the first half of the book was building up the storyline it lead into some great action scenes. 

Witches held captivating characters that added so much to the story.  My personal favorite was Tiffany, she was unrelenting and adamant as she pushed forward to hunt down the warlock that was pursuing her sisters and holding them captive.  I did love that there were two perspectives, besides Tiffany there was the warlock, Evan Gensrow.  As an evil kid the witches punished Evan and as result he ended up a tortured soul who was obsessed with revenge.

There were a few things about this story that I wasn’t fond of but overall it was a good read.  The first thing was I found the story too short for the information it held.  I really think Phil Stern had a great idea for a story and I wanted it to be longer and more in depth.  The second thing that I didn’t like was the witches in the coven were very pompous, domineering, and came across as man haters.  I felt they needed a little more development to show that might not have been the case.   

Overall gave this book a B, as it was an appealing and vigorous read.  Although I would not recommend this one to early teens as there are some graphic scenes that aren’t quite appropriate for them.   

My Rating: 17/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Writing Style: 4

Bloodlines Review

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: August 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Vampires, Alchemists, Romance, Tattoos, & Magic
Pages: 421
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)

"I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

Sydney' blood is special.  That's because she's an alchemist-one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires.  They live to protect vampire secrets- and human lives.  But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists.  And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway.  But what unfolds is far worse.  Jill Dragomir- the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir- is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding.  To avoid a civil war, Syndey is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California.  The last thing Sydney wants to be accused of sympathizing with vampires.  And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside- and within- the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning."

 When I finished the last novel from the Vampire Academy Series, Last Sacrifice, I was so thrilled with the story and I honestly felt heartbroken to say goodbye to all the characters that I had loved.  But I also was left with so many questions that I wondered how it could end there.  I didn’t want it to be left to my imagination, I wanted closure and Richelle Mead delivered all that and more in Bloodlines! 

Vampire Academy had provoked me to read Bloodlines.  As I knew that it was a spin off from Vampire Academy, I pined for answers that were not given in Last Sacrifice.  This novel was the answer.  Until the last page was turned I was utterly engrossed, I found this book to be absolutely absorbing, mesmerizing, and truly remarkable!

The story starts pretty much where Vampire Academy left off, and this time Sydney is the main character.  Of course Adrian is there too, along with Eddie, Jill, and there are mentions of Rose and Dimitri.  Sydney was the same uptight girl in VA as she was in Bloodlines, only you get to see her adapt and develop.  Sydney starts as a tense and timid alchemist with no back bone but blossoms into a vivacious, persistent, resolute, and sociable person.  I loved Adrian….although throughout the VA series I was always a Team Dimitri fan when it came to Rose, but I thoroughly enjoyed his wittiness and his charming sense of humor.  I hope to see Sydney get over her chauvinistic views of Moroi and magic, and open her eyes to Adrian.  After all the suffering that Adrian has gone through I think he deserves someone to return his affections!

I gave this book an A+ as I felt it was the perfect spinoff to the Vampire Academy Series and I really can’t wait to see what else is in store for our ‘family’ in rest of the series.  Book #2, The Golden Lily is scheduled to be released June 19, 2012.  Oh, I can’t wait!

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Blue Bloods Series Review

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz-
I found Blue Bloods to have a refreshing take on vampires and fallen angels.  Melissa De La Cruz has created a beautiful world that is unsparingly original and romantically entrancing.  I truly enjoyed the characters; there really is one in there for everyone.  In a world of high society blue bloods my personal favorite was Schuyler, I discovered her to be compassionate, humble, persevering, & beautifully ordinary.  The plot line is one that will grab you and make you succumb to your needs of finishing the book.  There was only one thing that I didn’t like about Blue Bloods and that was the excessive explanations of what clothes they were wearing…I know that some of it was needed to understand the wealthy life of high society and the pretentious school they went to.

My Rating: 19/20 (A-)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing style: 4


Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz

Masquerade was deliciously suspenseful and ultimately unrelenting!  This book was all consuming as Schuyler hunts for her last remaining family member and starts her vampire training.  As the intricate plot line is woven you discover new alliances and old enemies are still lurking around every corner.  While enemies are waiting for their perfect opportunities to suddenly attack, Schuyler and Bliss is still effectively pursuing their vampire traits to overcome the hardships that they are bound to confront.  I absolutely adored this edition of the story as the characters develop and you start to see a delicate romance and fierce plot unfold into a masterful tale that one wrong choice could have disastrous repercussions!


My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz

As you plunge deeper into the story Revelations will send chills down your spine as you discover secrets that is edition holds.  This book was absolutely heart wrenching and alluring as you uncover major details of the romantic relationships as well as ruthless death and destruction that will leave the conclave in shambles.  This story has a unique newness that it takes so many twists and turns that I couldn’t ever guess what was going to happen next.  Upon finishing this novel I was left absolutely horrified, the ending of this edition was one that had such an inconceivable close that you will be left shell shocked!  With being left so distraught it made me jump into the next book, The Van Alen Legacy…


 My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

As the biggest book in the series I found The Van Alen Legacy to be as thrilling and entrancing as Blue Bloods, as suspenseful and unrelenting as Masquerade, and as alluring and ruthless as Revelations!  I thoroughly loved this book! I don’t know if I can find the words to explain how truly masterful this book was!  As the story continues again I am left appalled, I can’t fathom how Melissa De La Cruz thought of this brilliant plot and wove together all the intricate details!  From the beginning to the end I was sitting at the edge of my seat in suspense wondering what was going to happen next.  Melissa De La Cruz had this beautiful way of writing that makes you feel as if you know everyone’s secrets and no one knows about them yet.  Then with each book ending on a cliff hanger it is truly difficult to not immediately pick up the next book.  

My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

Keys to the Repository by Melissa De La Cruz

I found Keys to the Repository to be very enlightening and insightful.  It gave you inside information to series and deleted scenes that were useful in comprehending the story.  As you are reading the series you don’t necessarily have to read this book to understand the series, you could just keep going on without it.  But if you would like inside information then I would highly suggest it!

My Rating: 19/20 (A-)
Originality: 5
Plot: 4
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5





Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz

Misguided Angel was absolutely beautiful and tantalizing!  The plot thickens as Mimi is now the regent of the New York Coven.  I truly loved getting to see her in a different light, one that shows her putting the vampire community before her own needs.  I also adored getting to see Schuyler and Jack together and was extremely worried for them as they worked to fulfill the Val Alen Legacy.  Then there was a new character, Deming, who was mysterious and intriguing.  Altogether it made for a riveting read that will have you grabbing for Bloody Valentine next!




My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5


Bloody Valentine by Melissa De La Cruz

This was a great installment to the series as it held romantic stories about three of the main characters in the epic tale.  I know that this book looks like a filler novel but I felt it held wonderful insight that was crucial to understand before continuing on with the series.  As this was a short read it was very entertaining and beautifully written, if you love the romantic aspect of this series then you have to read this!

My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5



Lost in Time by Melissa De La Cruz

Lost in time is difficult to talk about without revealing spoilers so I’m going to keep it vague but as the newest novel in the series it was definitely the most intriguing out of all of them.  This book had my full attention and I could not stop thinking about it until I finished it.  It was alluring, seductive, suspenseful, heart-wrenching, & utterly engrossing!  As secrets were spilled and long awaited questions were answered as Melissa De La Cruz created (in my opinion) the best book of the series, but in doing so she also opened about twenty more questions.  My only problem with this is that the next book, The Gates of Paradise, doesn’t come out until January 2013!  Until then I will look forward to Wolfpack for Bliss’s part of the story which will be out in September 2012.

My Rating: 20/20 (A+)
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

October's Bookshelf

Unfortunately I could only accomplish half of my list last month.  But I have picked up of few books in the past month or so that I'm really excited to read... so here's my list:

1. Bloody Valentine by Melissa De La Cruz
2. Lost in Time by Melissa De La Cruz
3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
4. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
7. Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins
8. Beautiful Chaos by Margaret Strohl and Kami Garcia
9. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
10. Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast