Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dirty Little Secret # 1


Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by us at Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. We hope that you will all join us!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link below.

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!! Let us know your answer in the comments!

We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

This week's question:
If your blog crew (or if it's just you, then you are a pack of one) could make up their own pack, what name would you call yourselves and what animal pack would it be?
My Answer:
 Hmmm if I were to make my own pack first It would be a pack of wolves. Yes, wolves are cute, beautiful animals, Not to mention that Werewolves are Sexy!!!!. The name of my pack would be "Destiny Wolves" yeah corny but it's hard to come up with something haha!

I don't know if I should tell my editor about me picking for us hahaha!!!

Loved the question so I had to participate hehe!

Wasuremono Manga Review


Author: Setsuko Katou
Artist: Setsuko Katou

Genra: Yaoi
Year: 2009
Original Publisher:
Core Magazine  
Volumes: 
1 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
No
English Publisher








Summary
Masatsugu, a calligraphy sensei, liked his student, Sumiya, for a very long time. His feelings got stronger and he started to avoid eye contact with Sumiya. Sumiya sensed Masatsugu’s awkwardness and confronted him. They eventually did it and Sumiya didn’t look for Masatsugu anymore after that. Then one day, Masatsugu came home to find Sumiya at his doorstep…


My Thoughts on the Manga
This book was so cute and really graphic so I don’t recommend this to anyone who is new to reading Yaoi or it will surprise you. This manga is full of one shots that are different in each chapter after the main story is finished. I found each story enjoyable mostly the beginning story. I believe only one story was to short and I hated how short it was. I will talk about the first main story since it had more of a story to it.

The main characters are Masatsugu who is a calligraphy teacher. He has been teaching his student Sumiya for a very long time since the boy has been in highschool. Over the years he has fallen in love with the boy but could never tell him even when he started to go to College he was just to shy to say his true feelings. Then one day he just couldn’t look at Sumiya in the face any longer because of his thoughts and it grew a distance between them. Even Sumiya notice it and then he couldn’t take it any longer. Sumiya is a cute boy but doesn’t catch on to Masatsugu feelings right away, he doesn’t even know about his own feelings for the teacher until he went on a hotsprings trip with his girlfriend. They are really cute towards each other and are such great characters for the story.


The romance is cute and fast because each story is a one shot it was going to have to be fast. Though the author did do good on writing out most of the stories and planning how they would end fast. Only one story did I find was to short.


Design





Another simple type of drawing, the characters do stand out a lot and the Mangaka loves to put in the backgrounds but not very often. There is detail in the clothes and in most panels and there is thought in the characters designs. Not only that each chapter the characters all look different not the same like most Manga books from the same Mangaka.









Overall
I did like the main story and last story more then the other short stories in this manga book. I do reccomend this book if you like short stories.

Rating
3 out of 5 Howling Wolves

Constellations in My Palm Manga Review!


Author: Chisako Sakuragi
Artist: Yukine Honami
Genra: Yaoi
Year: 2006
Original Publisher:
Tokuma Shoten 
Volumes: 
1 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
Yes
English Publisher
June





Summary

Enji is moving on to college and it turns out he’ll be living with his cousin Mizuho, who he hasn’t seen in seven years. Enji, once the younger cousin that Mizuho thought of as a cute little brother, is now a tall, handsome man practically oozing with cool. And yet, despite how close they used to be, Enji’s giving him the cold shoulder. Has Enji simply grown out of being Mizuho’s surrogate younger brother, or is he trying to hide his true feelings?

My Thoughts on the Manga

This manga is just to cute and heart wrenching. The characters are so clueless about each other you feel frustrated that they can't see that they love each other. The each think the other person likes someone else. Quite a few times I felt like I needed to smack them to get them to see each other properly.


The story is from Mizuho point of view, you watch as he goes through the emotions on how to deal with Enji after not seeing him for so long. It's a silly reason as well for staying away from Enji for so many years, even if they were cousins Mizuho found ways to stay away from their families get together. It's the same thing with Enji he doesn't know how to express himself to Mizuho who he has loved for so long. He tells Mizuho quite a few times that he loves him but it never works. Mizuho never believes him and it just makes Enji more and more upset.

Because it's hard for them to understand each other and hard to express themselves the romance in this book is slow. You see how Mizuho struggles to know what his real feelings for Enji are and he doesn't realize it till near the ending of the book. Enji does advance on Mizuho a few times even tells him he loves him but that's about it. They don't show there feelings till near the ending.

The plot is great and cute, for both Mizuho and Enji to meet again after so long and to struggle to get to know each other again is hard. The plot focuses around them and you will grow very found of these two characters.

Design





The style of this manga is quite simple for it's time but still very good. The design is wel done and even if there isn't very much detail in the background your real focus is the characters and there expressions. The light hair character is Mizuho and the dark hair is Enji.










Overall
Great story I loved reading this manga from beginning to end. If you like slow romance and a struggle for expressing true feelings then this manga is for you.


Rating

5 out of 5 Howling Wolves













Monday, May 28, 2012

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry




The Great Influenza: The Story of the
Deadliest Pandemic in History

Author: John M. Barry    
ISBN: 0143036491 (ISBN13: 9780143036494)
Release Date: 
October 4th 2005
Format : paperback
Pages:
560
Genre: History, Non Fiction, Science, Medical






Summary
At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.

My Thoughts on the Book
I know this book is different then what is normally reviewed, but I thought that it was still very interesting and one to be shared. It is purely fact, talking about real events and statistics.

The Great Influenza talks about the scientific breakthroughs, and letdowns, before, during and after the 1918-1919 outbreak of the Great Influenza. It goes by other names, such as La Grippe and the Spanish Flu, and in this review I'll be calling it just influenza, as it is in the book.

John M. Barry does a fantastic job when presenting the story of the influenza. He discusses the scientific breakthroughs pre-1918, such as the rise of immunization, antibiotics, and even cures for contagious diseases. This sets the scene of why people didn't feel afraid at the start of the outbreak. As is said many times throughout the book, "It was only influenza. Only influenza." Barry also discusses the backgrounds and rise of many prominent scientists and doctors at this time, such as Henry Welch, Simon Flexner, Oswald T. Avery, and Paul A. Lewis. They, and others mentioned in the book, were the pioneers of medicine at the time. They were among the first to use microscopes and modern scientific methods, and fought to find a cure for the influenza, even at the risk of infection themselves.

Barry traces the outbreak of influenza, from the start of just a few soldiers coming down with illness, to the spread of the general population. As it was "only influenza. Only influenza," no one was worried about the influenza reaching the levels it did. The disease, in its various forms, usually killed the very young and very old, not men and women in the prime of their lives. But that's exactly what happened. Among the highest ranges of death was in the 24-29 year range. Instead of the usual U graph, it's a W graph. This is explained, as the discoveries happen.

The statistics in the book vary, but that's due to the often inaccurate reports at the time. The influenza carried between a 10%-20% death rate, with about 3-6% of the global adult population dying. In numbers, they range between 25 million within the first 25 weeks of infection, to as many as 40-100 million dead globally. Why does this matter? This happened nearly a century ago. Well, the strain of influenza was... H1N1. Yeah, that H1N1. The strain that appeared then appeared to have been a particularly lethal one, hitting in three waves in one year. The one that flared up in 2009 was a less lethal form, but had the potential to cause a new global pandemic. Even today, we're not prepared to be able to handle the sudden deaths of millions of people within weeks.

I can admit, this book hit close to home. Both my mother and grandmother were nurses, and it made me think of them while reading about the nurse shortage. About nurses who were kidnapped so they would treat sick patients, or those who fled their jobs for their own lives. And especially about the nurses and doctors who died trying to cure. My maternal great-grandfather's (through my grandfather) first wife was also killed by the influenza. If she had lived, would I be the woman I am today?

The one thing that bothered me about the book was that it was very American centered. It glossed over the war, making it seem as though the war only really started once America became involved. (Again, a personal connection, as my maternal great-grandfather was a soldier in WW1.) It also talked mainly about America's sickness, talking about other countries as barely more than statistics or minor breakthroughs foreign doctors made. This was a global pandemic, not just an American disease. On the other hand, photos of major scientists are included, as well as the photos of the field hospitals and precautions people took at the time.

Overall
If you're looking for a historical book, this is a highly recommended read. The science is easy to understood, as well as the timelines.


Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves
Review By: Cassandra Halikas

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taken at Dusk by C.C. Hunter Review


Taken at Dusk
Author: C.C. Hunter    
ISBN: 0312624697 (ISBN13: 9780312624699)

Release Date: April 10th 2012
Format : Paperback
Pages:
380
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal,
Fantasy, Supernatural
Series:
Shadow Falls #3







Summary
Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers.  Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.


Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean.  But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together.  Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever imagined.


My Thoughts on the Book
The third in the series was fantastic, lots of twists in the middle and ending of the book. Not to mention you finally learn what Kylie is, no more guessing, no more wishing for something she's not. It's finally revealed of what she is and that she isn't the only one with this gift of hers.

This book you learn a few more things about characters you met in the previous books. Mario and Red and how they're not as they seem. You also learn that Derek has a few new powers and gives a better reason why he can't be around Kylie. Of course, Kylie's hurt by this, but Derek is only doing this so that he doesn't get bombarded with her emotions all at once. There is the new Vampire girl who Derek brought back with him. Her name is Elle and she really is a kind girl who only wishes to make friends. She apologies to Kylie about her and Derek being together at one time and explains that it is over between them. Despite all that she soon becomes friends with Kylie, Della and Miranda. Kylie gains a few more interesting powers, something that the mind reading supernaturals didn't expect from her. Of course you see how Perry tries his best to get Miranda's attention, even causing a few mistakes.

You get to see more of a relationship between Kylie and Lucas. You know something is wrong with Lucas pack when they start taking Lucas away from Kylie. It's sad when this happens, because then Lucas is wanting Kylie to be a werewolf more then ever but Kylie doesn't want this. Though despite this, they do have a few steamy and cute scenes together. Lucas is even more hot in this book, and he explains the whole werewolf purring thing that happens. I can't really explain it but when you read the book you will see what I mean and you would think it's hot too. Not to mention when Derek returns things start to get even more interesting, because Derek doesn't come back alone and you see how jealous Kylie is. The ending will leave you thinking once more on who Kylie might end up with. For Burnett and Holiday fans, you will enjoy this book more then the first two. Their relationship evolved to become a bit more then just always fighting.

The third book in this series has a riveting plot. A new ghost tells Kylie the same words over and over again, saying the death angels told her to say that to Kylie. This makes Kylie more confused then ever. However, this ghost has no memories of her past, causing Kylie to began to think if she's a good ghost or a bad one. Strange things also start to happen to Kylie when evil animals seem to appear out of nowhere to save her. Then Burnett has someone to shadow Kylie everyday to protect her from strange things that keep happening to her. At the end of the book you learn what she really is and let me say it's the most surprising thing that will leave you wanting to read the next book soon.
Design



I didn't know how good a designer can be until I read the back of this book seeing where all the images were from. The designer took three different images and merged them into one and it is just beautiful. With the title in the middle to stand out against the dark images it was done really well. Even the girl at the bottom of the page draws your attention to the whole land scape in the back. It's an overall nice design and I wouldn't change anything.





Overall
It's a great third book in the series and I can't wait to read the fourth book. I highly recommend reading this book series if you like supernatural creatures all in one book!

Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves





Time Mends by Tammy Blackwell Review!




Time Mends
Author: Tammy Blackwell   
ASIN: B006S2LXZ0
Release Date: 
December 31st 2011
Format : ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Werewolves,
Shapeshifters, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series:
Timber Wolves Trilogy #2









Summary

After a tragic accident leaves her battered, heartbroken, and alone, Scout Donovan would rather hide in dreams than face reality. But things are changing quickly in Scout's life. Soon she's pulled back into the world of Shifters and Seers, with her best friend's fate depending on Scout's ability to protect her. Can Scout pull it together in time to save Talley, or is the past too much to overcome


My Thoughts on the Book
(WARNING: This review is for a sequel and may contain spoilers!) I didn't think I would love this series after what happen at the end of the last book, but this is a great sequel. My favorite character died, and I was so upset. Not only do I have to deal with the fact that Alex isn't alive, I have to watch as Scout goes through the emotions of that loss, and the pain of learning she was wrong in thinking that he could be still alive. I did get annoyed when they skip most of the scenes when they are in animal form. The first time Scout, Charlie and Jace turn into their animal form and hunt in a pack, the author skipped that part as if she was scared to write about what happen when they were in animal form. The next time they are in animal form the author wrote a bit about them but not very well.

In this book Scout goes through many changes. She becomes a wolf, but how it's done or why is unknown to her. It surprises me when she doesn't freak out by what's happening  to her. She takes everything really well and adapts right away. Even when she returns to her human form from her first night as a wolf, she remains calm. She just acted normal and asks her friends why this was happening to her. Maybe falling in love with a werewolf has made her cooler under stress. However, she was human born, and this happens right after Alex died. Some sort of emotional distress can be expected. She soon goes to Todd's, Charlie's  and Jace's leader and ask him for what she can do now. She's given her own area to run in, but the leader tells her that she isn't allowed to leave that area. It doesn't take long before Charlie, Jace and Talley follow her and become her pack. It was interesting seeing Coyotes be in a pack with the wolf as a leader. Of course though, this gets Talley in trouble. It gets worse when Jace is involved, and it's sad to see how he reacts and how Talley reacts.

You meet the leaders of the werewolf/shifter world and see how they treat people who may be different from themselves. It puts everyone in trouble when they take Scout. You meet the leader Alpha and the Alpha female, who was described by Scout as a lolicon, because of how young she was. (Generally, lolicon manga and anime portray sexual attraction to younger girls or to girls with youthful characteristics.) Knowing this, it makes the fact that the leader is an old man much more disturbing. At the end of the book you get to meet a character you thought wouldn't return.

This book is more of an action book than a romance novel. In Scout's dreams, when she's talking to Alex they are making out and acting like boyfriend and girlfriend. Though after she realizes Alex is really dead her feelings towards him change and they act more like friends. There is hardly any interaction between Charlie and her because of what Charlie did. Though they do end up talking and knew that they could be friends but nothing more then that anymore. He had lost any chance with her when that incident with Alex happen.

Design



I really do love the way this book design looks. I love the simple wolf and human silhouettes. The added with the colorful sky and the silhouette of the trees gives a haunting, mystical feel. Over all it's really beautiful even the title at the bottom is just as beautiful. The author's name is still a bit distracting with how large it is but not enough this time to take away from the background image.



Overall

Reading this book I loved it as much as the first book. I hated how Alex died and that he won't ever come back. This book has very little shifting talk in this book but I do like it.

Rating
4 out of 5 Howling Wolves

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell Review




Destiny Binds
Author: Tammy Blackwell   
ISBN: 1460918681 (ISBN13: 9781460918685)
Release Date: 
March 3rd 2011
Format : ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Werewolves,
Shapeshifters, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series:
Timber Wolves Trilogy #1






Summary

Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

My Thoughts on the Book
Let me say this, this book was so exciting! I just couldn't stop reading this book, I had to know what happens next. Who would have thought that a book about werewolves and Shapeshifter Coyotes would be so good? Though I did find some parts a bit annoying, as parts would seem to go by too quickly, and it left me confused at a climatic scene. Despite this, it does leave a reader wanting more after the big twist.

Scout is the main girl of this story, described as a normal girl who's not really pretty. It doesn't help when she thinks that way of herself as well. It should be noted that Scout isn't her real name, but rather a nickname she came up for herself. She somehow catches the attention of two boys, one name Charlie who is her step-brother's cousin. The other is Alex who is new to town and catches her attention right away. She has always had a crush on Charlie and wished his feelings were the same as hers, but she feels that she's not pretty enough for him or Alex. Though her fears of her looks soon disappears when she starts getting closer to Alex and learn things about him she never thought was possible. Despite the set up for a serious love triangle, Scout spends most of her time with Alex. She's barely seen with Charlie. For his part, Charlie cares a lot about Scout though he hides his true feelings for her, and he's kind and fun to be around. Alex is straight forward with his feelings, though he has known Scout for a long time and couldn't hide his feelings for her. He did anything he could to get Scout to talk to him and he truly loves her and would do anything for her, even at the cost of his own life.  Talley is Scout's best friend, right from the start you knew something was up with her and you don't find out what till near the middle of the book. She knows more about things then even Scout and despite that Scout doesn't stop being Talley's friend. Talley only wants to help everyone she is truly a good person. Scout also has a cute younger sister that helps her be with Alex quite a few times and helps keep it a secret from Jace (her step-brother) and Charlie

The romance in this book is cute between Scout and Alex. She doesn't believe he could ever love her with how she looks, but he tells her differently. He loves her looks and everything about her. The small moments they have together is sweet, and with the help of Scout's sister Angel, they spend time together unknown to Jace and Charlie. The romance between Scout and Charlie is very little, and you know that Scout has feelings for Charlie. When they do interact in a romantic sense, you wonder why did Charlie only acted on his feelings when Alex arrived, and why act at all when he has a girlfriend.

The plot is mostly centered by the new arrivals of the Cole brothers. Right away Scout's brother doesn't like them, and Scout had no idea why. Jace nor Charlie would tell her. This made her suspicious as to why they wanted her to stay away from Alex. Scout though soon learns the truth about what Alex really is and soon after she learns what Jace and Charlie are. In the end though she has to choose one and her choice may cause an accident she never knew would come. This story is so much like Romeo and Juliet from being star crossed lovers who weren't allowed to be together at all or risk Alex being killed. To the ending which would leave you both shocked on how it could just end like that. Near the ending though you wonder what happen with Charlie when Scout tells Jace he doesn't want to see them. It made me feel like he was forgotten when they skipped the hospital part to go straight to something I can't spoil.

Design



I love the overall look and feel with the image of this book. You can see right away that it's about werewolves and that it takes place in a forest. What I have a problem with is the huge author's name right at the top of the book. It really distracting from the overall feel of the book. Though it is counter weighted with the title of the book down below, I believe they could have done better with the author's name placement and size.




Overall
I've fallen in love this series, and I already have the second book. I highly recommend this book if you like werewolves!

Rating
4 out of 5 Howling Wolves


Monday, May 14, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth Book Review



Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth   
ISBN: 0007442912 (ISBN13: 9780007442911)
Release Date:  May 1st 2012
Format : Hardcover
Pages:
525
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance,
Science Fiction, Fantasy
Series:
Divergent #2









Summary
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

My Thoughts on the Book

The second book to the Divergent series wasn't as exciting as the first book, but it was good. It was more about finding a way for the remaining Dauntless to find out what to do next in a world were they have to live with what the Erudite had done to them. I'm already excited for the third book!
A surprising character in the book I found was Peter. He was the villain from the first book who you always knew was going to do something bad. It doesn't take long before you he think something is up with him. However, you're proven wrong when he saves Tris from the Erudite. Another surprising character is Tris. You learn more about her as a Divergent in this book then the last. You learn how none of the simulations or chemicals really effect her. Then you also learn who is a Divergent that has been keeping it a secret. Tobias also has a few secrets of his own in this book that you learn as well. Not to mention the sudden confrontation between his father and himself, which will make you surprise that he would even do that to his father.

The relationship between Tris and Tobias starts of great. Even with everything happening around them they find time to still be together. As you continue to read you see that Tobias is getting more and more worried for Tris, even telling her if she plans to put herself at risk again he will dump her. Of course, she does put herself at risk again, but he doesn't follow through on his threat and still loves her. Though you will enjoy hearing that she does tell Tobias that she loves him and I'm glad for this. They are a cute couple and it's about time that she tells him she loves him!

Insurgent picks up immediately where Divergent left off on. Tobias, Tris, and the rest of the group are running from Erudite/Dauntless traitors, going to Amity compound in hopes of them acting like their fraction and giving them a place of refuge. They stay there to figure out their next course of action, but when the Erudite and Dauntless Traitors arrive at the Amity compound, they knew they had to run now or risk getting caught. It doesn't take long though before the figure out a plan of action which involved running off and splitting up so they don't get caught. Tris, Tobais, her brother Calab and Susan all make it to the tracks where they soon escape onto a train. They find themselves with the fractionless people who are planning to put a stop to the Erudite who haven't given up in trying to control everyone. It doesn't take long though after a meeting with someone from Tobias's past to make them run to another fraction, which is the Candor. At the Candor, they through a test to see if they can be trusted. They also find other Dauntless, who weren't traitors. Things heat up when the Dauntless traitors and Erudite attack the Candor compound. The story continues to get worse then better as you continue to read. I don't want to spoil to much so I won't say what happens next. Then the ending will have you so surprised and jaw dropping that you would want to read the next book right away. 


Design


The follow up cover for Insurgent is just as beautiful as the first cover design. This time is shows the tree which showing hints of what was in the book. I even just notice that below is a city with a train which I find very beautiful placed there. The title in the middle under the tree symbol and the author's name right below that makes it even more better in the overall design. The designer of this cover did good to capture the whole book.





Overall
I highly recommend this series and I will be looking forward to the third book of this series.



Rating
4 out of 5 Howling Wolves

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In My Mailbox [15]


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!


Here are the list of books I've receive in the last week with a link to their goodreads page:



Bought:


Won:



Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Beyond by Willow Rose
Serenity by Willow Rose
Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis

Free: 


Tell me about your IMM I would love to see it!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Incarnate Contest gloves giveaway!

How to win:
1. Take a picture of your cold, mitt-less hands holding your copy of INCARNATE. It can be a hardcover or ebook copy. Just make sure I can see your hands + Ana’s face. If you want to take INCARNATE somewhere special for the picture, that’s fine too. I love seeing how creative you can be!
2. Post your picture somewhere online — Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, your blog — and link back to THIS blog post of mine, that way other people can see the ASUNDER cover and participate in the contest.
3. Come back here and leave your link in the form. You might notice there are four places to enter links. That means if you want to put your picture + link in four places, you may.
4. You have one week. I’ll close the form for new entries at 5pm Eastern on Monday, May 14.

Enter here:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pink Manga Review



Author:
Satosumi Takaguchi

Artist:
Satosumi Takaguchi
Genra: Yaoi
Year: 1999
Original Publisher:
Tokuma Shoten 
Volumes: 
3 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
No
English Publisher







Summary
Pink is the story of a young high school student named Usagi who is trying to become an adult porno manga artist. Who would've figured that out of a such a cute, innocent blond boy? Guiding him is Benio, the original artist of the story that Usagi is working on. Benio at first seems to just want to teach, but then finds himself getting a little too interested in teaching Usagi how to get into that, er, certain frame of mind for drawing adult porn.

Now enter in Usagi's father, an attractive, sexy man who is more than a little interested in Benio, and makes no move to hide it both from Benio and his own son. And who could resist that? Who would want to?

My Thoughts on the Manga
I laughed and giggled and moved around so many times while reading this book.

To see how the character Benio takes in a highschool student to be his manga drawer is just to surprising. Since the manga he wants the student to draw has bondage and sex in it. Which he relizes later that the kid Usagi doesn't know anything about sex or bondage or anything sexual at all. Then stuff happens that will leave you blushing and giggling. Usagi the manga drawer starts to ask Benio about those types of things and asks him to show him how it's done. So the very first situation is where Benio ties Usagi up in bondage style to see how it would be drawn. This manga took so damn long for me to finish because of how much I was giggling the whole time. Except when the serious parts came then I finished the manga more fast during those times.

What confused me was not know who was with who. After first I thought the main couple was Benio and Usagi but then Usagi's father came into the picture and started to advance on Benio. Not only that but Benio accepted Usagi's father and slept with him even though he was starting to like Usagi. I get the feeling most of this would have been explained if the Mangaka thought to make the manga longer to explain who the couples were and who the side people were. Cause now I think Usagi is with another manga drawer and Benio is with Usagi's father. I still like the manga though even if it was confusing at times.

Design



As you can see it's olden style drawings. The drawings isn't as detail or good looking as the manga coming out right now. It's simple but detailed in it's own way. Even if they were drawn this way I still liked everything about the manga. It drew me in fast with the funny plot line and the weird characters. This manga style also reminds me somewhat of the manga/anime "Hana Yori Dango" or better known as in english "Boys over Flowers".









Overall
Great story line, funny character interactions other then the confusing parts I did love this manga.

Rating
3.5 out of 5 Howling Wolves


Lovers Doll Manga Review


Author:
Kazuhiko Mishima

Artist: Kazuhiko Mishima
Genra: Yaoi
Year: 2008
Original Publisher:
Libre   
Volumes: 
1 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
No
English Publisher









Summary
When Shin hears about a doll known as the "bloody doll" from his friends, he can't help but be curious. Instantly falling in love with the figurine he decides to buy it, but there are rumors about the doll and how it got it's name. It can supposedly move and talk, one owner even claimed that it drank his blood.

Unfazed, Shin buys the doll anyway to find out that the rumors might not be as ridiculous as they sound...


My Thoughts on the Manga
This manga made me cry, laugh I was just so into this manga. The story line was great and even the way the characters were drawn was beautiful. It has the one of the best happy endings I have ever experienced in reading manga and let me tell you not many Manga books end as great as this one did.

In this manga you meet a boy name Shin, who is sitting with his friends one day when they start to talk about a doll that is always being put up for auction. They call it the bloody doll because it would start to move around making the owners freak out and put the doll up for sale. This catches Shin's attention and when he see's the picture of the doll he fell in love with it. He buys the doll and it wasn't to long when the doll suddenly moves and calls Shin his master. Shin is startled at first but unlike the dolls last owners he doesn't call the doll a monster. The doll is surprised by this but Shin's feelings never changed it still loves the doll. Shin soon names the doll Shimeji which means small mushroom, of course the doll did say for Shin to name him and he loved the name in the end. The doll can move around in small form but can appear in a larger form like a normal human, which makes it even more cute for the two of them because then you see them kiss and it's all adorable.

It's cute when the doll(Shimeji) starts to feel things for the first time, like love. Shimeji doesn't know what love felt like until he met Shin and would always tell Shin he loved him. Another emotion he experience for the first time is Jealousy. Which happen when Shin was with his friends and was laughing with them but Shimeji couldn't do anything but sit as still as a doll so he reacted by pushing over a vase. It was a cute reaction but it got Shin mad at Shimeji, causing Shimeji to react by hitting Shin. I can't spoil any more because what happens next is so sad and cute you would want to read it yourself. Not to mention the secret ending was surprised by who is on top and who is on bottom.


Then there was the story at the end of the manga that was so cute,
I have to write it down for you guys:

Once upon a time,
There was a doll that only needed
his master’s love to develop a soul.

But because he was so unique,
he was feared by the people around him,
and became very lonely.
Then oneday, he met someone who would accept all of him for who he was,
a master gave him many new experiences and emotions.

After many trials,
the two discovered their mutual love for one another,
and swore to remain together forever.

Many long years later,
the master’s life was finally nearing its end… and even then,
the doll remained at his master’s side.

…And when his master finally passed away,
the doll never moved again.

Those Two must have gone to heaven together.

Design




Very cute style of drawings, you can see how the author took time in the design of the characters. She put lots of detail in the character Shimeji with his style of clothes especially. You can see how cute the characters are and how their emotions show well on their faces. Though the backgrounds are not always drawn your main focus is on the characters and how they react towards one another.










Overall
It's a cute story and you will like it, it's cute and funny and even sad near the end. You will love every moment of this manga and I highly recommend it.

Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves



As the Death God Dictates Manga Review


Author:
Ao Mimori

Artist: Ao Mimori
Genra: Romance, Shojo,
Supernatrual, Tragedy
Year: 2003
Original Publisher:
Shueisha   
Volumes: 
2 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
No
English Publisher







Summary
Ayumi is a 16-year-old who has a crush on her classmate, Musashi. One day, the God of Death appears before her, and announces that she has only one month left to live. There's no stopping the hourglass of fate! Life is short, girl, so love with all your might!

My Thoughts on the Manga
I gotta say I'm so disappointed that this manga hasn't been license yet even thought it's such a great story. The one company that could have probably
license it (Tokyopop) went out of business here in North America. Since I love this manga a lot I will give you a link on where to read it below.

Ayumi is kind of a silly girl who lets the guy she has a crush on push her around. It's funny how she reacts to Musashi because first she thinks he's just using her for stuff but he's just being a boy who picks on the girl he likes. She also starts to think she's going crazy when she starts to hear and see things no one elses can. Soon she is told by the god of death that she has a month left to live and then she will die. At first she doesn't know how to react, she tries to ignore thoughts of that but then it starts to effect her school work. It isn't long before Musashi notices her acting weird and starts to help her think of something they could do to help each other. Musashi is like any high school boy, he picks on the girl he likes. Though when he learns about Ayumi's problem with the god of death, he starts to help her in any way that he can. As for the god of death he isn't the bad guy, he's just doing is job. He's really nice and a kind person who has always been alone. He really shows his emotion when he's upset, it shows when he cries for a cat he had to bring to the other word. He sweet and caring even though he has a bad job. He even falls for Ayumi and though his jealousy hurts Ayumi he soon learns this and backs off so that Ayumi can be with Musashi. There is a scene after the cat dies that Ayumi and the god of death is talking and she doesn't know what to call him. So she tell's him that she would give him a name but she didn't get the chance to because she was late for class. Though before Ayumi goes he tells her how he's excited to hear her name for him.

The romance is cute but sad because Ayumi only has a month left to live and being with Musashi is all new to her. It's cute when Ayumi firsts confesses to Musashi since it was a mistake at first and the next day Musashi ignores her. She doesn't know why Musashi ignores her but when she confronts Ayumi afterwards and she learns that he ignored her because he was embaressed. He confesses to her as well and they start dating. During this time the god of death falls in love with Ayumi and it's cute how he tries to deal with it. You will fall in love with the god of death even more so when you learn his name.

The plot is great, it's both funny and so sad. For one thing Ayumi isn't suppose to see the god of death but for some reason she does and the god of death is confused at first. Though later he tells them it doesn't matter if she can see him or not she still has to die in a month. This causes problems with Ayumi that she has to go through. During the two volumes you see how Ayumi and Misashi deal with her having a god of death on her and how Musashi would do anything to protect her. During this time of being able to talk to Ayumi the god of death falls in love with her. Even when he gets jealous and starts to say how Ayumi would die soon anyway so why be with Musashi. He ends up learning that she belongs with Musashi and that he would do anything to save her from death and the consequences is quite high. . .

Design




It's a cute simple style this mangka has. She loves her details simple and yet you know what your seeing. There is lots of talking in this manga but it doesn't take away from the images. It also shows lots of chibish parts but those are cute to see. As you can see the characters are drawn cute both in the design of the boys and the girls. They are a simple design but you will love the characters either way.










Overall
I highly recommend this manga, you will fall in love with the characters and especially the god of death. You might cry but that's what makes the ending so very good. Here is the link if you wish to read the manga:
http://www.mangareader.net/1258/as-the-death-god-dictates.html

Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves


Unicorn Keep by Angelia Almos Blog Tour!!!


I would love to say I'm so happy to be part of the Unicorn Keep Blog Tour. It's my second time being part of a blog tour and it's very exciting to have been able to read this book! Now onto the more important stuff hehe!!!


Unicorn Keep
Author: Angelia Almos 
Release Date:  April 30th 2012
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Summery:
Jiline of Ainsley is dismayed when her best friend is selected by the mages to become a unicorn keeper at the Keep, an isolated mountain fortress. Especially since Madelen is in love and engaged to the richest boy in the village. Jiline on the other hand has no prospects of marriage or a trade in their small village. So, she comes up with a plan to take Madelen’s place at the Keep and hopefully flunk out of unicorn keeper training before the mages can discover the deception. Unfortunately, the unicorns have their own plans for her.

Mage Herrick, son of the Keep Mage, returns home to the Keep as the trainee keepers arrive. A chance encounter with Jiline, who he believes is Madelen, on the trail sparks a magical connection between the two. Knowing he can’t feel a magical draw to someone who has no magic, he tries to prove Madelen (Jiline) has magic within her. His attention brings unforeseen complications for both of them.

My Thoughts on Book
It's the first time I read a book that had Unicorns in it. I also don't usually read books with magic in it, so this was all so new to me. That being said, I loved every moment of this book.


Jiline is brave and a kind person who wanted to help her friend who was chosen to go to the keep. Many people had always confused her and Madelen for being sisters or even twins, that's how much they look alive. So with that knowledge she and Madelen change places while on the road. Even with the risk of getting caught and repermended she still wanted to help her friend. The reason she took her friends place was because for one Madelen was in love with a boy name Will. Will is the mayor's son Wilm and was going to marry Madelen. In addition., Jiline's family didn't want her around anymore because they couldn't afford a full house of children. Her sisters are still stuck at home because no one has married them or taken them on as an apprentice. This has left the family too poor to be able to take them all. The book takes place in an era where the horse and buggy is still the main way to travel. This also means they have old fashion clothing and work areas. Jiline is 15, old enough to get married or find a job or apprenticeship. Since she can't find work or marriage, she decided it would be easier for her family if she left them. She goes to the Keep where she pretends to be her friend Madelen. Everyone believes it true, except for Herrick. Herrick is a full fledge young mage. He's only a couple years older then Madelen (Juline) when he meets her on the trail to the keep. He feels drawn to her and the need to protect her and be around her over takes him.  He's not the only one who feels the drawn, though a bit slower Jiline also feels a drawn to the young mage. Your going to have to read to find out the real reason.

The romance in this book is small, with most of the plot line focus on the unicorns and Jilian helping them. There isn't a time to focus on the relationship between Herrick and Jilian. There is a few romantic moments, and the ending that is lovely and sweet. You will have to read it to learn what becomes of the two of them.

The plotline is lovely and it will draw you in from start to finish. It all centers around Jilian and the Unicorns who tell her she is the only one who can free them from them being captives near the mages keep. Jilian didn't think they were captives, based on how the mages act, but soon realizes she trusted the wrong people and she started to help the unicorns. In the story there is two different sets of people at the keep. Mages are people with magic and can cast spells, while keepers are just normal humans with no magic at all. The Unicorns need to be protected from the mages and from the ordinary humans who are unaware of magic.


Overall
I highly suggest you pick this book up and read it because you will love it as much as I do. I recommend it for people who love magic and unicorns. Not to mention some romance and adventure!


Rating
4 out of 5 Howling Wolves

Author

Angelia Almos formed a lifelong passion for horses at the age of five when she talked her parents into riding lessons. Horses often play a prominent role in her young adult fantasy books. She also write horsey nonfiction and space opera. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, two cats, and one pony (she often thinks of bumping that number up to two).





Book Excerpt

Excerpt 1 - Beginning of Book:
    The mages would judge all children between the ages of ten and fifteen at full light. Jiline hesitated outside the village square. Her stomach fluttered as she stayed in the dark corner of the livery stable. The village of Ainsley was not quiet. Voices wrapped around her. Some of the voices belonged to her friends. Any of them could be selected by the mages.

    Rain clouds covered the sky. There would be no pretty dawn for the selection.

    “Jiline,” a voice whispered behind her.

    She jumped, so focused on the square, she missed her best friend coming up behind her. “You scared me.”

    “Sorry,” Madelen whispered. “What are you doing?”

    “Watching,” she whispered back.

    Their fingers intertwined as they held hands. Jiline checked her friend over closely. Those in the village joked that the two girls looked more like sisters to each other than to their own siblings which was true. They were both fifteen years, same height, brown hair, green eyes, even the same mouth, but Madelen was the pretty one.

    Madelen had been scared when word came out about the arrival of the mages coming into the village last night. So scared she had cried. She didn’t want to be chosen for a life of servitude. Not when the mayor’s son was in love with her. The mayor had made an offer for her a few months ago and her parents had accepted. In a little over a year, Madelen and Wilm, the mayor’s son, would be wed. Even without the prospects Madelen had Jiline wasn’t any more thrilled about the prospect of being drafted by the mages.

Excerpt 2:
    “No, you’ll go with Wilm.” She spoke fast before she could talk herself out of her sudden scheme. “You’ll leave for the Keep just as expected. Wilm can head off for his apprenticeship. You two will meet up and go together.”

    “But they’ll know I didn’t come.”

    “No, they won’t.” She took a deep breath. The plan would not only help her friends, but benefit her family as well. “I’ll go in your place.”

    “The crystal didn’t glow for you.”

    “We’ll just have to hope they don’t have a giant crystal at the entrance or if they do they’ll just assume that I, Madelen, did something between today and then that ruined my soul.”

    Madelen turned her head to stare directly at her. “You’ll go as me?”

    “Of course, I can’t go as me. My name isn’t written on that parchment.” She brushed Madelen’s hair out of her face with her fingertips. “You know how everyone always jokes we look more alike than different. How we could almost be twins?”

    “You’re my best friend, if they discovered our deceit...”

    “They won’t. They won’t remember me from today. I’ll be you and you’ll be me.” The plan solidified in her head and became more possible with each passing second. “I’ll tell my parents I learned of an apprenticeship for myself. They’ll be happy to see me go. Wilm will go to the apprenticeship he’s been waiting on. I’ll travel with him for safety. You’ll go to the Keep. We’ll meet on the trail. You become me and go with Wilm.”

Monday, May 7, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth Book Review


Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth   
ISBN: 0062024027 (ISBN13: 9780062024022)
Release Date:  May 3rd 2011
Format : paperback
Pages:
487
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance,
Science Fiction, Fantasy
Series:
Divergent #1








Summary

Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts on the Book
The first thing I must mention is that there is no written summer on the back cover of the paperback book. i had to find the summery online. I think that the cover designer dropped the ball on this one. Even if the book is popular, it should still include a summary for new readers. That being said, this book was amazing! I loved every minute of this adventure. I couldn't stop reading this book, and when I finally did it left me wanting more. I can see myself doing things in this book, such as facing my fears of heights and needles. However, since the Dauntless fortress is mostly of heights I would probably get kicked out. You see, part of the initiation is facing your fears. It shows how strong Tris is though, as she's able to face her fears.

You can tell right away with our main girl Beatrice that she doesn't belong to the fraction she lived with for 16 years of her life. She always is curious, which isn't allowed in the Abnegation fraction. Nor is she suppose to speak unless spoken too. She wants to learn things, and that's one of the reasons she chose to be in a new fraction. She knew she didn't belong and that she would be better off in another fraction.  When she goes to a simulation to learn of the other options to pick for the ceremony, something wrong happens that changes everything for her life. It's only in the end of these problems that she chooses Dauntless, a fraction based on fighting you fears and being brave. As you read through the books you see her go through some hard times, making her look weak on the outside, but inside she's strong. She wants to get back and show everyone who she really is. It's because of this reason that she changes her name to Tris. This strong side is seen by Four, a member of the Dauntless assign to teach the students for initiation. Four is a strong character and drawn to Tris. He starts to look after her, though he doesn't show much kindness towards her. You know he's worried for her and wants to care for her in his own way. It's cute seeing how this strange pair react to one another and I love the moments they are together.

The Romance in this book is slow, but it's really cute how Tris and Four act towards each other. You see small hints from Four towards Tris and you know he has a thing for her. Tris doesn't realized her own feelings towards Four until later in the book. They have to be strong, supporting each other and covering one another's weaknesses. When they do start to relax and teach and kiss each other, I just couldn't help but celebrate. You know they love each other, but Tris doesn't seem to realize it yet. I hope she does soon.

As I mentioned before, the book centers around Beatrice (Tris), an Abnegation fraction child, and her life as she goes in for her testing to see what fraction she belongs to. From they day you turn 16 you take a test to give you options of what fraction you could choose to be in. On the main choosing day, you pick the fraction you most want to be in, either your own fraction or a different one. Beatrice picks the Dauntless as the fraction she would be staying with from now on, which makes her abandon her family. She changes her name and she can be who she wants to be, not someone she's not. The Erudite dislike the Abnegation because they are in charge of the government. Throughout the book there has been lots of made up stories about the Abnegation and soon it gets worse then the stories when the Erudite come up with something that is worse then anyone could have imagine and it involves the Dauntless. While not quite so serious, young readers can identify with this. From the moment they start high school, they're forced to pick their subjects to allow them to go to college or university.  It forces them to go down a certain path, shutting the door for other options if they change their minds. You may start high school thinking you want to be an actor, but change your mind to be a biologist. By grade 11, most biology options may be locked out for students, forcing them to retake classes.


Design


The book cover is rather plain, but they work with it to make it very eye catching. I love how the flames in the center of the book reflect when you tilt the book to the side. As I said above, I don't like the fact that the paperback version has no summary anywhere on the book cover, but besides that it's nicely done. The title and the placement of the author's name is very lovely and I can see the connection there is from this book to the next book. As the symbol changes when the placement of the characters change.




Overall
Great dystopian novel I loved everything about this book, from the facing your fears to the main plot line that will surprise you. I really recommend reading this book if your a big Dystopian fan.

Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves