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September 22, 2012

"I Hunt Killers" by Barry Lyga

[Clickey the epic bloodstained cover for Goodreads!]

Title: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Publication: 2012, LIttle, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad? Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say. But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
....read more

Review: A darkly haunting yet astronomically entertaining first book to what is sure to be an epic new series! "I Hunt Killers" is the ultimate package deal that delivers everything the death-kissed premise promises and so much more. It has got fantastic front cover to praise-loaded back cover of gripping suspense, mystery, action, and every last bit of awesome, savvy and handsome son of a serial killer. Who can possibly resist?!

Barry Lyga builds Jazz's story steadily and surely, giving this whopping thrill of a read a sturdy and very convincing foundation complete with solid research. In the opening chapter, we get a broad view of our male POV and a crime scene. That first initial glimpse into Barry's world wasn't instantly grasping for me. However, it was a good opening, now that I look back at it, because it was abstract though detailed, with not too much and mot too little on the main character. But when the first chapter abruptly snaps to an end with a terrifying hanger, I was plunged and immersed completely into the life of a certain Jasper Dent, with absolutely no possible way of escaping.

That opening was almost like the book was casually warning me at the beginning, giving me a chance to escape before it was too late to head back out. From there, the door slams close behind us and there is no way left but forward.

Jazz is a YA male protagonist in full glory. Depth of a disturbing (beyond words) childhood has given Jazz an intriguing undertone of bloodstained shadows; his strong and charming personality battles his past as an inner character conflict in the ultimate form of Nature vs. Nurture (thank you, Gr. 11 Sociology class!), portraying his tenacity and bravery in inner turmoils; his willingness to fight for the better gives him an easily likeable kindness and sense of justice. (that although sometimes wavers, but always stays true in the end.) On levels closer to the surface, Barry has finished Jazz off with a good-looking exterior, well-timed sense of humour, and the ability to ooze charm like a real pro. He is well put together, totally believable (despite the son of a serial killer part) and easy to love as a reader. I LOVE him! (see?)

"and then, - because he couldn't help it - he gave her the full-on megawatt smile. "The Charmer," Billy had called it." The secretary he was smiling at wasn't the only one who melted at that. ~swoon~

Like every character who does some internal swaying, Jazz is backed up and bolstered by a fantastic team of best friend and girlfriend. Howie and Connie are both equally well brought-to-life like Jazz and together, they do a great job of grounding our protagonist so he didn't let himself drop off into the realms of hell (as brave and strong as he is, he isn't invincible.). Howie also offered wonderful humour in addition to Jazz's and Connie was a true voice of reason and love to be appreciated. Barry's wide array of a cast does not end there and I found myself clicking with each and every one in different ways.

"I Hunt Killers" is a hard to categorize novel simply because I felt that it pulled off almost every element so well. The mystery spills over the pages as the characters interact in an intricate network that is partially hidden beyond everything you think you see and believe. The plotline suspense is driven and near perfect. The book also presents an awesome friendship between Jazz and Howie plus a subtle touch of love without laying it on too heavily. Not to mention Barry's diction is downright hilarious all the way throughout, cleverly amping up the enjoyment factor and balancing the morbid plot. The POV even switched sometimes, giving readers the opportunity to experience dramatic irony that shot the suspense to insanely high levels at times, like effective camera angles.

A brilliant and booming end to this first installment of Jasper Dent! Surprise was tucked into every unsuspecting moment, and the closing finale was no different. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack! Barry definitely rounded off book no. 1 smoothly and well, yet that didn't prevent me from dying to read book no. 2 for more. In conclusion, this book will haunt you relentlessly thanks to a supply of gore and details of murder but it will also make you laugh and fall in love with the wonderful characters. With heart-thumping action and ridiculously well-executed suspense, "I Hunt Killers" is just pure epic.

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰ 4.5 Jazz-y Hoots

Final Notes: I LOVED this! I couldn't stop thinking about it all afterwards for the entire week! I do have to put out a warning, though, the gore and scary bits are not for the faint-hearted Billy Dent haunted me throughout the book and even afterwards, I was seeing imaginary serial killers lurking in every shadow. I was seriously freaked out. Made the fatal mistake of reading this before bed. No pretty dreams that night T _ T

The sequel to this book will definitely be one of my most highly-anticipated releases of 2013.

A Favourite Moment: 

"The ladies love bad boys," Howie said, striking what was supposed to be a tough-guy pose. "Gotcha. I will be your magic trick. Misdirection!" He waggled his fingers. "Abracadaver! Get it?" he added as they headed for the door. "Abracadaver? Get it?"

Jazz sighed. "I got it, Howie."

The Trailer:

 Thanks for reading!

September 9, 2012

"The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa

[Clickey the awesome cover for Goodreads!]

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: 2012, Harlequin Teen
Summary: "In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad
....read more

Review: Blood-thirsty, unrelenting and sinister is this new dystopian world created by Julie. Here, the humans hang on to their lives and the few remaining pieces of humanity, all by a dangerously thin thread as they attempt at co-existing with vampires and the more recently created monsters, the rabids. With one glance, I first thought that Julie's dystopian setting looked very typical. However, take a closer look and one will find that certain details have fashioned New Covington and beyond into an especially dark landscape complete with an atmosphere that will shock readers who have come from the brighter (in comparison) tone of The Iron Fey (well, I was a bit shocked, anyway XD....)

"The Immortal Rules" will grip you like starving hunger and offer a scary clarity of the dreary mindset of people living in Julie's latest world. The morbid creatures and dynamic cast of characters were fantastic. Allison, "Allie", offers us a POV that has volume, precision, and emotional contrast. She is a heroine who, although isn't social or brightly optimistic, is easy for readers to draw close to and keep up with. She is surrounded by a vast range of supporting characters, some more likeable and others less than others -coughRuthcough-, but each in their own right dimensional, realistic, and never flat. 

The layout of the novel is split into 4 appropriately titled "Parts" and the pacing was even, engaging and entertaining. Though I would not call the propelling of this book, however quick it was, exactly intense, but the vivid characters, the world-building, and the fiery tonality of "The Immortal Rules" definitely was. If this series were to grow with future installments, then I'm sure it will become something incredibly astounding and amazing! To put this book alongside other YA vampire reads, Julie's novel will stand absolutely strong and impressive with its pitch dark atmosphere and hard-to-forget characters.My favourite YA vampire read so far!

Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4.5 "Allie!" Hoots

Final Notes: As far as vampire reads go, Julie's rendering is a fantastic one and I really liked it! It had everything from realistic feel to an epic heroine to romance to kick-butt action. It was a bit hard to remember that this was Julie, of the fey and dear Meghan and Puck and Ash, who wrote this book but it definitely did not distract me because she pulled it off the dark side really well.

Fans of The Iron Fey and any vampire fans should definitely buy a copy of this one! I smell a mind-blowing new series being brewed here!

Review #1 of Vivi's Hiatus Collection!

Thanks for reading!

September 2, 2012

Announcement Time~! + Scheduling

Hello everyone! Thank you for the lovely input and support you guys gave me regarding my decision for another school-induced hiatus. (read my first initial decision post here). Thanks Mel, for the genius idea for me to find a way to reduce my number of posts just so this poor blog wouldn't be completely neglected while I'm off suffering university applications and all that wonderful stuff.

The Final Verdict.

I will be physically gone once school hits me. BUT!!! Vivian the Spirit will still be here. ^o^ Since this is a time period that affects my future directly and heavily (read good university or no good university), I want to do my absolute best. However, I have decided to do scheduled posts every fortnight (two weeks). I might even add a meme in between if they don't take long.

That way, this place won't be completely silent because last time I went on hiatus, that was what happened and it was terrible, I thought afterwards. It wasn't nice to all my wonderful followers and fellow blogger friends and it also looked bad, the awful silence here.

I do have a lot of unreleased reviews that I've prepared and typed up and they're all ready to go! There's still a bit of summer left so I'm saving a lot of my upcoming reviews from these next two weeks for the schedule. With that being said, I thought it'd be nice if I actually posted a scheduling for those reviews, just so you can see what's coming up in the scheduled line-up!

See the scheduling after the jump!

September 1, 2012

Just one more... Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme that features your books haul for the week! It is created and hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's reviews

Here's just one more Stacking the Shelves for me before I enter school-hiatus mode. -sad- I do have one last haul from my library holds and things have piled up a bit since I didn't post anything from last week. Hopefully, these will be read and reviewed before things get really hectic. They're some good ones that I'm really looking forward to as well.

Once again, clickey the lovely covers for Goodreads!

"The Selection" (The Selection #1)  by Kiera Cass

Mixed reviews for this one, but I'm currently reading it and loving it so far. Kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games, just how the dystopian background is built. You know, America = Katniss and Aspen (oh gosh, how I love him already) = Gale (who, sorry guys, I don't love so much) except now, America's in a different sort of competition of survival as compared to Katniss.

Really excited to see how this one's going to turn out, considering how much I like the beginning already...

"Unearthly" (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Apparently this book is amazing. Comments, anyone? Looking forward to reading this myself! I always love a good angel book, but the thing with angel books is that they usually fall either flat or too fluffy (not that I mind fluffy personally). Hoping this one will have a bit more depth.

"Rivals and Retribution" (13 to Life #5) by Shannon Delany

OMG, it's the last book!!!! -sob- This is by far the most enjoyable wolfie series I've read, even though the last book (#4) was terribly unsatisfying. I just can't believe that this series has gone so far already from the moment I read book #1. -sniff-

For those of you who like an entertaining paranormal with werewolves, check this series out!

"Monument 14" (Monument 14 #1) by Emmy Laybourne

I feel like I'm a bit behind on getting this book, but my library hold only arrived yesterday. Really intrigued by the premise of it so I'm looking forward to reading this one as well.

Any of you who read this? What did y'all think?

"False Memory" (False Memory #1) by Dan Krokos

(gosh, that's a lot of first in a series books, and they all have series names that are the same with the first book name >_<)

Heard how good this one was as well!! Not my typical read...

"Behemoth" (Leviathan #2) by Scott Westerfeld

I've read book #1 and liked it and since my reading nutritional balance is lacking in science fiction, I shall force myself to read more. Not that I didn't enjoy the first book, I did! (review coming up for book #1)

Hmmm...wonder how things are going to proceed from there....

Phew! That's one long before-hiatus haul. Well, as always, link me up in the comments below and I'll be happy to hop over to see all your awesome hauls!

This will be my final Stacking the Shelves before the end of my hiatus, so...-tears up- ;;___;; Oh stop, Vivi, this isn't even the good-bye-for-now post...

Happy reading, everybody!!!!
Thanks for reading!