Review: Betrayal (Haunting Emma #2) by Lee Nichols

Betrayal (Haunting Emma)Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great for battling the wraith-master Neos and horrible for her social life. Emma knows fellow ghostkeeper Bennett Stern is her soul mate, but when ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power. And until Neos is defeated, Bennett and Emma can't risk it.

When the temptation of being with Emma gets to be too much, Bennett disappears, pursuing a dangerous path to increase his powers. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school. But when the Knell, a secret ghostkeeping society, sends two new ghostkeepers to Echo Point—one a snarky teen guy, the other a British scholar—Emma throws herself into training to battle Neos. But as the team grows stronger, so do the ghosts. And worse, one of their own will betray them. One Emma never suspected. . .

Why I read it: I really enjoyed Deception!

Review: In Betrayal we return to Emma Vaille, the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Too bad she doesn't know how to control her powers. I was such a fan of Emma's voice in Deception as she was snarky and attitude driven but also vulnerable enough to like. In Betrayal I still like her but I felt that she spent an awful lot of time moping over Bennett and it took away from her strong heroine persona. Never mind though, she still stays on the strong side an never becomes whiney.

I still struggle to see Bennett as a nineteen/twenty year old guy, to me he comes across as a lot more mature and so I struggle to like their relationship. While it's intense and heartbreaking, I still feel as though it didn't have enough build up and there isn't a gigantic amount of chemistry. I like both Bennett and Emma as separate characters but as a couple? Not so much. Bennett does some not-so-great things in this book and I look forward to some conflict in the next in the series because of it.

The story in Betrayal is better paced than in the last book. There was a bit more action, some serious issues such as Emma's situation at school and some awesome conversations. My favorite part of the book was, strangely enough, not the ghostkeeping parts but the parts in which Emma was being blamed at school for the events of the last book. I loved this conflict as it added something new to the whole ghostkeeping paranormal storyline. I never felt as though the book dragged.

The book is titled Betrayal and it could be referring to many things - Bennett's decision to leave and what he does when he leaves, the way the school friends felt about Emma's actions in the first book or the main betrayal (which wasn't really as big as I was expecting, but still a shocker).

Overall, Betrayal is a good edition to series that I am really enjoying so far. My issues are with the relationship between the main characters which doesn't seem authentic and seems a little er... weird to me. I do, however love the characters individually and the plot and pacing are superb!

Overall Rating: B

Stand alone/Series: Second in a series (Review for book #1 here)
UK Release: 5th September 2011
UK PUblisher: Bloomsbury
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me this copy for review!

An Ode to Beth Revis

I'm not good at writing,
I can't draw or sing
So I'm writing Beth Revis
A bad poem,

In Across The Universe,
We met Elder and Amy,
In a book that was original
And not at all same-y,

In the next book,
Their story goes on,
As they navigate Godspeed
Through A Million Suns

But alas, what is wrong!
(Be aware, spoilers are coming!)
Godspeed is slowing down,

Will Amy ever see her parents,
She was awoken too soon,
One a ship that may never make it through,
All the suns and planets and moons,

The story is compelling,
I was gripped from the first page,
This is a book I'd give to
Readers of any age,

I loved it that much
And I honestly can't wait,
That's why I need to win this competition,
I'll call it, like, fate!

So Beth, take pity on me,
I have no talents to speak of,
I'm just a girl that reads a lot
And with your books, I'm in love!

Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1)
Last year, Pierce died - just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying, it’s his job to usher souls from one realm to the next. 

There’s a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld. But now things are getting dangerous for her, and her only hope is to do exactly what John says . .

Why I Read it:  Meg Cabot does paranormal mythology? Yes please.

Review: Did you know that I love Meg Cabot? No? Well I do. The Mediator series was one of the first paranormal series I ever read and Jinx was my favorite book for so long. When I heard that Meg was taking a more serious approach to young adult paranormal and throwing in some mythology to boot, I was so excited.

The book is a take on the myth of Persephone and Hades, which is one of my favorite myths and hasn't really been explored that much until recently. With it's original take on the story and fantastic execution, Cabot hits the mark. She also excells in writing a compelling and interesting story while also adding little humorous afterthoughts and observations. Unfortunately, the protagonist in this book let me down a little, so I'll go into the main character first of all.

Pierce is one of those horrible heroines that I just couldn't like. I didn't hate the character at all, but I couldn't like her. What really got on my nerves was that she blamed everything on something else - she's grouchy, but it's her near death experiences fault, she almost drowned, but it's her Dad's fault for not being there (at fifteen, you don't need your Dad there to watch you every second of the day.) She has people telling her that she is 'selfless' and always tries to help everyone else, but she comes across as spoiled to me. I also can't see how she's anything special, why would the ruler of the underworld want to take her as his eternal companion. There is also her too stupid to function moment, when she puts herself in danger of being raped by a teacher, to prove that he is a rapist... Why not like, tell the police?

Thankfully, hottie John saves the book. He's deep and dark and haunted but I loved it. I just couldn't see how the romance worked, she was stuck in the underworld with him for all of five minutes then throws tea in his face and runs out, to me, that is not enough time to fall in love. The relationship was cuter towards the end but I did struggle to get my head around it.

The storyline picks this book up though - I loved the idea of Pierce's necklace, I loved the backing characters and I loved the take on the myth. Cabot's unique idea of Isla Huesos being the door to the underworld and the way that the underworld itself was written. I can't wait to hear more about the furies and have a bit more action, rather than just world building.

What I loved most of all was Cabot's writing. Gripping as ever, she manages to write a deep, dramatic story and still weave it with a certain level of wittiness, which grips even the most serious reader.

Overall, Abandon was unique and entertaining take on the myth of Persephone and Hades. I loved the storyline and the backing characters and as always, I adored Cabot's writing. Unfortunately the main character wasn't likeable. Still, it was a good read and I would recommend it.

Overall Rating: B-

Stand Alone/Series: First in a series
UK Release Date: 2nd September 2011
UK Publisher: MacMillan Childrens
Book received as an ARC from the UK publisher.

In My Mailbox (27/8/2011)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

I haven't had a lot of books this week, haven't had much reading time either!

This week I received one book for review: 
- I haven't read the rest of this series, so if I get this job on Tuesday I'll get the first book.
(Publicsation date 3rd October)

This looks great, I can't wait to read it!

From Best Books:

That was all for me this week! I bought a few books this week though, so expect a few more next week!

Link me yours up!