Welcome to The Romantic Scholar, a book review blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy your stay.

After an eight month long hiatus, I am back. And I could not be more excited about it.

***My comments are located at the top of my posts***

Sunday, May 31, 2009

So, this is my first In My Mailbox. I love the idea, it's really a great way to share new books with other bloggers and see what everyone is getting. In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren.

So, this past week I've gotten two books. :)

Death's Shaddow by Darren Shan
The seventh installment in the Demonata series


I'm a human sponge - I soak up memories. I feel like a thief, stealing secrets with an innocent touch. I don't like this gift. It's intrusive and sneaky. I think it's harmless, but I can't be sure. If knowledge is power, why do I feel so alone...?

The apocalypse came and the world burned. But it wasn't the end, and out of the destruction, new life has emerged. Bec is back to face the Demonata. After centuries of imprisonment, she's more powerful than ever, but the demons no longer stand alone.

Something else has crawled oout of the darkness with her. Lord Loss is no longer humanitie's greatest threat....

The seventh novel in the chilling Demonata series by Darren Shan, author of the New York Times best selling Cirque du Freak series, will terrify readers long after the last page.

My Thoughts:
Ok, so I know that Bec is on my next to read list. And yes, Bec is the fourth Demonata book. I know I'm a little behind on that one haha, but since Blood Beast came out, I've been getting the books as they've come out so I'll have them all in hardback. :P Hopefully I will get to this one soon and have this as well as the others reviewed!

Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz


Nicole has a not-so-secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend.

Robby would kill for true love...he's done it before.

Joy hates boys, and today they're going to pay.

Derik can get any girl, except the on he wants.

Kelly has two boyfriends, but one is in jail.

Sean just wants to do the right thing...or does he?

Over the course of a single summer day, ten teenagers in Salem, Massachusetts will discover important truths about themselves and each other.

There is Nicole, who's decission to betray her best friend will shock everyone, most of all herself; Kelly, who meets the convicted fellon she's been writing to for years; Maria, whose definition of a true friend is someone who will cut her. Then there is Sadie, a chubby eleven-year-old whose mother forces her to wear a "please don't feed me" sign stapled to her shirt; while Joy, a fifteen-year-old waitress hoping for true intimacy narrowly escapes a very dark fate. Derik discovers that his usual good looks and charm won't help him hold on to the girl he wants, while nineteen-year-old drifter, Mearl, is desperately looking for a place to call home. Sean is torn between his loyalty to his girlfriend and the possibility of finding something more with her friend, while Ginger's single-minded pursuit to bring down her nemesis only proves that they may be more alike than she thought.

Seamlessly woven together, this incredibly powerful and compelling collection of short stories chronicles the very real trials of today's teen experience.

My Thoughts:
I don't know about you, but this sounds absolutely insane! In a good way of course. I cannot wait to read this and get the review up for you guys! I love Stolarz's writing style and I am so looking forward to see what she does in this book.

Both synopsi are product descriptions from the book covers.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Overall Rating:

Age Rating:
This book is age appropriate for 15 and up. There are some disturbing references that may not be appropriate for a younger audience, such as: violence, stalking, and some mild sexual references.

Cover Art:
The cover is fairly well done. I do wish however, that it gave a little more insight to the story, but I guess that it just adds to the mystery of the whole novel. 


Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Cameila. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead, she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he wants to help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

My Review:
I was so psyched when I got this book. I started reading it right away and I couldn't put it down. That is how good this book was. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, so anxious to find out what would happen next. Much like when I read Stolarz's Blue is for Nightmares series. This book is full of suspense and mystery, and for my fellow romantics there is a sweet little romance in there as well. I was disappointed however with Stolarz's character development. I don't feel like I really know the characters all that well. And the names weren't too memorable either which is important, especially in a series. I am hoping that as she progresses through the series, we will come to know Camelia and Ben more, as well as Wes and Kimmie (the two supporting characters). Even now as I am writing this, I am having to look back at the book to get the character names correct. 

The plot development of this story was very solid though and Stolarz stayed true to her writing style. Throughout the book, we follow Camelia on her search to discover the secrets about Ben, her new classmate, and the identity of her mysteriously creepy stalker. We experience two POV's getting the story from both Camelia and her stalker through journal entries. Even though these journal entries give some kind of insight as to who the stalker may be, you never know until the end. I was so sure as to who it was in the beginning of the novel and I was completely WRONG. Stolarz did an amazing job with keeping the stalkers identity a secret. 

Where as some of the situations in this story are easy to relate to (grades, friendships, and family relationships), others such as the stalking and paranormal experiences are not. It was rather fascinating witnessing the paranormal experiences that Camelia and Ben had. Each one leaving questions behind and the shared puzzlement with Camelia as well as the frustration of trying to get her friends to understand her position and beliefs. The whole stalking scenario left me absolutely horrified for the well being of Camelia and the other students' well being, seeing as it was so foggy to discover who the stalker may be. I didn't want to walk alone at night because of those feelings for about a week haha. 

This book was a terrific read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has to the time to go out and get a copy. It gives a great rush of suspense and also gets the wheels in your brain turning to figure out who the mystery stalker is. If you love paranormal stories this one is great. And for my fellow romantics, the love story is really cute, even though I wish the romance was more developed in this book, I am expecting that it will go further in the next installment of the series, Deadly Little Lies, which comes out November 24th this year. This book is definitely re-readable, especially since there is a second installment to the series. So, if you get the chance, go out and get Deadly Little Secrets so you can add it to your list of books to read.

So, I've only been up for a few days, but I would like to throw out a BIG thank you to all my followers. Thank you so much for choosing my blog as one to follow, it really means a lot and it gives quite a bit of encouragement. I'm really quite excited that I have six already and have only been online since Wednesday. I look forward to all of your upcoming posts, and if you have any recommendations, I would gladly accept them. I am always looking for something new and fun. Thanks again for following me! :)


Friday, May 29, 2009

My Overall Rating:

Age Rating:
This Book is age appropriate for 8th graders and up due to themes that deal with some sexual and dark references.

Cover Art: Of course I love the cover. You find out in the beginning of the story that Gwen sleptwalk when she was younger. The stance of the girl on the cover kind of gives off the vibe that she's not just staring out into the oceanic horizon, but in a trance with the way that her arms hang straight at her sides with her dress skirt flowing back. I feel that it gives off the eerie sensation of being in a trance such as sleepwalking. It's a mystical cover that I believe makes the book even more inviting.



At the age of ten, Gwen Cook had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.

Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her Nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.

My Review:
This book was a total page turner, and is very hard to put down. It has the perfect combination of mystery, fantasy, and romance. The descriptive writing that Farley uses takes you away to the beautiful beach of Mirage Point actually giving you the feeling that you are standing at the cove experiencing the cool misty breeze off the ocean. Farley does an excellent job with her character development and it is very easy to experience the emotions that Gwen is feeling. And when Jesse comes into the picture there is an underlying connection to him as well from the background given by Gwen's experience with him. By the end of the book, I felt like I really knew each of the characters, even the few minor characters introduced in the beginning.

Through the story, we follow Gwen on her summer vacation after her seventeenth birthday. She is staying at Cooks Cottage, her childhood home helping her Nana run her Inn next door. Gwen's homecoming to Cooks Cottage had her unsettled after a traumatic event seven years before. Throughout the summer we see how Gwen comes to terms with dealing with her past and also coming to accept her destiny. The search for answers to her questions from her childhood mystery is a quest that many can relate to while searching for answers to their own life questions. As Gwen comes to terms with her past and destiny, we experience the rush of her becoming independent and becoming her own person. 

While the storyline and character development is solid and captivating, the ending left me somewhat disappointed. Even though it is a satisfying ending, there is too much of a possibility that there could be a sequel following the story of Gwen after coming to terms with her past and destiny. And Terri has made it fairly clear that there will not be a sequel, even though she is not giving a definite answer. All in all, this book is a great read for either a quiet weekend on the beach or a summer night getaway to a paradise of fantast, mystery, and romance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a mystical escape from reality and to anyone who loves reading a story with an aspect of mystery, fantasy, and a little romance. As well as the occasional glimmer of suspense. Or if you have a fancy for a good selkie story. And this book is most definitely re-readible considering that this is the third time I've read it :P

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Hey, and welcome to my blog! I'm Ali and I started this blog to keep track of the books I read, see what other people are saying about books, and also to post my own reviews. I read just about any genre but I prefer to have some aspect of romance to them. I myself am a hopeless romantic so that might just be why. A few of my favorite authors include Nicholas Sparks, Stephenie Meyer, Laurie Faria Stolarz, Jane Austin, and J.K. Rowling. And some of my all-time favorite books are The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks, Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz, Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Blue is for Nightmares Series by Laurie Faria Stolarz, and Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson. Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy my blog.


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