Review: Aurelia by Anne Ostertund

Publisher: Speak (April 17, 2008)
Paperback: 256 pages
Price: $8.99 from Amazon
Summary: Aurelia, the crown princess of Tyralt, wants control over her own life. Robert, her former classmate, wants Aurelia. And someone wants her...dead. There have been several narrowly escaped attempts to assassinate the princess, but the king has no desire to incite panic by making the information public. Instead, Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy, is allowed into the inner circle to secretly investifate and watch over Aurelia. Robert is determined to help, if only Aurelia would let him! But the princess will not heed the danger around her, and she does not need Robert to save her. Just as their friendship begins to grow into something more, the threat on Aurelia's life becomes paramount. WIth everything possible on the line - her life, her kingdom, her heart - Aurelia must take matters into her own hands, whatever the cost.


Review: Aurelia is a stubborn crown princess of Tybalt, and she’s taken over the people’s hearts just like she’ll take yours. I really liked Aurelia’s character: she’s head-strong and determined at times, while at others she’s insecure and hurt. She comes off the page, and I felt myself wishing I could be as independent as Aurelia and empathizing with her through her family troubles. Anne Ostertund did a very good job showing how Aurelia is about to become a mature woman, but is partially still a young girl.

I really loved how the author depicted the setting; she went into just enough detail to make me feel like I was actually there experiencing the sights while not feeling weighed down by the excessive amount of words. And it had a princess, danger, and a charming prince, exactly the way I like it! I also liked reading one chapter from Aurelia’s point of view, then one chapter from Robert’s point of view. Not exactly an original idea, but it was good all the same. However, it did annoy me a little when Ostertund would use phrases like a “jaunty” tilt of the head.

The beginning is a bit slow as the author introduces the characters and setting, but once the plot started heating up as more clues were revealed, I really couldn’t put the book down! I think the mystery part was incorporated very well, and it made me want to keep reading to see what more Robert and Aurelia would discover. I had a pretty good guess of who the assassin was earlier on, but there was an unexpected twist at the end.

However, I was very dissatisfied with the ending, especially with the fact that nothing is done to punish the person arranging the assassination attempts. I felt it wrapped up pretty quickly and there is an open ending, one of my worst pet peeves. I was also very disappointed about the lack of romance. I know this is a young adult book, but Robert and Aurelia only kiss once throughout the entire book. I really liked them together and wanted to see more physical contact (though their romantic relationship is very evident throughout the book). Major points off for both of these areas!

Bottom Line: I would say Aurelia was a pretty solid book and a great debut novel for Anne Ostertund. Admittedly it isn’t an original idea, but Ostertund brings a fresh voice to an old idea in the form of a girl named Aurelia. If you want to read some light mystery with a very, very little bit of romance mixed in, go for this book (though I would mainly recommend it to teens/pre-teens). The only part I really dislike is the open ending which has me hoping for a sequel that I searched up and couldn't find, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Review: Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Publisher: Flux; 1 edition (May 1, 2009)
Paperback: 240 pages
Price: $9.95 from Amazon
Summary: Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life:
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.
 I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.



The Bad: First off, don't be deceived by the summary. I know it says "free designer clothes" and her having a "personal stylist," but they're not present much. This book is more of how Gina deals with the vampire problem with girly comments on the side. Not exactly original, but it's there.

The beginning really had me confused. The first thing you know, a girl, Gina, is waking up in a coffin and manages to figure out she's a vampire in a matter of minutes. She doesn't feel like a "flesh-eating" zombie, so duh! she has to be a vampire. She's been dead for about three days according to the "legends," which I'm not sure how she heard in her burried coffin, and is expecting Bobby, the hot guy she was making out with at the prom, to come through some mysterious communication. All in all, a very confusing beginning.

There are a lot of other mystifying scenarios and shallow conclusions, like how Gina knows the antagonist, Mellisande, is evil just by looking at her. I understand that the point of the book is to show how a "typical" girly teenager deals with vampire-dom, but I often found Gina's comments annoying. I felt like she had to complain about a manicure or shampoo every two pages! And her conclusions always had to be explained, some of which I think the author could have just left to common sense. I liked Gina's character better near the end, when she suddenly turns cold-hearted in the face of battle. You can tell I like strong, butt-kicking heroines. (:

The Good: There is a boogeyman in Vamped. That's not something you see everyday in paranormal books. He's creepy, he's gross, but he could possibly be one of my favorite characters in the book for making Gina squirm in fear.

Strong teenage voice. I really felt like the conversations and observations were from the view of a teenager, albiet an whiny, girly one, but a teenager all the same. And, like always, I like references to other things, so the Spiderman reference was appreciated. I can truthfully say I didn't get bored, but the book is very fast-paced. The whole story spans only a few days, and almost every minute is jam-packed with action or information.

Bottom Line: I borrowed this book, and let's just say I'm glad I did; I definitely would not be spending my money on this. Vamped isn't a horrible book, but it's one that I will never re-read, mainly because I found Gina too girly and spoiled.  Go ahead and read if  you want, but don't expect anything phenomenal or even great, especially with a leading guy named  Bobby (sorry, name fetish here).

Review: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (August 11, 2009)
Paperback: 320 pages
Price: $10.19 from Amazon
Summary: A married man in posession of a dark fortune must be in want of an eternal wife...


Review: Who's dark, aloof, and handsome with a pair of fangs? You guess it: Mr. Darcy. The heartthrob everyone knows from Pride and Prejudice returns in a sequel, married and undead. The book is in third-person and told from Elizabeth's perspective. Props to Amanda Grange for taking the risk and incorporating the paranormal in a beloved classic!

However, though the idea was good, I felt it could have been carried out better. I felt the "suspecting vampire" part was dragged out too long as Elizabeth does not find vampires are real until the final third of the book. For over 200 pages, Mr. Darcy is tormented over his being a vampire, while Elizabeth manages to accept it in a matter of a few pages, which I find very unrealistic. On the other hand, the ending felt a bit too rushed; everything worked out a bit too perfectly and conveniently. Though, despite being anti-climatic, I have to admit the ending was not what I expected at the start of reading.

I did get a little bored when reading and had to force myself to get through some parts where I felt nothing was happening. The fact that I did not believe for one second that they were in danger proably didn't help. For instance, though Elizabeth was frantic when she believed Darcy did not love her, she manages to be calm when an Ancient vampire wants to drink her blood. I also found myself with some unanswered questions and a couple unexplained quotes (which I'm not sure if I should post due to spoilers), though I can live with them.

On the positive side, Amanda Grange really managed to capture the essence of Elizabeth and Mr.Darcy, and I found it enjoyable reading about their post-marriage experiences. I really liked the occasional small references back to Pride and Prejudice. The settings and clothing were vividly depicted, and the conversation was witty. I can tell a lot of research was put into the book, something I always respect, and I felt like I was actually there with Elizabeth, visiting Paris, Italy, the Alps, and more.

Bottom Line: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is an enjoyable and very attractive book (my weakness) with a good idea, great setting, flowing writing, and not-so-great plot. I would say that if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice and the paranormal, you might want to give this one a try. However, if you're just looking to know what happens to Darcy and Elizabeth post-marriage, there are definitely better sequels out there.


Format: author's last name, first name - book title & possible review link (release date).


Sheinmel, Alyssa B. - The Beautiful Between (5.11.10)

Cypess, Leah (guest post, interview) - Mistwood (4.27.10)

Derting, Kimberly - The Body Finder (3.16.10)
Dunlap, Susanne - Anastasia's Secret (3.2.10)

Eland, Lindsay - Scones and Sensibility (12.22.09)

Frazier, Angie - Everlasting (6.1.10)


Hall, Teri - The Line (3.4.10)
Hopcus, Anastasia - Shadow Hills (7.13.10)



Kagawa, Julie - The Iron King  (2.1.10)


Mancusi, Marianne - Bad Blood (1.5.10)


Omololu, C.J. - Dirty Little Secrets (2.2.10)

Preston, L.M. - Explorer X-Alpha (2.7.10)

Ruby, Laura - Bad Apple (10.6.09)





Walker, Kristin - A Match Made in High School (2.4.10)




My Ratings

Star ratings: 1-5 stars
Note that star ratings are based on entertainment value or my overall opinion. While the technical aspects of a book may raise or lower its star rating, that would only be because they affect my view of the book as a whole. While I judge this portion mainly by entertainment, I fairly often give an extra .5 star if I feel a technical aspect (writing, character, plot) is exceptionally strong.

5 starAmazing! I LOVED this book. Usually, this book either made my cry or left me stunned at the ending. It's definitely a must read. :D

4.5 star – Great. Better than plain "entertaining," but it lacked the "wow" factor that comes with a 5 star book. Strong recommendation here.

4 star Very good. Entertaining with easy overlooked flaws. This book comes with a solid recommendation to all fans of the genre or premise. For ones that aren’t as interested, I would still recommend giving this one a try.

3.5 starGood, but with it's pitfalls. I had some fun times with this book, but there were some areas that prevented me from enjoying the book more. Enjoyable, but not stand-out.

3 starMildly enjoyable. Meh, mildly enjoyable, though fairly your run-of-the-mill, light read. I would say try it out a bit (look for an excerpt or check out your library) before deciding whether or not to read it.

2 star – Not really my type of book. This rating is usually caused by what I perceive to be a technical “flaw,” like an annoying character or lack of plot. While I wouldn’t necessarily be recommending this book to anyone, I would still say to give this one a try. It might not be my cup of tea, but it might be yours.

1 starDid not like. Period. This was not only not my type of book, I did not like it overall. I would discourage you from reading it. 

Romance: Few word description.
Prevalence of romance in the book with a short description. I love reading about romance, so I’ll always comment on what I thought about the romance and how that affected my opinion of the book.

Cover: 1-5 stars
I occasionally will include another sentence or two if I want to elaborate. I usually don’t say anything, but believe me, if I give a 5 star, that means I literally LOVE a cover – like I’d be willing to bring that anywhere just to stare at it. The average rating is generally in the 3-4 star range.

--- note: reviews from February 16, 2011 no longer rate writing, plot, and characters on a 1.0-5.0 scale

Writing: 1-5 stars
Writing is a very important aspect for me. Choppy, blunt, distracting, and completely unbearable writing will get a 1 star, especially if there are grammatical errors or extremely vague pronouns (that’s why we have editors!). Will that 1 star ever happen? Most likely not. Nondescript writing will get around a 3, and flowing, vivid, and absorbing writing will get a 5 star.

Plot: 1-5 stars
If I feel there’s no movement in the story, or simply no plot at all? That’s a 1 star. An interesting, simple but enjoyable plot would be around a 3 star, and an intricate, creative, and wicked awesome plot will get a 5 star.

Character: 1-5 stars
Annoying and unrealistic characters automatically get a smack down to a 1 or 2 star. There still may be redemption in secondary characters, but I’ll most likely mention that in the “My Thoughts/Review” section or, rarely, in this section. Relatable characters that make me shed buckets of tears when they're sad get a 5.

Contest Policy

Please note, this policy applies to all contests, but the contests themselves will vary from contest-to-contest. Remember to read all the guidelines and instructions to enter!

· Any information collected will not be stored, given, nor used for any other purpose than the one it was given for. I've utlized forms since November 2009 to increase confidentiality and any information obtained, along with form, will be destroyed once its purpose is served (ie. a contest or survey).

· In the case that you openly post your contact information, you accept responsibility for any inconveniences that are caused. If you do not feel comfortable leaving any information, please feel free to email me. Please remember that I do NOT have control over other sites!

· If you're under 13 years of age, I cannot stress enough how important it is for your parents to know if you're giving out personal information. If you're under 13 and want to enter a contest, please make sure you receive approval from your parents before entering. There's no way for me to check, and remember I'm only saying this to protect your safety.

· I will generally announce and contact the winner(s) by email within 48 hours of the contest ending. If no email address if provided, it's up to the winner to hear of his/her winning,

· The winner will be given 48 hours, unless otherwise stated, to reply back with his/her mailing address or another winner will be chosen. I may ask for a mailing address to speed up the process, in which case I will ship the prize out directly.

· If I provide the shipping, I can tell you what service and when I mail out your prize. If the contest is sponsored by an author/publisher/etc., I will inform you of that and tell you when I forward the address.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Feel free to email me here: booksatmidnight(at)gmail(dot)com

The Saturday Network

^^ The stars twinkle. ^^

The Saturday Network is a weekly post that occurs every Saturday at Books At Midnight. Now, what exactly is The Saturday Network?

1. The purpose is for bloggers and readers alike to discover new blogs and spread some love to old ones.

2. You can join in anytime! It doesn't matter if you haven't participated from the beginning.

3. To participate, just follow the rules that will be posted each week. The general concept is that you simply comment on the previous commentator's blog.

4. The Saturday Network goes up every Saturday morning, around 9am EST, and commenting closes on Sunday, 9pm EST. But that doesn't mean you can't check out the previous week's blogs!

That's it, and I hope to see you on Saturday! :)

My Awards

Thank you! :)

Current Challenges

· 2010 Debut Author Challenge
3 / 20 books. 15% done!

· 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
0 / 100 books. 0% done!

· 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge
0 / 75 books. 0% done!

Upcoming Releases

I'll be constantly adding new books to the list, so keep checking back! I can't say the idea is my own, but I did NOT take this list from anyone, and if you would like to use it any way, some credit would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

If you see a book that's not on this list but would like added, please email me at booksatmidnight(at)gmail(dot)com. I haven't gotten all great upcoming books, so I'm definitely always looking for new additions. I know I have problems keeping track of upcoming releases, so I hope this list will help you too! :)



Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Captivate (Need #2) by Carrie Jones
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn

The Mark by Jen Nadol

I Kissed A Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer


Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker
The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

The Dark Daysof Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin
Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson
Parties and Potions by Sarah Mlynowski
Gone (Wake Series #3) by Lisa McMann
Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor


Merlin’s Harp by Anne Crompton
Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
Tagged by Mara Purnhagen

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

The Line by Teri Hall

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Hourglass (Evernight #3) by Claudia Gray
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Poisoned Honey by Beatrice Gormley
The Body Finder by Kimerly Derting

Fang (Maximum Ride #6) by James Patterson

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken


Guardian of Dead by Karen Healey
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan
Strange Fate (Night World #10) by L.J.Smith

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely #4) by Melissa Marr
A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, Book 3) by Kelley Armstrong
Burned (House of Night Novels) by P. C. Cast


The Reckoning (Darkest Powers #3) by Kelley Armstrong
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw
What Curiosity Kills (The Turning #1) by Helen Ellis

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Spells (Wings #2) by Aprilynne Pike
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris
Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires, Book 8) by Rachel Caine
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Folly by Marthe Jocelyn
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

The Best and The Hardest Thing by Pat Brisson
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Brilliance by Rachel Vail

Burned (House of Night #7) by P.C. and Kristen Cast


Everlasting by Angie Frazier
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Sisters Red by Jackson Peace

Forbidden Games by L.J. Smith

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Blue Bloods: Keys to the Repository (Blue Bloods Novel) by Melissa De la Cruz


Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Other by Karen Kincy
Somebody's Crying by Maureen McCarthy

Selina Penaluna by Jan Page

Strange Fate (Night World #4) by L.J. Smith

Sleepless by Cyn Balog
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus


The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh


Losing Faith by Denise Jaden


Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick



The Haunting of Pemberly Brown by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Review Policy

Publicists, Publishers, or Authors:

**Note: Stats can be viewed by clicking the sitemeter button in my footer.

Hi there, and thank you for taking the time to look over my review policy. I would love to review books, do author interviews, host giveaways, and pretty much anything else concieveable and book-related. If you're interested in me reviewing a book for you, here's just some general guidelines I follow:

First, please note I'm a young adult book reviewer! I might take in the occasional middle grade book, but nothing else, sorry.

I accept ARCs as well as any already released books. I'm fine with either paper books or Kindle ebooks, though I prefer paper books. Paper books will be given preference in reviewing.

As of May 7th, 2011, I am currently not accepting self-published or indie e-books to review, sorry.

The genres I generally enjoy are:

  • Paranormal romance
  • Romance/chick-lit
  • Dystopian
  • Contemporary
  • Historical fiction
  • Mystery
  • Fantasy

What I will not read: excessive horror or gore... I like some horror, but too much isn't my thing (i.e. The Hands of Forest and Teeth by Carrie Ryan was a pretty healthy dose; Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake)

Note: Any ARCs I receive I will not sell, but they might be used for giveaways. If you are against that, please tell me.

Also, please be aware that I cannot gaurantee a positive review, but I if I agree to review your book, that means I'm interested and will probably like it (at least a three-star rating). On the offchance that I don't, I will review it keeping in mind the fact that many hard hours were spent putting the book together. And, in that case, if you would rather I not review a book at all, please let me know. Email me and, trust me, I don't bite!

Thank you for reading and I hope to work with you in the future! :)

Contact info: booksatmidnight(at)gmail(dot)com

Disclosure: I do not accept nor receive monetary compensation for my reviews. Reviews reflect my honest opinion and are by no means affected by the source I receive the book from.


"ctrl+f" then type in the author's name to search by author
note: "the" and "a" are not included when sorted alphabetically

Review list and ratings last updated: 6/28/10
♥ = 5-star review
* = mini-review

After by Amy Efaw
Albatross by Josie Bloss
All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
Aurelia by Anne Ostertund

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby
Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Betraying Season (Leland Sisters 2) by Marissa Doyle
Betwiching Season (Leland Sisters 1) by Marissa Doyle
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy 4) by Richelle Mead
Blue Moon (The Immortals 2) by Alyson Noel*
Brief History of Montmaray, A by Michelle Cooper
Burned (House of Night 7) by Kristin and P.C. Cast

Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda
Dark Divine, The by Bree Despain
Demon's Lexicon, The by Sarah Rees Brennan
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic by Suzanne Weyn

Explorer X-Alpha by L.M. Preston

Fallen by Lauren Kate  
Fire by Kristin Cashore

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Goddess Boot Camp (Oh. My. Gods. 2) by Tera Lynn Childs*
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Gorgeous by Rachel Vail

Hate List by Jennifer Brown ♥
Hearts at Stake (The Drake Chronicles 1) by Alyxandra Harvey
Hourglass (Evernight 3) by Claudia Gray
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Impossible by Nancy Werlin
In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
Insatiable by Meg Cabot*
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Intertwined by Gena Showalter -- discussion questions
Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Kiss in Time, A by Alex Flinn
Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson*
Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson*

Light Beneath Ferns, A by Anne Spollen
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Mark, The by Jen Nadol
Match Made in High School, A by Kristin Walker
Maze Runner, Thec by James Dashner
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Oh. My. Gods. (Oh. My. Gods. 1) by Tera Lynn Childs*

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard


Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
Sea by Heidi R. Kling ♥
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater ♥
Skinned by Robert Wasserman*
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow*
Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-ucci*
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers ♥
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Split by Swati Avasthi
Summer I Turned Pretty, The by Jenny Han


Unwind by Neil Shusterman

Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Willow by Julia Hoban
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson ♥
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston




Contact Me

Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to contact me about whatever you want here. :)


Welcome to Books at Midnight!

Hello, and welcome to my new blog, Books at Midnight!

I have always been an avid fan of reading, and I recently decided I want to share that passion through a book blog. I've been motivated to start my own through other amazing book blogs I've seen that introduced me to many new books. I can only hope that my blog will live up to those, and I'll do my best to post honest reviews. I mainly read YA books in the areas of paranormal romance, sci-fi (espcially with romance mixed in), historical fiction, romance, and fantasy (urban fantasy is my favorite); however, I'm open to new suggestions as well! :) This will definitely be a challenge for me, because school is starting soon, but I'll definitely try hard to be dedicated and post often.

Thank you for reading, and I hope we can enjoy many books together in the future.