Friday, April 29, 2011

My TBR List

It's been one long, chaotic week. I'm getting ready for finals, and have been worrying about getting to class with all of the flooding in my state (my route to class is right alongside a river from the halfway point to the college, and majority of that road has been/is closed). Unfortunately, my reading has been the thing to take the hit. So, I thought I'd do a big "Waiting on Wednesday" type post. Here are the books that currently make up my TBR/Wish List. I've noted the release dates for upcoming books, and all links lead to Goodreads.

Published by Speak/Released January 6, 2011

This one is on my list because it seems like it's part dystop
ian novel, and part social commentary. It doesn't seem
like it will be an easy read, and I anticipate that it will leave me with
a lot to think about.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Published by Greenwillow Books/Released February 22, 2011

It's got angels, a struggle between heaven and hell, and a girl with pink hair on the cover! How could I not add this one to my list?

Published by Simon Pulse/Released February 22, 2011

Boarding school, dark secrets, the ability to see into the future...
hurrah! I love paranormal books, and this will be one of the first that I
grab this summer.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin/Released February 1, 2011

A teen girl who works to save people from demons who are on the loose. Of course, she also has to deal with regular teen drama like crushes and school. This one has been on my list for quite some time.

Published by Speak/Released March 31, 2011

Well, the cover gives away the paranormal genre of the book. More boarding school, but this time there are treasure hunts!? Sounds like an interesting read to me.

Published by Feiwel & Friends/Released April 12, 2011

A dystopian novel taking place underneath New York City. Even though the cover isn't very appealing to me, I've read some great reviews of this one.

Published by Scholastic/Released March 1, 2011

Are you starting to see a theme in my TBR list? The majority of it is
taken up by paranormal books. This one involves a girl who gets visions after touching objects.

Published by Marshall Cavendish Children's Books/Released April 1, 2011

Three words:therapeutic forgetting clinic.

Published by Egmont USA/Release Date: May 10, 2011

Egmont books never fail to surprise me. They seem like they'll be
fun and fluffy, but they always hit on deeper topics. This one looks to follow that same pattern.

Published by Knopf/Release Date: June 14, 2011

I love the cover, and it sounds SO good!

Published by Scholastic/Release Date: June 1, 2011

A dystopian book with a strong female lead, I'll be waiting for this one to be released.

So, has anyone read any of these yet, what are your thoughts on them?

Next week: My review of Tempest Rising, and an interview with the author!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It's finally time for me to announce the winners of the two contests that recently ended here at Cornucopia of Reviews. The blog hop was quite a bit of fun, and I found a few new awesome YA blogs. Now, on to the winners!

The winner of my Spring Giveaway (ARCS of Low Red Moon & Nightshade) is:

KRIS from Kris Writes

The winner of the Easter Blog hop is:


Congratulations to you both! I'll be emailing you both shortly, and you'll have 48 hours to respond.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (April 27)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

Possession by Elana Johnson

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Published by Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 7, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Review: Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

*This review does contain some spoilers for book one: I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You

Cammie Morgan is back, and it's clear that her life hasn't calmed down since the events of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie's elite spy school, is hosting a visit from the Ethan Frome Academy, a covert training center for boys. Soon after the boys' arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school's top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school. Girl sleuths with nice asides on youthful crushes. (From Goodreads).

The Gallagher girls are back with another semester of adventure, surveillance, and romance. The book begins right where the first left off, with Cammie, aka the Chameleon, upset about being forced to end things with Josh. She's been debriefed by the CIA, and things seem to be moving back to the normal routine, well as normal as things get in a private school that trains girls to be spies. Unfortunately, the girls at Gallagher Academy are about to face something that they never would have expected...boys. I thought it was a fun addition to the story, and made all of the relationships a bit more complicated. I'm interested to see how Zach, the guy-spy equivalent of Cammie, evolves as a character over the rest of the series.

When comparing Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy with the first book in the series, it didn't quite live up to the first book. I think that's because I was hoping for a bit more growth from Cammie, and to learn more about her father. I didn't deduct much in terms of the rating for this, because I'm sure that these things will be addressed in the remainder of the series.

Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls 2)
By Ally Carter
Published by Hyperion
240 Pages
Received from: Library
Rating: C

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (April 20)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

Published by HarperTeen
Release Date: April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Blog Hop

The Prize: $ 15 USD to the Book Depository

The Rules: The contest runs from April 20 - 25 at 11:59 EST, and is open internationally (as long as Book Depository ships to your country). You DO NOT need to be a follower to enter the contest. Please leave a comment with a way to contact you, comments without emails/etc will be disqualified.

Bonus Entries: These entries aren't required, but if you choose to complete them please put each in a separate comment. For example: one comment with your name and email, another comment saying you spread the word (include your email again, please).

+1 Post about the contest on twitter/blog/etc
+1 Comment on any review here at Cornucopia of Reviews, and post the title of that in your extra comment.

Don't forget to check out the other 200+ blogs participating!


Teaser Tuesday (April 19)

What is teaser tuesday?
It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers.

"Down the hall, I heard Eva Alvarez explaining how Buenos Aries on New Year's Eve is awesome. A pair of freshman rushed by our door talking about who would make a better Gallagher Girl: Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Veronica Mars (a debate made much more interesting by the fact it was taking place in Farsi)."

-Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls 2), page 17, by Ally Carter

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Review:I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance. (From Goodreads)

I picked this one up from the library on a whim. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and I wanted something fun to get me back into the flow of reading. Since I enjoyed Carter's newest series, I knew that I'd enjoy this one.

The story focuses on Cammie Morgan, who's attending The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Sounds like an elite boarding school, right? Well, it's actually a school where most of the students are trained to be spies. Cammie and her friends spend their time tailing professors, learning all things covert operations, and planning an elite undercover a townie. Unlike some other private school novels, this one was heavy on the actions and fun, and lighter on the drama. I was happy enough to read about the madcap adventures of the Gallagher 4 (yes, I've given Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macey a team name) without having to worry about some completely inane drama being thrown in there. That's not to say there isn't any conflict between the characters, because there is. It's just that the conflict is well written and realistic.

As for the plot, it kept me so interested that I finished the book in a few hours. I thought Carter did a good job of tying up this book, while leaving some questions to (hopefully) be answered in the sequels. Overall, a fun read that helped me escape my reading rut!

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls 1)
By Ally Carter
284 Pages
Published by Hyperion
Received from: Library
Rating: B

*On a semi-related note: Does anyone have any suggestions for bloggers who design rating systems? The letter grade isn't working for me anymore, since everyone has different opinions about what a specific letter grade means. I consider C to be an average grade, but there are some who see a C, and think it's a failing grade. Any advice/links are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (April 13)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love. (From Goodreads)

Published by
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (April 10)

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. All of the synopses you see below were found on Goodreads. Here are the books I got this week...


Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.

Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.


Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Keep your head down.

Don't get noticed.

Or else.

I'm Trella. A Scrub. A nobody, living in on the inside, doing my job, being noticed only by my friend Cog. But when I accidentally start a rebellion and becomes a go-to girl for the revolution, nothing will be the same on Inside, or Outside.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review:Geektastic Edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on! (From Goodreads)

I'm going to attempt to keep this review short and to the point. As a nerd girl, I grabbed this when I saw it at my local library. I knew that I'd enjoy most of the short stories within the book because the collection of authors was great, and I understood majority of the references (I'd say about 90%).

Perhaps my favorite part of the book were the comics that came after each short story. Illustrated by Bryan Lee O'Malley (of Scott Pilgrim), and Hope Larson, each had me laughing. I have to say that the first short story in the book was my favorite, probably because the entire anthology was developed around it. Written by Black and Castellucci, it was a hilarious look at the shenanigans of cons, and what happens when fandoms attack. I also really enjoyed Nix's story, The Quiet Knight, and wish it had been longer!

There were a couple stories that didn't hold my interest at all. I didn't feel bad skimming through them, which is why the book didn't get a higher rating. It wasn't that I didn't understand the references, it was just that they didn't have characters I found interesting. I've found that I need compelling characters to make me enjoy a short story.

So, if you're a bit of a nerd (and proud of it), this one is worth a read. Plus, I loved all of the references to Doctor Who!

Edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
403 Pages
Rating: C

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Contest: Nightshade and Low Red Moon ARCs

Well, it's finally spring (or so they tell me, it's still in the 30's in my area). So, I thought I'd host a little giveaway for some paranormal books. This giveaway was made possible by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century. The Prize: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin & Nightshade by Andrea Cremer *Both are gently used ARC editions RULES: You must fill out the form below. Duplicate entries won't be counted toward the giveaway. You must be 13 years of age or older to be entered to win, and the contest is for the US only (due to my lack of funds at the moment). Contest ends 4/22

*For the international readers, I will be having an international contest toward the end of the month!

Waiting on Wednesday (April 6)

Waiting on Wednesday wasstarted by Jill at Breaking the Spine This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan

In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read! Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun. Published by Silver Dolphin Books Release Date: April 1, 2011 So, I just found out about this series, so I'm posting about it even though it's already been released. I've seen reviews for both books in the series popping up, and they seem like fun. What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (April 5)

What is teaser tuesday?
It's a meme hosted by
Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers.

"If you've got a Level Four clearance or higher, you probably know all about us Gallagher Girls, since we've been around for more than a hundred years (the school, not me-I'll turn sixteen next month!). But if you don't have that kind of clearance, then you probably think we're just an urban spy myth-like jet packs and invisibility suits-and your drive by our ivy-covered walls, look at our gorgeous mansion and manicured grounds, and assume, like everyone else, that the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is just a snooty boarding school for bored heiresses with no place else to go."
-I'd Tell You I Love You, But then I'd Have to Kill You, Page 2, by Ally Carter

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update

Since it's been a full three months since I began the challenge, I thought it was time for an update. The goal of this challenge, hosted by The Story Siren, is to read at least 12 YA books from debut authors. I aimed way over twelve, and here are the books that I've reviewed thus far:

Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
Bad Taste in Boys Carrie Harris
Human .4 by Mike Lancaster
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

So, that's 7/?, since I still haven't listed the books that I plan to review post-July. How's the challenge going for you?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. (From Goodreads)

When I started Across the Universe, I wasn't really sure what I was going to find. I'd been hearing tons of positive buzz, but I still expected it to be heavy on the romance, with only a bit of sci-fi, mystery, and suspense. Saying that I was wrong would be a huge understatement. This book was packed with mystery, sabotage, and crazy twists!

I thought that the characters were well developed, and believable. I really felt for Amy, especially as she began to realize that she was trapped aboard the Godspeed. With her bright hair, and pale skin, she was an outcast. Elder was also an outcast of sorts, the only person on board his age, and was preparing to take over the role of leader. He had a few friends, but he didn't really fit in with majority of the people on the Feeder level (the agricultural hub of the ship). The book alternated between Amy and Elder's point of view. She managed to pull off switching these viewpoints between chapters without making the transitions jarring. I never felt pulled from the story, and I thought that this actually helped me better connect with both characters. Had the entire book been from Amy's perspective, I would have been a lot more suspicious about who exactly Elder was.

As for the pace of the book, I think it says quite a bit about Revis that she was able to fit all that she did into 400 pages, and still maintain a steady flow. Things didn't drag at the start, or feel rushed toward the end. I imagine that this is due to the fact that she has two more books to completely wrap up the story. I also thought she did a good job with the ethical side of things. It was an interesting take on what actions are acceptable in terms of continuing a race of people. I don't want to spoil this for anyone who hasn't read the book, so I'll refrain from saying any more about the subject.

Overall, this is one of my favorites of 2011 so far. The multifaceted plot, and well developed characters left me extremely satisfied as a reader. This is rather rare, but I really had no criticisms when I had finished reading. I happily let myself digest, and began looking forward to the sequel.

Across the Universe
By Beth Revis
Published by Razorbill
398 Pages
Rating: A

Copyright ©2009-2013 Cornucopia of Reviews. All Rights Reserved.