Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (October 31)





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

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone in the path of Sandy is doing well. 


Hollow by Richard Denney

Welcome to the house of Hollow. 

In a dystopian future, sixteen year old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling manor. Soon Leah discovers that there is something eerie and mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening... what lies behind all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out.


Release Date: Summer 2013

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (October 30)

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.

"When it finally happened, when she finally saw him, it didn't feel like magic at all. It felt like looking into the grave and seeing it look back at her."
-The Raven Boys, Page 15, by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, October 29, 2012

Box of Books Contest Update


Alright, this is an awful photo (don't take one when you're rushing out the door for work, folks) but I am finally celebrating my blogiversary and passing 900 followers! To say thanks to all my readers I'm giving away a bunch of books, some old and some new, to one lucky reader (US only), and $25 of books to an international reader via The Book Depository. SO what are some of the books that you could win?

The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray
Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder
Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught
Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen
Eon by Alison Goodman
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Flawless by Lara Chapman (an older book that was super awesome amazing!)

Added 10/29

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

...and more as I read from my TBR pile and add them here!

If you're in the U.S. enter the rafflecopter here, if you're an international follower enter the rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. The contest will go on for quite a while as it gives me time to read more books and add them to the pot!

PLEASE NOTE: The rafflecopter ended early, so I've set up a new one for any NEW entrants to fill out. Please no double entries. Everyone will be calculated in and I will use Random.org to pick a winner.


a Rafflecopter giveaway








International Giveaway $25 to The Book Despository

PLEASE NOTE: The rafflecopter ended early, so I've set up a new one for any NEW entrants to fill out. Please no double entries. Everyone will be calculated in and I will use Random.org to pick a winner


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review: Unlocking the Spell by E. D. Baker

Now that Annie has helped her sister Gwendolyn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) wake up from the 100-year curse by finding her beloved prince, you would think that things would get back to normal. Think again! That beloved prince, Beldegard, is stuck in the body of a bear and the only way that Annie can be free of the two irritating lovebirds is to help-by finding the evil dwarf who cast the spell. Luckily, Annie has assistance from handsome prince Liam, and she has many tricks up her non-magical sleeve . . . (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: Along the same lines of The Wide-Awake Princess, I absolutely loved all of the fairy tale characters that popped up in this one. Snow White, Rose Red, and so many more that I won't spoil for you. There's something so fun about seeing how Annie's anti-magic gift will impact the fairy tales we've all heard about, and then how she'll fix any problems that arise. This time around, Gwendolyn is along for the quest (to turn Beldegard back into a human). This creates a new sort of trouble for the street-wise Annie, because Gwendolyn has never been away from home. She doesn't quite understand why they need to keep their identities secret, or why Beldegard shouldn't follow them into towns and villages. It's a great contrast between the two princesses. 


Nit Picks: My only issue is that Annie feels unsure throughout the book about Liam's feelings for her. I didn't think it was necessary and if it had been omitted I could have focused on the variety of ways that Annie is able to help the many characters that cross her path. 


Unlocking the Spell 

By E. D. Baker
261 Pages
Published by Bloomsbury USA
Purchased
Rating: B

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (October 24)




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


Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (From Goodreads)

Published by Merit Press
Release Date: December 18, 2012

So much awesome! They've also done a re-telling of Macbeth...so excited to read these

Friday, October 19, 2012

Box of Books Giveaway

Alright, this is an awful photo (don't take one when you're rushing out the door for work, folks) but I am finally celebrating my blogiversary and passing 900 followers! To say thanks to all my readers I'm giving away a bunch of books, some old and some new, to one lucky reader (US only), and $25 of books to an international reader via The Book Depository. SO what are some of the books that you could win?

The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray
Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder
Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught
Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen
Eon by Alison Goodman
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Flawless by Lara Chapman (an older book that was super awesome amazing!)
...and more as I read from my TBR pile and add them here!


Added 10/29

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


If you're in the U.S. enter the rafflecopter here, if you're an international follower enter the rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. The contest will go on for quite a while as it gives me time to read more books and add them to the pot!



PLEASE NOTE: The rafflecopter ended early, so I've set up a new one for any NEW entrants to fill out. Please no double entries. Everyone will be calculated in and I will use Random.org to pick a winner



a Rafflecopter giveaway



International Giveaway $25 to The Book Despository

PLEASE NOTE: The rafflecopter ended early, so I've set up a new one for any NEW entrants to fill out. Please no double entries. Everyone will be calculated in and I will use Random.org to pick a winner


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (October 17)





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


Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown


Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send." 

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look. 

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story. (From Goodreads)

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Release date: May 21, 2013

Why I'm waiting: I absolutely adored both of Jennifer Brown's previous novels. That says something, because the subject matter isn't easy to read about!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (October 16)

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.

"Being awake in a castle where everyone else was sleeping had made her appreciate the little things, like a child's laughter, a dog's bark, and voices rising and falling with the ebb and flow of conversation. Although silence had never bothered her before, too prolonged a silence now made her uneasy."

-Page 10, Unlocking the Spell, by E. D. Baker

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: This book was phenomenal. I tend to read books fairly quickly, but this one I finished within a couple of hours. I couldn't focus on anything else, I had to know what would happen to Mia. I'm happy to say that the book doesn't waste any time before Mia finds out that she has cancer (honestly, I'd rather not wait 50 pages when I already know it's going to happen). Watching how her family reacted was really interesting, too. They each attempted to cope in their own way and it directly impacts Mia. There was quite a bit of drama at the end, but the love triangle (yes, there is one) is done well. Of course, it made me cry. I think that most readers have known someone who has been diagnosed with some form of cancer, and for me this book book gave me a look at what it's like to be on the other side. A fabulous, and emotional read. 

Nit Picks: I wanted a bit more time with her friends after they realize what's happening to her. Mia makes the choice to keep it a secret from her friends...so obviously it's going to be revealed. I understood why her friends reacted the way that they did, I just think that it would have been a bit more believable to have more time between the anger and the understanding. 


Send Me a Sign 

By Tiffany Schmidt
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers
384 Pages
Received for Review
Rating: A

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giveaway & Book Review: Willful Impropriety Ed. by Ekaterina Sedia

The Season has finally arrived, filled with the magnificent balls, scandalous gossip, and clandestine romances that every lord and lady in good society has come to expect. But far within the walls of lavish estates and in the dark corners of the city lies a world that the aristocracy dares not touch, with rules and risks that glamour cannot overpower. Yet true love has no boundaries, and heiresses and street thieves alike must use their savvy and strength to create new beginnings and happily-ever-afters. Sometimes luck is enough, but every once in a while, a touch of magic may be needed.

Deliciously alluring, these thirteen historical romances from a talented array of YA authors will make even the most cynical heart swoon. (From Goodreads)


Best Bits: It's kind of difficult to do an anthology in the best bits/nit picks format, but I'm going to attempt it. For those that love historical fiction with a bit of scandal thrown in, this is the anthology for you. As a fan of The Parasol Protectorate series, I found many of the stories within this book to be fabulous reads. My favorites included The Colonel's Daughter by Barbara Roden (a story of a companion who helps her charge hide a forbidden romance), Mrs. Beeton's Book of Magickal Management by Karen Healey (a story about a lady's maid using magic to stop a spell gone wrong), and Resurrection by Tiffany Trent (a story about a woman disguising herself as a boy). The book has some diversity, too. There are characters from across the globe, and love between all genders. If only all books could be that way!

Nit Picks: I think that there were a couple stories where length was an issue. I wanted more from The Unladylike Education of Agatha Tremain by Stephanie Burgis (seriously, can these characters have a book?!). I thought that Nussbaum's Golden Fortune by M. K. Hobson was a bit too long, and that the story would have been more effective had it been a bit more concise. 

Overall, it's a good anthology that fans of the genre will enjoy. 

Willful Impropriety 
Edited by Ekaterina Sedia
Published by Running Press
 432 Pages
Received for Review 
Rating: B


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (October 10)




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 Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more. (From Goodreads)


Published by Dial
Release Date: March 21, 2013

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (October 6)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews! It's a way to highlight the books that everyone got throughout the week.

Won: 


From the awesome Carrie at In the Hammock Book Reviews

Beta by Rachel Cohn

Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist. 
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to. 
At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind? 
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive. 
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor-rupted world. (From Goodreads)

For Review: 


Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson


Ricki’s dad has never been there for her. He’s a bounty hunter who spends his time chasing parole evaders—also known as “skips”—all over the country. But now since Ricki’s mom ran off, Ricki finds herself an unwilling passenger in a front-row seat to her father’s dangerous lifestyle.


            Ricki’s feelings get even more confused when her dad starts chasing seventeen-year-old Ian Burnham. She finds herself unavoidably attracted to the dark-eyed felon who seems eager to get acquainted. But Ricki thinks she’s ever in control—the perfect manipulator. Little does she know that Ian isn’t playing their game by her rules. (From Goodreads)

Purchased: 



Unlocking the Spell by E.D. Baker

Now that Annie has helped her sister Gwendolyn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) wake up from the 100-year curse by finding her beloved prince, you would think that things would get back to normal. Think again! That beloved prince, Beldegard, is stuck in the body of a bear and the only way that Annie can be free of the two irritating lovebirds is to help-by finding the evil dwarf who cast the spell. Luckily, Annie has assistance from handsome prince Liam, and she has many tricks up her non-magical sleeve . . . (From Goodreads)






The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. (From Goodreads)



Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.


Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart. (From Goodreads)


Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Review: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: What a story! I really enjoyed how Pfeffer set up the story to begin with an event that everyone watches for fun...and turns into a story about learning to live in a world that is vastly different from the way it has always been. Miranda is a great character, she has moments of selfishness and rebellion, and she regrets the mistakes that she makes during her time post-meteor. I also appreciated that it was suspenseful without the violence. That's not to say that no one died in this book...millions of people did. The author simply managed to do this in a way where the reader doesn't see them happen, while still allowing the reader to be emotionally involved. 


Nit picks: This book is done in a journal format. At some points in the story this worked brilliantly. At others, however, I was left feeling that the journals were written in a way that felt more like a regularly formatted novel. It tended to throw me off a little bit. 


Life As We Knew It

By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Published by Harcourt Children's Books
337 Pages
Rating: A

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (October 3)






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


This is super late today, I didn't have internet access this morning!

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .

In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won’t soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.  (From Goodreads)

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Release Date: October 16, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Zombie Cat by Isabel Atherton and Bethany Straker


Tiddles is a suave, carefree kitty cat whose only pleasures in life are eating mice, wooing the ladies, and being generally apathetic toward his owner, Jake. But when a toxic spill occurs outside of town, Tiddles finds himself savagely attacked by a nasty-looking radioactive field mouse, and he wakes up as one of the undead. However, he still retains a bit of compassion and refrains - for now - from zombie bacchanalian delights, such as eating living beings' brains! Umm...any brains at all!

However, Tiddles, a.k.a Zombie Cat, is decomposing rapidly and would prefer to live a normal life in the zombie apocalypse with his owner. But will Jake let in his former cuddly pet, or will ZC be doomed to roam the streets trying to avoid the inevitable pull of his undead yearnings? (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: This book is awesome! It's equal bits comedy and horror. I knew from the outset that I was going to love it. I'm a cat person, and Tiddles looks quite a bit like my first cat, Fluffy. Tiddles is a total ladies man...before his insides end up on the outside. The fact that he wants to go home to his owner (despite being hungry for brains) makes him the coolest zombie ever...That and his ability to dance like a popstar. Jake and Zombie Cat (R.I.P? Tiddles) make quite a pair, and had me shaking with laughter. 

So, if you know someone who is both cat-loving and zombie-fearing I'd suggest this hilarious adult picture book! 


It did get me thinking, would I let my cat in if he was a zombie? 


Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty
Written by Isabel Atherton
Illustrated by Bethany Straker
32 Pages
Published by Skyhorse Publishing
Received for Review
Rating: Z (for zombietastic)

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