Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (May 29)

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

Darker Days by Jus Accardo

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.

Release Date: August 2013
Published by Entangled Publishing

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (May 28)

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.

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time."
-A. A. Milne

Moving is crazy, and I just realized that I won't have Internet access for a couple of days. In the meantime I'm posting from my phone!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (May 25)

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.

Things have been a bit chaotic lately in my non-blog life. I just graduated with my Masters degree, and now I'm getting ready to move tomorrow (although the only thing I've packed is my books...uh oh). So, things were a bit quiet this week, but things should be back to normal soon. 

Gifted by the fabulous (amazing, awesome) Nereyda of Mostly YA Book Obsessed

45 Pounds by K. A. Barson (aka my most anticipated read of the summer)

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Book Review: You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly. (From Goodreads)

*Please note that I'm reviewing an ARC, and plot details, grammer, spelling, wording, etc may change between what I read and the final version.

Best Bits: This was a very satisfying read. When the book begins we're thrown right into the tough stuff. Falor does a good job of drawing the reader into a society where women are treated like objects, and expected to do their duties or they will experience the ultimate punishment, being turned into a tarnished (whose rank in society reminds me of the untouchables). Hints of romance and fantasy are woven perfectly into this story. This book is insta-love free, and the magic serves to propel the plot forward, without taking away from Serena. 

I also thought Falor did a great job dealing with the topic of abuse. Serena experiences fear of punishment throughout the book, which, while upsetting to read, seemed really accurate to her upbringing. I'm glad that  she didn't suddenly embrace her newfound freedom, because she had grown up in an environment where her father was in control of her, and pain and fear were how he kept that power (he is an awful man, by the way). 

Nit Picks: Again, I read an ARC so this is subject to change, but there were a couple of words used in dialogue that didn't quite fit with the rest of the book. The language isn't completely formal, but a character saying "ew" seemed out of place for me. It made me do a double-take, but it didn't pull me out of the novel. 

You Are Mine

By Janeal Falor
273 Pages
Received for Review
Rating: B

Friday, May 17, 2013

Author Guest Post: Janeal Falor

Today we have author Jeneal Falor here to talk about five books that influenced her as a teen!

5 Books that Influenced Me as a Teen 

 photo EllaEnchanted_zps73ce9028.jpg
 5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 

I wasn't a fan of the movie, but I loved the book! Fairy Tales have always attracted my attention, and this one is such a fun and fabulous retelling of Cinderella. The unique take on it was fantastic. After reading it, I remember wanting to be strong like Ella. 

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 4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman 
This movie is one I do love, and it makes me want to write 'by S. Morganstern.' When I found out there was no such person, I was quite shocked. This book isn't perfect, Buttercup was never as strong as I wanted her too be, and Westly hitting her--makes me all sorts of grumpy. Despite those two strong dislikes, this book had a really big impact on me. Quotable, funny, quirky, and love. It had kept my imagination going for a long time. 

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3. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
I don't usually reread books, but I probably read this 4+ times as a teenager. There's so much tension and emotion in it. The fact that it was based on a true story scared me with it's horrificness, but also touched a place deep inside me. I've never forgotten it. 

 photo AWrinkleinTime_zps57670152.jpg
 2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 
I remember forever telling people when they talked about how to get somewhere that they need to fold space and step across instead of taking the long way around. Meg and Charles Wallace were such great characters. I loved how smart Meg was. 

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1. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi 
Imagining Charlotte, her neat pressed self, slowly growing into a strong woman and sticking up for things she believes in was thrilling. I can still imagine the feel of her gloves going on over her coarse skin. The emotions that grabbed me still have me all over the place even though it's been years since I've read it.

Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head (From the author's website)

You can check out Janeal Falor at her website, on Twitter, or on Facebook 

Check back tomorrow to see my review of her book, You Are Mine.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blog Tour: Nantucket Blue Review, Favorite Quotes, and a Giveaway!

Nantucket Blue

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

Best Bits: I don't always find myself drawn to contemporary reads, but something about this one was calling to me. I'm glad that I got the chance to read it, because it satisfied my urge for an emotional summer read. I thought that the characters and situations felt real, especially as the book went on and Cricket and Jules grow and change (seriously, if you compare their first conversation in the book to their final conversation it speaks volumes of who they are as people). I also thought that Howland did an excellent job dealing with the tragedy. I really understood the change in Jules, and felt for Cricket who couldn't help her. The romance was sweet, and didn't feel like insta-love. Seriously, I almost danced with joy about that one. It was obvious to me who male romantic lead would be, but it was still nice getting to see it happen. 

The one thing that I want to rave about is the ending. No fear, there are no spoilers here. Howland doesn't tie up all of the loose ends in Cricket's life. Things are still messy at the end, and I loved that about this book. When I set down my Kindle (at 4 am after being unable to put it down) I reflected back on the book and it was nice to think about the possibilities for the future of these characters. Nantucket Blue was an emotionally satisfying read, and a must-have for summer.

Nit Picks: I actually struggled with where to rate this one, and almost took the cheater's way out by giving it two grades. I don't have any large nitpicks to address, which is always a rarity. I do wish I could have seen a bit more of some supporting characters, as we're introduced to a few who make one or two brief appearances. The conflict at the end could have been avoided, but Howland did a great job of explaining it to the reader, and as a teen I probably would have done/felt the same way. 

Favorite Quotes: 

"The sky was bright blue with three marshmallow clouds" -1% on Kindle

"It's better to have the morning to yourself than the evening. You don't have to feel lonely when you're alone in the morning." -44% on Kindle

Expected Publication: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: A

About the Author

LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 11, 2013

4 Year (sort of) Blogiversary Giveaway!

It's official, this week Cornucopia of Reviews turns 4 years old! I don't think I ever anticipated getting to four years, especially during my hiatus when I had a dreadful reading/reviewing rut. To celebrate this occasion, and because next week is so packed with posts, I wanted to start my give away a bit early. As a thank you to everyone who has helped to keep me going, I want to giveaway some books (Juju from Tales of Whimsy, Dazzling Mage of A Reading Kabocha, Jenny from Dreaming of Books, and Mel from The Daily Prophecy get special shout outs for being fabulous, and they have awesome blogs, too!). I'm putting this post together quite late at night, so there are definitely others who deserve shout outs, and if you've taken time to come read anything I've posted here, that's you!

The contest is international, and you can pick whatever books (pre-orders, too) are on your reading list! Check out the Rafflecopter below! There are a lot of entry options, but the only one you must hit is the FREE ENTRY!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Review: The Heiresses by Allison Rushby

In Allison Rushby's Heiresses, three triplets--estranged since birth--are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone--least of all each other.

When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think. 
      Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
  Best Bits: I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The setup is great, three girls are brought to London to be reunited with their Aunt who is going to help them regain their rightful fortune. Each girl has a unique personality, and wildly different values. That meant that we got to see some interesting moral dilemmas, and made the plotting and planning rather fun. This book doesn't shy away from the tough subjects. You don't really expect to read about topics like eugenics in a book like this. Rushby did a great job of fitting it in. It's hard now to remember that there was a time that this subject wasn't looked at as unethical, cruel, and illegal. Similar the other book that I reviewed this week, I think that there is some crossover potential for older teens who enjoy historical reads.

Nit Picks: This one had it's ups and downs for me. I think that Rushby could have cut out a chunk of the book just to keep the pace going. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, but about halfway through things began to drag a bit. We got deeper into each character, but it meant we spent an extended amount of time with each girl without much forward movement of the plot. I also thought that the conflict within the sisters (Thalia) didn't hit the right chord for me. In attempting to keep this spoiler free, I think that the revelation that the readers gets at the end of the book came too late. There were a couple of hints at the beginning of the story that something is wrong, but I don't think it's enough to allow the reader to trust her. Her redemption in the story felt like the sisterhood version of insta-love.

The Heiresses
By Allison Rushby
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
352 Pages
Received for Review
Rating: C

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (May 8)

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

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

Published by HarperTeen

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (May 7)

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.

"That's right. It's a 'Knights and Damsels' party. In a castle tower."

-The Heiresses, 37% on Kindle, by Allison Rushby

Well, that was technically three sentences, but I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying this one. It's not technically YA, so I think what I really needed was something new. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian

A thrilling debut of a postapocalyptic world for fans of The Hunger Games

Weaving philosophy and science together into a riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure, The Office of Mercy illuminates an all-too-real future imagined by a phenomenal new voice in fiction.

Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five—a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.

The Office of Mercy is speculative fiction at its best with a deeply imagined, lush world, high-stakes adventure, and romance that will thrill fans of Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, Justin Cronin, and Kazuo Ishiguro. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: With a number of dystopian books that I've read in the past I've noticed that there tends to be a bit less gritty than I anticipate (this doesn't include every one that I've read, i.e. THG). The Office of Mercy actually did live up to my expectations in that regard. I believe that it's because it's adult fiction, and so the themes and dramatic elements has a little more freedom. Amazingly, Djanikian manages to make it hard-hitting without being overly graphic. Thus, I think it does have crossover appeal. There aren't any explicit scenes, and I think that older teens would appreciate America-Five and the ethical issues that arise in that society. There is a pretty crazy twist thrown in there, too. That always helps. 

Nit Picks: Honestly, I was supposed to review this one quite a while ago, but every time I started it I had a hard time getting drawn in. It's unfortunate, because I really did enjoy the book after the first 50 pages, but Djanikian writes in a way that requires readers to be patient in waiting for explanations (although, this did allow me to make many wild, and completely wrong, guesses). 

The Office of Mercy

By Ariel Djanikian
Published by Viking (adult)
320 Pages
Received for review
Rating: B

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (May 4)

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.


Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds

Unsinkable is the definitive memoir by film legend and Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds.

Actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer Debbie Reynolds shares the highs and lows of her life as an actress during Hollywood’s Golden Age, anecdotes about her lifelong friendship with Elizabeth Taylor and her experiences as the foremost collector of Hollywood memorabilia, and intimate details of her marriages and family life with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher.

A story of heartbreak, hope, and survival, “America’s Sweetheart” Debbie Reynolds picks up where she left off in her first memoir, Debbie: My Life.

The Shining by Stephen King

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of an the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review: Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

When twins Sheridan and Taylor wake up 400 years in the future, they find a changed world: domed cities, no animals, and a language that's so different, it barely sounds like English. And the worst news: They can't go back home.

The twenty-fifth-century government transported the girls to their city hoping to find a famous scientist to help perfect a devastating new weapon. The same government has implanted tracking devices in the citizens, limiting and examining everything they do. Taylor and Sheridan have to find a way out of the city before the government discovers their secrets. To complicate matters, the moblike Dakine has interest in getting hold of them too. The only way for the girls to elude their pursuers is to put their trust in Echo, a guy with secrets of his own. The trio must put their faith in the unknown to make a harrowing escape into the wilds beyond the city.

Full of adrenaline-injected chases and heartbreaking confessions, Erasing Time explores the strength of the bonds between twins, the risks and rewards of trust, and the hard road to finding the courage to fight for what you believe in. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: I absolutely adore Janette Rallison's others books (C.J. Hill is a pseudonym for her), so I had high expectations for this one. Yes, her other books tend to be funny and lighter, but I had a feeling that she could pull off sci-fi elements. She definitely did a good job with the time travel element. The process is believable, but it also doesn't delve too much into the science. Sure, we get a basic understanding of how it works, and that was enough for me...I'm not at the point that I can comprehend grand ideas as it's the end of the semester. There was also quite a twist at the end. I won't reveal it, but I can say that it took me completely by surprise and made me really reflect on what I had read up until that point. When the second book is released in September I will be interested to see what happens. 

Nit Picks: I think that the reason why I didn't rate this one higher was that I didn't connect well with the characters. Typically I'm drawn into Rallison's other characters, and I really care about what happens to them. In this book I just wasn't as interested in this one. I do like the aspect of the main character being a twin, but I guess I was expecting to see more of their relationship and their backstory (there is some of this in the book, but not quite enough for me to really want them to try to find some way to get back home). 

Erasing Time

By C.J. Hill 
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
386 Pages
Rating: C

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (May 1)

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 Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle 2) by Maggie Stiefvater

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after... 

Published by Scholastic

Release Date: September 17, 2013

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