Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


"It turns out one girl will be going home with her family. Maxon's supposed to make an elimination after meeting you all." 
-The Elite, Page 57, by Kiera Cass

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


 Best Bits: You know, this book was really entertaining. I've heard positive and negative things about it, and I think that's why it's taken me so long to cross it off my to-read list. So, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast it went. I liked the dynamic between the girls (see the nit picks section, though). Sure, some fell into their tropes, but it was nice to see that some girls weren't after love, they were after power.


Sorry, I'm not usually a gif person, but I couldn't resist. I did like the development of Maxon. Despite his out-of-touch upbringing, he's genuinely willing to attempt change for his country. It's the sign of a good ruler (omg, now I'm worried he won't live through the series. Excuse me while I go breathe in a paper bag).

Nit Picks: I can see why this one was hit or miss for people, because it stayed at the surface for most things like character motivations (beyond America), and delving into why the rebels are fighting back against the government. The love triangle seemed a bit wonky, too. I think that's because the book gives us such a positive look at Maxon. I felt ho-hum about Aspen, who I'm sure I'm supposed to feel something for. 

The Selection 
By Kiera Cass
Published by  HarperTeen
336 Pages

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 22)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  


"Did you really just use the word 'shall'?"
He chuckled. "I'm afraid I did." 

-The Selection, Page 114, by Kiera Cass

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (April 19)

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.

For Review: 

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker
 
"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?


Published by Running Press
Release Date: April 22, 2014 

Purchased: 

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


The Selection by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

  didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.


Best Bits: Oh. My. Glob. There was something so deliciously twisted about this book that kept me from setting it down. I was reading it during my lunch break because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Amy is like Dorothy in many ways, she just wants to escape her life in Kansas. Her issues, unlike Dorothy's, are more serious and intense.  This makes her a great character. She's not exactly likable all the time, but I understand her motivations. She's tormented by her peers, her mom is struggling with addiction, and she can't wait to leave her home behind. Perfect timing for a tornado, right? Paige was able to take Oz, and make it her own. The associations that I have about Oz from childhood were turned upside down, and I loved it.

The characters are everything that you want them to be, and Paige doesn't spare anyone. It's sort of like Game of Thrones, no one is safe! The reader never truly knows who is good and who is wicked, and if wicked is really good in Oz?! I'm looking forward to Amy's struggle with power, and her ability to navigate who to trust (and hopefully, ultimately, trusting herself). The characters we know and love(d) make an appearance, and they're absolutely vile. I never thought I would be disgusted by the cowardly lion (because really, in the movie I just want to give him a big hug). Paige excels in warping these characters, while giving the reader an understanding of why they serve Dorothy.

Nit Picks: There is a decent amount of swearing in this one. I didn't mind it, but those who try to avoid that should be aware. 

Dorothy Must Die 
By Danielle Paige
Published by HarperCollins
452 Pages
Purchased



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop


Hoppy Easter 2
4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 17th to 24th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later
 As long as The Book Depository ships to you, enter away!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (April 16)


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


Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Published by Bloomsbury USA

I can't wait to see the cover!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 15)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


"What if, in training to fight Dorothy, I became just like her? 
'You're not Dorothy, dear," Gert said. 
-Dorothy Must Die, Page 159, by Danielle Paige

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (April 9)


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


Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Published by Dutton
Release Date: August 14, 2014
 
 So I technically have already had this as a WoW post, but it now has an official release date, hurrah! I can't wait to jump back into this series.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 8)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  


"When I was young," wrote Jim, "my ambition was to be one of the people who make a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave this world a little bit better for my being here." 
-Jim Henson: The Biography, Page 490, by Brian Jay Jones

I'm slowly working through this one (non-fiction takes me a lot longer to get through), and I'm enjoying it. The Muppets were a huge thing for me as a child, and something my entire family enjoy. Lots of giggles and warm memories come up for me when I think of Kermit and Miss Piggy. 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up and March Contest Winners

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 EpicReads.com:

Twinmaker by Sean Williams
High-stakes action combines with issues of friendship and body image in this timely and thought-provoking exploration of the intersection of technology and identity.

You can be Improved....
In a near-future world in which technology can transport you anywhere instantly, can a coded note enable you to change your body-to become taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby's dream turns into Clair's nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious-but powerful-stranger called Q, Clair's attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

CONTEST WINNERS:

Comment Contest Winner: Dazzling Mage

Winner of Liv, Forever: Kerry

Current Contests:

- April Comment Contest (Comment on any non-meme post and you're automatically entered)

- The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain Giveaway

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark 1) by Bree Despain

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.


Best Bits: I love Greek mythology, so I jumped at the chance to read this one early. It's sort of a spinoff of the Persephone myth, but these characters exist in a world where Hades and Persephone were real...well, Haden does. Haden has grown up in the Underworld, known as the Underrealm, and it isn't pretty. He is driven by duty and regaining his lost honor (Zuko, is that you?). So, when he's sent above to find the girl who can save everyone things don't go as planned. I actually found it nice that he has to work on gaining her trust for most of the book. He basically seems like a creepy stalker/murderer at the start, so if she had fallen for him immediately I would have been bummed. 

Despain also devoted time for Haden to learn what it meant to be human, and what it means to have fun. Seriously, the Underrealm seems like a drag. There's a ridiculous class system, and brothers are pitted against each other. The least they could have is a view of something nice, right? Wrong. Daphne's character is an interesting one, and although I don't really get her motivation at the start of the book, I found myself rooting for her. She had just the right amount of skepticism when she found out the truth about what was really happening at Olympus Hills High. Sounds ominous, right? That skepticism was a breath of fresh air. Usually the dreamy dark and handsome guy says something that sounds totally out of touch with reality, and the girl believes it immediately. I don't know about you, but if some guy came up to me and said, "Hey, I'm from the underrealm and I need you to return with me to save everything and prevent a war" I wouldn't be jumping on the next boat down the river Acheron.

Nit Picks: I totally guessed who the baddie was going to be at the start. It didn't ruin anything for me, because the rest of the book hooked me, but I knew who was walking through the door with their villain monologue.

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark 1)
By Bree Despain
Published by EgmontUSA
Received for Review 


You can check out a guest post by the author at Two Chicks on Books today, and tomorrow check out
another guest post and giveaway at Jenna Does Books! Thanks to Michelle at Egmont for including me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (April 2)


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


 Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.


Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (April 1)

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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"I wouldn't put it past her to leave a severed My Little Pony head in your bed if you refuse their membership offer," he says, and takes a bite of his muffin. 
"Friendship is magic," I say. 
-Into the Dark (The Shadow Prince 1), 34% on Kindle, by Bree Despain

I'm not sure why, but this part made me laugh out loud. Totally surprising and hilarious. Loving this one so far!

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