June 29, 2011

Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Title: Anatomy of a Boyfriend
Author: Daria Snadowsky

Published: January 9, 2007
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Age: 17+

Goodreads Summary:

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

My Review:

It turns my face red when I read this book.

Actually it was mostly because I was hanging upside down while I read this. But honestly, people who are sensitive to certain...subjects are forewarned.

The story itself was alright. I felt like the relationship may have been a little rushed, but it is also realistic to the times.

My favorite character was Amy! I loved her personality and how she changed. Dom was annoying. Sometimes I wonder if reading the main character's thoughts annoy me because they turn out to be too close to my own and I read to escape, not to relate. Actually sometimes I read to relate, but that's a totally diffrent subject.

Overall all, it was a good, quick, summer read.

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Published by EgmontUSA on June 14th
Hardcover, 397 pages
(Summary from Goodreads):

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.
On an irrelevant sidenote, OMG! I got the color for my blockquote, and it looks so cool! It's almost like I'm a real blogger.  Thanks so much to Brielle and Penelope for the help!  If you're interested in learning more, check out Penelope's post.

My Review:
I think what I loved about this book was more of the characters and romance rather than the actual plot and concepts, even though Hourglass definitely has a unique story line in YA.  I don't think I've ever read a book about time travel before either, but it was a little difficult for me to get into the time travelling. Maybe I just didn't read those sections thoroughly, but I kinda wished it could have been explained a little more.  There are also a couple of really great plot twists that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but (this is a first) I kinda saw them coming, so I guess it didn't impact me as much as it could have.  Hopefully this means me and Myra think alike... except I'm nowhere near as cool as her.

I think what really stood out to me in this book was the characters.  I loved Emerson as a main character, I felt that she was easy to relate to and her sarcasm was pretty amusing.  She had a very unique voice which I give Myra props for.  I liked Michael as well, he was super sweet (and hot) and I was totally in love with him until I met Kaleb.

Oh Kaleb.  I've officially added him to my fictional boyfriend list (I really do have a list because I have a tendency to forget them since I have so many).  Even though Kaleb has his sweet moments, he's kind of the opposite of Michael.  Whereas Michael is overall a gentleman, Kaleb is flirtatious and a total player, which makes him so much more entertaining for me.  And oh yeah, he's pretty hot too.  (You see where my priorities are by now lol).  I also really liked the minor characters like Lily, Cat, Ava, Liam, Thomas, Jack etc. and I hope we get to see more of them in the next book, which I definitely will be reading!  I think Myra is a fantastic writer and I'll be sure to pick up anything she writes in the future :)

4.5 out of 5 stars!  With it's infectious characters and compelling romance, Hourglass is a must-read!  I'd recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of mystery, hot boys, and snarky, strong heroines.

June 27, 2011

Ally Carter Signing and Surprise!

Okay, so for all you who remember, April and I went to Ally Carter's book signing today!

I recorded the Q&A session for you! But it's sideways, most because I forgot the thing didn't change when I flipped it. And well movie maker isn't allowing me to cut the segement into seperate movies and upload them on youtube. So until that is figured out you'll have to wait for that.

Here's a picture from the St. Louis County Library Flickr page.  We're sitting in the 2nd-ish row.  Karina is sitting behind the girl with the pink ribbon in her hair, and I'm on her left :)

Ally Carter 6.27.11

Also, here's the surprise:

WE'RE GIVING AWAY A SIGNED COPY OF UNCOMMON CRIMINALS! Get excited! Just fill out the form below for a chance to win! Giveaway until July 15th at Midnight!

US only, sorry international peeps :'( We'll try to have an international giveaway soon!

*We're adding in an Uncommon Criminals key chain, and a pin/sticker we got from the event*

Guys, you're awesome if you're following Ally Carter on twitter.  But the Follower box is for if you're an email subscriber to our blog or a Google Friend Connect follower.  Just wanted to clarify, sorry for any confusion!

June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

Hey guys! It's Karina with my first ever IMM. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by Kristi from The Story Siren where bloggers can share what books they've received and what they're planning on reviewing.

So basically I didn't want to be left out of this whole vlog-ing we apparently have going on and well for other reasons I made a video! I tend to ramble when I'm nervous, so sorry for the longness of it.

Here are the books, incase you didn't want to hear me talk or couldn't.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Crossed by Ally Condie


In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by Kristi from The Story Siren  where bloggers can share what books they've received and what they're planning on reviewing.

This week I got 3 books, so it qualifies for another IMM :)

Let's play "Count how many times April says really, cool, or awesome".

I won Solstice by P.J. Hoover trading cards, which are really cool!  :D I didn't actually know that much about the book before reading these cards, but now I'm really interested! The author also sent me a really cute card, which made me happy :)  I think you can click on the picture to zoom in.  Of course, I put the hot guy on top.

On the big card, it says "Where mythology and dystopia meet.." so that sounds pretty good to me :)

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (from Kat @No Page Left Behind)
Untamed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast and the Curse Worker bracelets(!) (from Patrica @Two Chicks on Books)
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready (giveaway hosted by Book Soulmates from Big Honcho Media and Simon and Schuster)
Solstice by P.J. Hoover swag (giveaway hosted by Joy Preble from P.J. Hoover)

June 24, 2011

Mortal Instrument Jewlery Giveaway!

Alright guys, I bring you the latest and greatest of news. The chance to win great MI gear AND see a really good book blog.

Head over to:

For complete details and ways to enter. I'm entering and I wish everyone who enters good luck!

June 23, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals
Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 298
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books, 2011

Goodreads Summary:
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

My View:

It wasn't what I had been waiting for. Sadly, I had much greater expecations for this book.

Kat comes back into the thief world with a mission: to return all the unjustly stolen art to their homes. Sure, sounds like a good plan with potential for good stories with thrills.

Yet somewhere, it went amiss in this book.

Kat continues to struggle with the fact that she is back to the life she tries to run away from. Then throw in the two boys, Nick and W.W. Hale the Fifth (we do not learn Hale's name in this book, sadly) and you have a very confused girl.

Normally I'm all for confused girls (actually not really) because it makes them seem like more realistic characters. Except, this time it didn't. Kat is already beyond realistic, with her life as a theif, so making her normal with confusion over life and guys just didn't really suit my fancy. Don't get me wrong, it's better than having a flawless girl and better than constantly depressed/lack self-confidence girl. I didn't see Kat's character develop much from book one to book two.

Writing style: same as always. Though I will admit that there were times that I was much confused about what was going on. And I pretty much saw Nick as an irrelavent character who Carter just brought back because of fan girls. (Not a Nick fan, sorry :P)

The heist: it lacked adventure, drama and danger. In my opinion, it was too quick and too easy. There really wasn't anything hanging on the line, except for perhaps pride.


It was an okay book. Not what I had expected, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It was dull, and confusing at times and no real relationship movement.

Rating: 3.5/5


P.S. Remember that we're going to be meeting Ally Carter on the 27th, so if anyone has any questions that you would like us to ask her, post a comment!

June 21, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

(From Goodreads)
"There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.  
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. 
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?"

My Review:
I apologize ahead of time for my incoherent rambling. *Possible SPOILERS since this is the 3rd book and I'm not very good at censoring myself.  But you can always skip to the Overall section to read a brief non-spoilery blurb*

THIS.  This is the book that I wanted to read when I picked up The Forest of Hands and Teeth.   To be honest, I was not really a fan of the first book.  The Dead-Tossed Waves got a little better for me, but I was not completely in love with it either.  I felt like they had potential, but there was a depressing monotony that didn't really work for me.  I also was not really a fan of where the romance was going and Mary, the protagonist in the first book, really ruined it for me.  But The Dark and Hollow Places has a new main character, Annah, who is Gabry's long lost twin sister.  And she's pretty awesome.

If you cannot remember any of the characters and how they know each other, it's okay! I honestly couldn't remember any of them, but the book does an excellent job of catching you up.  I really liked Annah because she did not come off as whiny and I admired her strength and I could relate with her brokenness.  I also loved the romance in the book, because I loved Catcher in The Dead-Tossed Waves and so I was happy that he finally had someone :)  There is not really a love triangle, which also made me happy!  

Although I didn't really like the first two books, I could tell that Carrie Ryan is an amazing writer.  And I really think that as she wrote each book, her writing just kept on improving, so I look forward to whatever she writes in the future!  This book was filled with passion that kept me turning the pages.  

I like to think that the overarching theme of this book is hope, which personally, I felt was lacking in the previous books.  A large part of this I believe is due to Annah because she is truly a fighter despite her troubled past and feelings of abandonment.  Even though the Unconsecrated have pretty much overrun the world, I love how in the end, there is hope, and how people still find the will to keep trying and keep on living.  Which I think is an excellent way end to an excellent book.

5+ out of 5 stars, easily!  An equally moving and stunning conclusion that left me breathless, I would highly recommend this book.  Even if you were not a fan of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and/or The Dead Tossed Waves, I say give this one a try!  It may surprise you :)

June 20, 2011

Clockwork Prince Giveaway Alert!

Mflick1 is giving away a pre-order of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare once she hits 100 followers on her blog, so go and enter HERE! US only.

If you were unawares, Clockwork Prince is the 2nd book in the Infernal Devices series, the first book being Clockwork Angel. If you have yet to read The Mortal Instruments series or Infernal Devices, (you've probably heard this a million times from other bookish peeps) I highly recommend them! :)

And for the people out there who are sick of me posting about other people's giveaways, please let me know and I'll try to limit the amount I post in the future.

(I second this! April beat me to posting. -Karina)

June 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by Kristi from The Story Siren  where bloggers can share what books they've received and what they're planning on reviewing.

I generally don't get that many books... one a week if I'm lucky.  But the rare times when I do get more than 3 books, I'll post an IMM :)

What I (April) got this week:

The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (There's no dust jacket, that's why it looks a little weird.  I think it's cool how the actual library binding copy cover is different from the dust jacket cover.)

June 15, 2011

Review: Angel by James Patterson

Title: Angel
Author: James Patterson
Pages: 366
Publisher: Little Brown and Company, 2011

Goodreads Summary:
In the seventh book in the bestselling series, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they're trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it.
Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans. And this time, the true heroine, for once, might just be little Angel.

My ramblings (be warned, they're very odd): *Spoilers!*

I went into this book with a real biased against it. Ever since the release of book four (The Final Warning) I've felt like the books have lost their touch. And with the new editions, I have come to notice that the books are separated. The first three are called something like The Runaways (that may not be true but I can't think of the answer) and then four and up are called The Protectors (this I know is true). And we all know how James Patterson is a ghost writer (confirmed by C.C. at a book signing) so I really didn't know what to expect from Angel.

In the end, I came out with mixed feelings. There were times where I was all excited because it was just like the first three, and then there were times were I was like...um what the heck?!

So let's start with the good things, because they're the ones that stand up the most right now. (I just finished the book.) Actually, we're going to mix it up because that's how confused I am about this book.

Max drives me insane!! Her personality has defiantly done a one-eighty since book one where she was all hard core, flock first and no bs to flock first (sometimes?), fifteen year old boy troubled, confused girl she's become now. Of course, I mean she has to have some issues, she is 98% human after all.

Lack of Faxness....not going to lie, always been my favorite. I always thought I was going to hate Dylan...but he's soo cute! And then Fang was being a butt head and Max was being Max and everything started unraveling and now Fang and Max are no more! Like ever again.

I always hated when they brought in Dylan as this perfect other half. I mean hello! Max has Fang! Why must there be another! And then Dr. Hans and Jeb come with the whole must reproduce thing...ew. I know that in the Lake House and Where The Wind Blows (both books of James Patterson where winged kids first appear) there were eggs, but honestly, did the Maximum Ride series have to head in that direction too? It's going to be made a movie for goodness sake! (So they say anyway.

Then there's Angel. I always disliked her, since book one where she started manipulating people's thoughts. I'm pretty sure that in the last book, Angel was a traitor! And now she's back on the "good side"...I'm glad that what happened to Angel happened (don't want to spoil it!).

Ella and Iggy? And their sudden fascination for the evil of this book, the Doomsday Group. Oh the DG how you give this book excitement. Of course, the DG was kind of creepy and a little disturbing. I mean, suddenly Gen 77 thinks its better than everyone else and they start planning humancide? And they're all kids? I think that's a little dark, though it could have been much darker and cooler in the book.

Okay, who remembers when the Flock used to be never get caught, never be seen? And suddenly air shows are their thing? Hmmm, that's an obvious change that I don't like.

Okay, Fang's new "Flock" sooo cool! Love those kids, love the starfish kid! Hate Maya and Fang's idiotic choice to include her. And what in the world happened to the rest of the clones we saw in a previous book? And the runaways from book one?

Be prepared for reoccurring characters.

I'm a little confused on what in the world is going on the humans of this book. First Ella and her need to be 'special' even after she was 'cleansed' and then what in the world happened to Dr. Martinez and Jeb? Are they dead? Are they alive? Are they making more Max-lings? Who knows!

It was okay writing. Defiantly not the best out there, but it was concise and made sense so I suppose it was okay.

You should read it, to feel the same confusion I feel towards it. Then you should comment and clean up my confusion.

Overall rating: 3.5/5


June 14, 2011

Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began

Title: Tomorrow, When the War Began
Author: John Marsden
Pages: 304
Publisher: Scholastics Paperbacks

Goodreads Summary:

When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong--their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision--run and hide, give themselves up and be with
their families, or fight back. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

My review:

So I definitely saw the movie to this book first, without knowing there was a book series that went along with it. And I have to say, there are very few movie that are so close to the book.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is a book that looks at the line between man and animal, and crosses it.

One of the things I really enjoyed about John Marsden's writing was the way he stated what everyone knows. Humans give names to objects and then give them so much more significance. He gives an insight to how people change, drastically, when their lives are at stake. Becuase Darwin's theory of evolution applies here: only the fit can survive.

Everything Marsden's states through his characters (Ellie, Homer, Robyn, etc.) are so true. They act just like how anyone their age would. He didn't make the characters pre-prepared to survive. He didn't make them Eagle scouts or military kids or super geniuses. He gave everyone normal lives, normal jobs that you would find in that part of Australia. It just shows you how even the simplest things you learn everyday can help you survive.

Another thing about this book that I enjoyed was that it was in a way, a diary. It wasn't dated or anything, it was just Ellie's reflection of everything that had happened. She tells the story through her eyes, and then for everything that she hadn't been there for, someone told the story and she wrote it down. It always seemed like you were informed on everything that happened. There was no real dark secret that came back to ruin everything.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. And even though this may not have been the best review, I suggest everyone read it.

Rating: 5/5 stars


June 11, 2011

Review: Delirium

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver

Published: February 3, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 441
Format: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2011: Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author of Before I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. --Jessica Schein

My Review:

It deffinatly wasn't what I thought it was going to be.

Which is good, because I can't even remember what I used to think of this book before I read it. I just know that I was deffinatly surprised.

There were some things in this book that were pretty obvious. The chain of events sometimes made it seem like the classic Romeo and Juliet story of forbidden love. Which is kind of ironic since love is forbidden in the book "Delirium".

Yet, the basic problem of this book made it exactly the opposite of the classic R&J story line. It kind of gives forbidden love a whole new meaning.

I didn't really like Lena as a character. Sure, she went from believing deeply in the teachings of their society to a memeber of the resistance, but I still didn't like her. She was kind of plain, nothing that could really distinugish her from other female protagonists. And maybe that's how she's supposed to be.

I really like Hana. She seemed like the basic rebel girl who in the end is just content rebelling against society. But its the way she thought and just her overal personality that made me like her even more. It may have been that was the way it was supposed to be, that you would like Hana over Lena.

I'm so glad that this is a series! For a moment I was afraid it was a lone book, but of course not. Lone books don't really exist anymore in this consuming society, because a series means selling more and making more and overall gaining more. (Just read Brave New World for all those who got that). I can see the sequal not being about Lena though. Sure, we all want to know whats going to happen to Alex, but I kind of want it to be that the next book is about someone else breaking from society and meeting up with Lena and the Invalids.

Who knows? All we have to do is wait for the next on. I hate waiting.

Overall Rating: 4/5

June 10, 2011

Katelinnea's Demon's Surrender Giveaway!

If you were unawares, Katelinnea is having a giveaway for The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan!  You should check out the link for official rules and schtuff, but there will be 5 winners who either win The Demon's Surrender or another one of Sarah's books, which are all awesome!

The Demon's Lexicon series may be one of my favorite series of ALL TIME so if you have yet to read them, or you really want to read The Demon's Surrender, go enter the giveaway!  It ends on June 14th, which is also the day that The Demon's Surrender officially comes out :) The giveaway is international, but international winners may have to cover part of shipping cost if it's too expensive.

If you want to learn more about The Demon's Surrender, you can check out my Waiting on Wednesday post here.  I'm sorry if you get sick of me posting about other people's giveaways, I try not to do it unless it's for something really really really awesome.  Like this.

June 9, 2011

The Wondrous Strange Trilogy by Lesley Livingston

So last weekend, I participated in a readathon, which was loads of fun! I unfortunately did not make it all 24 hours, and only read half the books I planned on, but I did read the Wondrous Strange trilogy which I've had for a while now.  And because I'm just a lazy person, and I read the whole series in one day, I'm just going to review the series as a whole.

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by HarperCollins Canada / Cdn Kids Mm

"17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye."

Darklight (Wondrous Strange #2) by Lesley Livingston

Hardcover, 310 pages
Published December 22nd 2009 by HarperTeen

"Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt.
Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power.
Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.
With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in Darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with Wondrous Strange."

Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange #3) by Lesley Livingston

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by HarperTeen

"I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous Strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.

My Review:
I'm not really sure how to review 3 books at once... but I'd like to start off by saying this trilogy had plenty of action, an original and captivating story line, and was extremely well written.  There were also plenty of Shakespeare references which I loved.  Honestly, I think this series had EVERYTHING that you need in a good series.  Like, I can rank the plot up there with Harry Potter's storyline.  Yeah, I just compared it to Harry Potter.    

But despite all the obvious awesomeness and plenty of reasons for me to fall in love with this series... I couldn't.  I'm not really sure why, but the main characters didn't really click for me.  Kelley, the protagonist, seemed a little... blah sometimes.  She definitely wasn't boring or annoying either, but I couldn't really care about her for some reason.  And Sonny... yeah, his name bothers me, but don't get me wrong, I liked him.  I actually preferred it when the book was in his POV.  But as the series went on, I didn't really care for his and Kelley's relationship, it was kinda mushy, full of drama, etc.  However I LOVED all the other minor characters, especially Fennrys (is that how you spell his name?) and I wish there was an extrapolation of the love triangle that was kinda there, and at the same time, wasn't.  I liked Maddox and everyone else in the Janus Guard, it was interesting to see how they changed and their different personalities.  

Reading Lesley's bio, it says she has a master's degree in English and specialized in Shakespeare, which I think is awesome.  Kelley is an actress in New York and in Wondrous Strange, she takes part in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  An ironically, she is introduced into the faerie world, and you even get to meet *Puck(!!!)  In Darklight, the main Shakespearean theme is based around Romeo and Juliet, and in Tempestuous, it's The Tempest.  And on the first page of each book, there is a page off the script that Kelley has in her plays, which foreshadow events in the books.  I sound like a dork, but I love how Lesley Livingston uses Shakespeare and the predominant themes in his play to set up the basis for each book.  

Overall: I give this series as a whole 4 out of 5 stars :) If you want me to be specific, I'd give Wondrous Strange 3.5 out of 5 stars, Darklight 4 out of 5 stars, and Tempestuous 4 out of 5 stars.  I'd highly recommend this series to fans of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and other faerie books.  This series is definitely one of the better faerie series I've read so far.  I definitely look forward to Lesley Livingston's other works, she's a fabulous writer!

*If you were unaware, I am OBSESSED with Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, and I'm completely in love with Puck.  Puck in the Iron Fey series is of course, a completely different character than in Wondrous Strange, but it's neat how he plays a role in both series's

June 8, 2011

An Awesome Wings of the Wicked Giveaway

In case you were unawares, Courtney Allison Moulton, author of Angelfire, has posted an AMAZING giveaway for 3 ARCs of Wings of the Wicked (the sequel to Angelfire) and you can win some other awesome books such as Divergent, Starcrossed, Illusions, Vampire Kisses, and some awesome swag! (THERE'S A CADAN BOOKMARK. BE EXCITED). 

Wings of the Wicked doesn't come out till WINTER 2012. Which is a long long long time from now.  So if you want to win an ARC and get on the goods first, go enter! Look at THIS post for the original rules, trailer, and summary, but you can't comment on it, you have to comment on part 2 (the one I posted up up up there) because people are commenting like crazy! Last time I checked there were more than 9000 comments in total lol. 

Courtney is also posting delicious teasers from Wings of the Wicked as there are more and more comments!  Here's one of my favorites ;) Featuring my love, Cadan, who I am told appears fairly often in this book, which only makes me MORE excited for it!

“Speaking of romance,” he started. “Are you going to tell me about this book you were so engrossed in that you barely even noticed me?”

I gave him a sidelong glance. “You really want to know?”

“I’d like to understand what captivates you,” he said. “So that I might aspire to do the same.”

“Would you like a little wine to go with all that cheese?” I asked.

“Would you like me better if I were gloomy and morose?” He narrowed his eyes teasingly.

“You’d kind of suck if you were either of those.”

He leaned back and lazily put his elbows up on the back of his chair. “Then what is the appeal of your Guardian? He is quite definitely gloomy and morose.”

I’d let Cadan have one point. “Don’t you think morose is a little severe?”

“You must agree that he is rather moody and glum.”

“He’s not glum.”

His grin widened. “So you admit that he’s gloomy and moody.”

“I never said that.”

“But you don’t deny it.”

I exhaled in annoyance. “You’re obnoxious.”

“But at least I’m not morose.”

“Will isn’t morose.”

“Tell me about the book you reading.”

I blinked in surprise. Was he serious? He sat beaming with self-satisfaction. Playing games with my head was apparently hilarious. He was insufferable.

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This is the first Waiting On Wednesday post on Book Away! I (April) am waiting on The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan, which comes out next week! *happy dances* The Demon's Lexcion was one of my favorite series I read last year, and I can't wait to read the conclusion!

The Demon's Surrender (The Demon's Lexicon #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publishing Date: June 14th, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Format: Hardcover , 400pp 
Age Range: Young Adult
Series: Demon's Lexicon Trilogy Series

The Demon's Surrender is the thrilling and suspenseful conclusion to the Demon's Lexicon trilogy.

Unfortunately this was the only synopsis I could find from Goodreads...  But you can check out the first chapter and some teasers at Sarah's blog :) Sarah is one of the funniest authors I know of, so you should definitely check out her blog and her books if you haven't read them yet!

What are you waiting on?

June 4, 2011

Ally Carter and Maggie Stiefvater

This message is for ever Ally Carter (author of the Gallagher Girls Series and Heist Society) and Maggie Stiefvater (author of Shiver and Linger) fan and just any reader with questions for writers.

Ally Carter and Maggie Stiefvater will be on their separate book tours this summer for their newest books, Uncommon Criminals and Forever, respectively. And fortunately for me (and you) they'll be coming to our hometown!

So April and I (more like me and I've dragged April into this) will be heading to their book signings and with any luck, be able to either get a time to catch before hand, during or afterwards. We'll ask them questions and get answers which of course we'll be posting on this blog.

Now for the important part. What kind of questions do you want to have answered? Comment on this post with questions and we'll see if we can have them answered! Ally Carter's visit is near the end of this month and Maggie Stiefvater's visit is near the end of July. But the earlier you post, the faster I (and April if she agrees) can get everything organized!

So don't forget to comment with questions!


Epic Readathon

Hi guys! Just wanted to make a quick post... that I should have made a while ago... *headdesk* But today I'm participating in the Epic Readathon hosted by Brielle at Awesome Bookworm, Rachel at Fitkshun, Tiffany (author of Meant To Be), and Jaime and Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

You should read this post and this post for more info, sorry I'm not much help.  You can ask on twitter through the #epicreadathon hashtag or maybe leave a comment on Brielle's blog (the posts I linked to).  If it's too late to sign up for this readathon, You can still join in! you can always enter for Squeaky Book's Spring Into Summer readathon which I probably won't be able to participate in because of stuff I have to do that weekend.

Good luck to fellow readathon-ers :)

For this 24 hour readathon, I'm planning on reading: (the crossed out books are the one I've finished so far)
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Red Glove by Holly Black

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Goodreads summary:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

My Review:
THIS.  This is the dystopian that I love.  You've probably noticed that the dystopian genre has been really popular recently due to the Hunger Games and its' awesomeness.  I can name at least 10 that have come out in the past 8 months.  But out of all those books, Divergent reminds me of Hunger Games the most.  I'm not trying to say it's some knock off of the Hunger Games, which it definitely isn't, but the action, suspense, and violence gives off a HG vibe, which is always awesome.

Even though this book was great, and I loved it a lot, there were times when I really struggled to relate with Tris.  Mostly because she is really badass and I am most definitely not.  And there were times when I really couldn't comprehend how she could be so callous and claim it was being Dauntless. Which I suppose it was, but I just couldn't relate.  Her badassery overall is pretty cool and always interesting to see characters like her, it just makes me feel lamer lol. (Did I really just write lol in a review? Yeah).  I really liked Four though, how he could be strong and vulnerable at the same time.  God, that sounded cheesy. 
I had a bit of hard time remembering that he was only eighteen, considering that he is her mentor and he seems so mature.  

I loved the world building in this book, a dystopian Chicago felt so real to me.  I also liked the use of the Factions and it really allows the reader to wonder more in depth about the world and how if they were a character, which Faction would they be in?

Not going to give away the ending, but it kinda left me in shock at some points.  The plot overall was great and kept me turning the pages, and there was almost never a dull moment.  I'm glad that there wasn't a HUGE cliffhanger like in most dystopians, but it kinda left me feeling, "There's no way she ended it like that" which I suppose could be a good thing.  Fortunately, there is going to be a trilogy and I will definitely read all of the books!  There's also a movie optioned I believe so I'm really excited for that too.

4.5 out of 5 stars :) Action-packed debut that will keep you flipping pages at the edge of your seat, I highly recommend this to fans of books like the Hunger Games. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel to this book!

June 1, 2011

Giveaway Winners

I can't believe it! Our first giveaway has come to an end!! Thanks to all those who participated and who now follow our blog! We recieved 245 enteries (including the double entry for those who followed. We got everyone who commented too! Sorry the thing wasn't working.) April and I are extremely excited and hope to start dishing out some awsome book reviews, giveaways and what ever we fancy this summer. So stay tuned for that.

And now, thanks to Random.org we announce the winners of the Splash into Summer Giveaway:

First Place:
Mary Ward

Second Place:
Charla Wilson/booktalkwithcharla

Third Place:
Hira Hasnain/~Enamored Soul~

Winners will be receivng an email within the next couple a days about their book choice! I'd do it right now
but I'm supposed to be studying for another final (you guys are worth the procrastination!)

If you didn't win today, that's alright! As I mentioned, we're planning on doing more this summer and we still
have many of books and other goodies to giveaway so don't give up!

Happy Readings!

Karina and April

Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

So, because I struggle with reviewing contemporary books (it's not that I don't like them, I really do, I just never know what to say for them) I almost passed up on this book.  And I'm soooooo glad I didn't.  Because even though a lot of is contemporary, there are some eerie supernatural aspects of if that made this completely enjoyable for me.  If the paranormal genre and the contemporary genre had a secret love child, it would be this book.

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 14th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

Goodreads summary:
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

My Personal Ramblings:
I'd just first like to say Nova Ren Suma is SUCH an AMAZING writer.  And she has a pretty awesome name.  Which is slightly irrelevant. *cough* Anyways... I'm going to sound like a nerd but I love her use of diction, symbolism, metaphors, etc. all that boring stuff you learn in English class and you thought you would never have to use!  Or maybe that's just me... *cough*  But in all seriousness, even though I believe this is her 2nd book, and her first book in the YA genre, her writing is expertly FLAWLESS and flows so easily.  Without trying, I easily read this book in one sitting, and then was surprised at how quickly I got through it.  

Remember what I said about this book being the love child of paranormal and contemporary books? Yeah, that becomes pretty apparent throughout this book.  Even from the very beginning of the book, you can see how Chloe and the majority of the town views Ruby as almost god-like.  As the book goes on, secrets are revealed about Ruby, and how her power in the town isn't completely all from her.  However the paranormal aspects of the book blended in with the realistic world so well, it's almost as if it was an illusion.  There is no direct explanation about Ruby's power, and it almost seems fantastical at times, but there is definitely supernatural at work.  The lines between reality and fantasy are so blurred that sometimes you question the characters' sanity.  But I thought it was a perfect way if one wanted to incorporate paranormal into a book with many contemporary themes.  

Ruby is one of those strange characters that I would hate to meet in real life, and yet she completely intrigues me as a book character.  She completely walks over people, especially boys, and claims to not care about anyone, except Chloe.  Chloe's development did not happen the way I thought it would and wanted it too, but I definitely like the way it ended.  I wanted Chloe to stand up for herself, and break out of her sister's shadow.  Which she does... but not at all how I expected it.  This is relevant, but seems completely irrelevant now, but I love the chapter titles.  Each chapter is titled with the first two or three words of the chapter, which sounds weird, but the titles of the book show an almost perfect progression of the internal conflict of the story.  

What I love about the ending is that it makes you realize this book is about the bond of sisterhood and how unbreakable that bond is.  The book was filled with other issues like love, family, individualism, etc. but the ending really brought it all together back to the main purpose.  I liked how the ending had an opening, and there was not a complete resolution because there is no ending to Chloe's love and loyalty to her sister despite everything that happens in the book.  I've read some reviews that said they wished that there was more action in this book overall, and my argument to that is there is no need for more action.  The tension, the suspense, the internal conflict IS the action of the novel, and in my opinion, it works.  Based off the ending, I believe Imaginary Girls is a standalone, but I will definitely be reading whatever Nova Ren Suma will be writing in the future. 

4.5 out of 5 stars :) Haunting and eerie, this book will suck you in and won't let go.  (I've just realized how strange and creepy that sounds.  But it's meant to be a good thing lol).  Definitely worth checking out on June 14th!