April 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
On an irrelevant note, I'm sorry for the lack of reviews this week and last week.  I haven't been able to get much reading done and pretty much have nothing to review... hopefully I'll be back on track soon!

Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen #2) by Rebecca Maizel
Publication: June 21st 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
(Not available for pre-order yet)
WARNING: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!! AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE 1ST BOOK!!!!!

Lenah Beaudonte should be dead. But having sacrificed herself to save another, she finds herself awakening with strange powers that are neither vampire nor human - and a new enemy on her trail. In her vampire life, Lenah had thought that being human was all she ever wanted; but the human heart suffers pain, heartbreak and loss. With her new powers growing and the dark force of the Nex after her soul, Lenah faces a choice: between the mortal love of gorgeous Justin, whose passion fed her human soul, and taking a different path to become the mistress of her own destiny, wherever that may lead...
I really enjoyed Infinite Days and have pretty much been waiting two years for the sequel!  There have been no reviews yet but I have think that it will be as good as the first :)

What are you waiting on? Are you excited for this book as well?

March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox (24)

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.
Won/For Review:
ARC of Fated by Alyson Noel from St. Martin's Press and LibraryThing Early Reviewers


I've seen other people get ARCs of this one, but it doesn't come out for a while, so I haven't seen many reviews yet.  It sounds good though, and this is the first time I've won something from LibraryThing so I can't wait to read it!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
Publication: October 16th, 2012 by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux Books for Young
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
I don't think I've seen any reviews for this one yet... but I'm in love with the cover and the synopsis!  I can't wait for October :D

What are your thoughts?  Are you excited for this book as well?  :)

March 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: Water by Shauna Granger

Cover designed by Stephanie Mooney

Water (Elemental #3) by Shauna Granger
Publication: June 19th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Shayna's first surfing session of the summer is interrupted by the screams of a mother who has lost her little boy in the water. Without regard to her own safety, Shayna swims out, rescues the boy, but must escape the clutches of something far worse than she could have ever imagined – mermaids.

Compelled to answer the sirens' call, the boys of Shayna's town are drawn to the sea, but when they return are afflicted by an unknown illness, a sickness which is draining them of their life force. Unable to tell anyone about the mermaids, Shayna and her friends are forced to solve the mystery before it's too late, and in doing so, Shayna will finally have to face the full force of her powers. Whether she’s ready or not, she will have to face her true nature.
Shauna Granger's Blog
Facebook: Shauna Granger
Water on Goodreads

The Book Blog Tour will run July 23-27, 2012. Review blogs that fit the age group and genre interested in participating in the tour may sign-up here.  You can participate even if you are not able to review the book. Electronic review copies will be provided to those interested in reviewing for the tour. If you have not read the other books in the series, the first one, Earth, can be available for you to review on this tour. 

So, what are your thoughts on the cover? :)

March 24, 2012

In My Mailbox (23)

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 didn't post an IMM last week because I didn't get any books, but this week I did :)

I won:
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver from YA Books Central
The Death Cure by James Dashner from A Monster Ate My Book Report
The Blood Coven Vampires, Volume I (#1-2) by Mari Mancusi from Presenting Lenore and Mari Mancusi
E-book of Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi from Presenting Lenore and Mari Mancusi


What did you get in your mailbox this week?  Leave a comment so I can go check it out :)

March 22, 2012

Cover Reveal: Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto

Heaven (Halo #3) by Alexandra Adornetto
Publication: August 21st, 2012 by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Only sixteen when she started the series, Ally Adornetto knows how teen hearts beat, and this long-awaited conclusion is certain to be her most popular book yet.

Bethany, an angel sent to Earth, and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier, have been to Hell and back. But now their love will be put to its highest test yet, as they defy Heavenly law and marry. They don’t tell Beth’s archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, but the angels know soon enough, and punishment comes in a terrifying form: the Sevens, who are rogue angels bent on keeping Beth and Xavier apart, destroying Gabriel and Ivy, and darkening angelic power in the heavens.

The only way Bethany and Xavier can elude the Sevens is to hide in the open, and blend in with other mortals their own age. Gabriel and Ivy set them up at college, where they can’t reveal their relationship, and where there is still danger around each corner. Will Bethany be called back to Heaven – forever – and face leaving the love of her life?
Isn't the cover pretty? I actually love all the covers in this series, even though I haven't read it yet.


I've also heard some mixed things about this series, but I want to give it a try sometime in the future.  I think it's cool that she was only 16 when she wrote Halo though.

So, what are your thoughts on the cover? Are you a fan of this series?

March 20, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials (Partials #1) by Dan Wells
Publication: February 28th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Summary from Goodreads:

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.
Warning:
You may or may not get heart attacks from the addictive quality of this book.  Most likely you will.  I also apologize for the vagueness of my review, it's hard not to give anything away.

Intro
It took me a week to read the first 150 pages.  It took me 4 hours to read the rest.  (This is FAST for me).  The first 150 pages felt more like a prologue (that could have been greatly condensed in my opinion), but after you get through them, the story really picks up.  I literally had to put the book down sometimes because I had to run around and freak out.  It's been a really long time since I've spazzed this much while reading a book.  It feels awesome.

Characters
So I was not a huge fan of Kira at first... she seemed like an overly sentimental and weepy character.  But then, she got pretty badass.  She was also very intellectual and although I felt like the science was a little too dumbed down, it was clear Kira knew her stuff.  I also really loved Samm, hehe.  Even though I liked how the romance between them was subtle, I hope there will be more in the next book.

Plot Twists!!!
Around the middle of the book, I was saying to myself, "This is REALLY good, so I don't mind that it's so predictable."  And then I immediately had to take back my words because Partials is plot twist after plot twist! Eventually I gave up guessing what was going to happen because I was always wrong.

I started off thinking, "Oh, the humans are so evil, this book does a great job showing the corruption and ignorance of humanity.  The Partials are the victims here!"  And then things weren't exactly as they seemed... my opinion of the humans and Partials kept on changing...  Eventually, you just don't really know who the good guys or bad guys are, and Partials definitely kept me second guessing.

Overall
Despite the slow beginning, Partials is a really action packed book that will definitely satisfy dystopian and science fiction fans alike.  And if you're looking for a twisty read full of surprises, Partials is for you!  I will definitely be on the lookout for Dan Wells' other books, and I'm highly anticipating this sequel!

March 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication: September 11th, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, Mystery
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Summary from Official Cover Copy:

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the- Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Sarah Rees Brennan brings Gothic romance kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century with a funny, modern heroine who can take care of herself, an angry, beautiful boy who needs to be saved, and the mysterious forces that bring them together and tear them apart.
In case you didn't know, I go cray-cray over Sarah Rees Brennan.  I pretty much love everything she's ever written, from her books to her tweets.  So imagine how excited I was to learn she was writing a new series.  Then imagine how excited I was when I learned the release date got bumped up to September 11th.  And then imagine how excited I was when I saw this PRETTY PINK COVER.  I think it goes great with the Gothic theme and I think it's quite unique.

You can check out the legit cover reveal at the Book Smugglers' blog, where they also have a GIVEAWAY for an ARC of Unspoken!

Are you as excited for this book as I am?  What do you think of the cover?  We'd love to know your thoughts!

March 13, 2012

Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Publication: April 22nd, 2008 by Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.
Introduction
I devoured this in one day.  Which is normal for all you speedy readers, but it takes me forever to read a book.  So that's really saying how much I loved this book.  I will admit that Lock and Key does have it's cheesy, predictable moments.  And that it's not the most action packed book in the world.  But I think the characters is what makes it a memorable and inspiring read.

The Characters
I enjoyed Ruby's complexity in this story.  I could really relate to her and her trust issues, and I really enjoyed the reading experience from her point of view and her thought process as she grew to trust others.  I also really liked Nate and Ruby's relationship, and wish that there was more of it... especially towards the end... but I'll get to that later.  I adored Jamie and Cora, and subconsciously I know they're the cheesy, quirky, happy-go-lucky characters that Dessen inserts into her books, but I loved them anyway.

The Ending (AKA What Killed Me)
It kills me inside that I couldn't give this a 5+ out of 5, because up until the last 75 pages or so, I was in love with the story and the characters.  Around the last 75 pages, there is a very noticeable lack of Nate (the romance), and you feel like Ruby's issues have been dealt with and resolved.  The book also shifts from focusing on Ruby's development to Ruby trying to help Nate... which, in my opinion, could have been done better.

Oh geez, I'm gonna write another paragraph on the ending.  The ending, although realistic, just wasn't enough for me.  I'm not gonna spoil it, but I really wanted the happily ever after, with everything tied in a neat little bow... and in my opinion, we got a messy, scrambled, and slow ending that lacked a lot of resolution.  I think if the book ended maybe 100 pages earlier, I would have gotten the happy ending I wanted, but *shrugs*, as usual, just my opinion.

Overall
Lock and Key is another fantastic and heart felt story by Sarah Dessen.  Even though the ending was a bit of a let down, these characters will stay with me forever.  Now that I have a greater appreciation for contemporary books, I'll definitely be on the lookout for the rest of her books.

P.S. This is the first time I categorized the paragraphs with headers... any thoughts on that?  Personally I think it's easier to read/skim through.  

There's not really a fixed set of paragraph headers I was planning on using, just whatever I talked about in the review.  So for this review, I didn't talk much about plot because it wasn't a huge part of the book for me.  For another book, I may not talk about characters and just talk about plot.  

What do you guys think? Feedback would be great! ;)

March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (22)

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.
Fearless (#1-3) by Francine Pascal from Simon & Schuster and possible mysterious benefactor...

I'm really sorry but I cannot figure out if I won this from a giveaway and just forgot about it, or Simon & Schuster sent it to the wrong person, but thank you to whoever got this book into my hands :)

Won an audiobook of Cinder by Marissa Meyer from Heidi @YA Bibliophile

Really excited to listen to this one, it's been a while since I've listened to an audiobook, and I've heard really good things about Cinder!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?  Feel free to leave a link to your IMM in the comments and I'll go check it out :)

March 9, 2012

Summer Fever Read-A-Thon


So, I decided to join the Summer Fever Read-a-thon, hosted by Grace at Words Like Silver.  Depending on where you live, now is a good time to celebrate summer/spring with summer/beach read books!  It technically starts tomorrow, March 10th... but I believe there is still time to sign up :)

Currently Reading:
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (Gonna try to finish this one too!)

Read:
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (so I've realized this is not a summer themed book... but it's really good anyways lol)

So, I am the slowest reader in the world... and most likely will only be able to read one of these.  But I'll be updating my progress on this post!

March 8, 2012

Cover Reveal: Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom (Dark Waters #1) by Fiona Paul
Publication: October 30th, 2012 by Philomel
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pre-Order: | Amazon | Book Depository |
Summary from Goodreads:

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, access to the best balls, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

But when Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin. . .and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
Check out the original and legit cover reveal at Lindsay Cummings' blog here!

This book was one of the debuts I was hoping on getting to read this year, and I'm glad it has a pretty cover to go with it now!  I really like the purple and gold colors together with the mask and the fonts, very fancy masquerade-ball-y stuff.  That's a technical term, by the way.

So, what do you make of the cover? We'd love to know your thoughts!

March 7, 2012

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope #1) by Maureen Johnson
Format: Paperback, REPRINT, 317 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: August 23rd, 2005 by HarperCollins (originally)
Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 4 out of 5 
Summary from Goodreads:


When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.
So, after reading The Name of the Star, I wasn't sure how I would feel about 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  But a couple pages in, I was in love with Ginny's voice and her adventures.  Ginny was really funny and random, and I think everyone can relate to her occasional awkwardness.

Admittedly, the story is a bit fantastical... you get almost no back story on Ginny's parents allowing their 17 year old daughter go on this crazy journey.  The book starts off with her taking a plane to London, without giving much back story.  But once you ignore the impracticality of everything, the book really sucks you in.

On a nit-picky note, I wish that Ginny's relationships with the people she met were more substantial. Sometimes it felt like the people she interacted with throughout the journey didn't leave an impact on her.  Even Keith, the love interest, seems to be on the sidelines for most of the book.  And while I understand this book is meant to focus on Ginny's growth and independence, I've also noticed this in The Name of the Star, so it may just be a result of Johnson's writing style as well.

At the beginning of the book, I was sure I was going to give this book a 4.5 or 5 out of 5.  But as the story progresses, especially with the last couple of envelopes, the story really drags.  Some of Ginny's travels seem pointless, some of the people she meets seem random and insignificant, and you're just lost.  I feel like there were some subtle things that Johnson was trying to put in, but I... just didn't see them.  Even though I enjoyed Ginny's growth, I was unsatisfied with the ending.

Overall, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a fun and quirky contemporary read that will keep you hooked as you follow Ginny's adventures through Europe.  A charming read sprinkled with romance, adventure, and humor, I'd recommend this one to fans of contemp.  I'll definitely be reading the sequel!

March 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Publication: May 15th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pre-Order: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
About the Author:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.

She was a lot like Amy when she was in high school.

She is still a lot like Amy.

Find out more about Lisa: | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

There will also be a Worst Prom Photo contest in the weeks leading up to Pretty Amy's release where you can submit your worst Prom photo to win a beauty package!  There will be more info at Lisa's site on how to enter. 

So, what do you think of the cover? Feel free to share your thoughts!

March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox (21)

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.
It's been a while since I've done IMM!  But I actually got some books this week, so here ya go :)

I won:
ARC of Partials by Dan Wells
Shine by Lauren Myracle
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Many thank yous to:
The YA Bookcase on Lake Street
Becky @ Escapism Through Books

What did you get in your mailbox this week?  Feel free to link your IMM in the comments and I'll go check it out :)

March 1, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Are you excited for this book? I AM.

Publication: December 18th, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion 
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pre-Order: | Amazon | Book Depository |
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have been cursed with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby has spent nearly half her life desperately trying to hide the fact that she’s outwitted the camp’s sorting system—that she isn’t powerless, or safe. She’s one of the dangerous ones… and everyone knows what happens to them.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of teens who escaped their own camp, pursued along the way by terrifying bounty hunters. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close to him. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Before the end, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
This book looks and sounds amazing.  I've even heard there's going to be a movie for it.  I like how the cover is pretty simple, and I like the barbed wire on the edges.  It's always nice to see a non girl-in-dress cover.

Alexandra Bracken is an AWESOME writer, who wrote the fantastic Brightly Woven (which is also a standalone!).  December 18th is gonna be a long wait.

You should also check out Alexandra's post about the cover reveal where she has a giveaway!

So, what do you make of the cover?  Love it, hate it?  We'd love to know your thoughts :)

February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Publication: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near-impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one unlikely refugee.

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

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha… and the secrets of her heart.
I know a lot of people probably have/had/will have this on their Waiting on Wednesday posts, but I'm so excited for this book!  I love fantasy books, and this one has gotten great reviews and sounds really original.  I also love the cover and think it's really unique, there's probably enough YA books with girls in dresses in them already.  (Not gonna lie though, I love the girl-in-dress covers!)

So, what book are you waiting for?  Is this one on your list? :)

February 27, 2012

In Which April Is Lame (What Else Is New?)


So since late December and early January, I've tried pretty hard to post at least 2-3 times a week.  And it's been going pretty well.  I usually try to do one review a week and then a meme or random post like a cover reveal.

But this past week I have kind of realized that blogging can't be one of my top priorities right now.  I really admire all the bloggers who can post everyday and still make time for school work, but I'm not really one of those people.  I also haven't read a book all February.  And it's kind of hard to crank out reviews for books you read several months ago.

I will still definitely be around, it will not be like my random disappearing act last year.  But honestly right now, I don't know what the future posting will be like.  I also partially wanted to write this post to say that I don't know if I (this is just me personally, I am not speaking on behalf of both myself and Karina) will be blogging in the long run.   I love books, I love posting and spreading love for books, but I do not think blogging is the thing for me.  Hopefully this is just some weird slump, but honestly I have kind of felt like this for a while.

So yeah, I just wanted to get that out there, sorry guys. :(

February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Publication: March 13th, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
From Goodreads:

BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
I'm super super super excited for this book, the Hex Hall series is one of my favorites and I'm sure this one will be as awesome as the others! If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it!

February 20, 2012

Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller


Inbetween (Kissed by Death #1) by Tara Fuller
Publication: August 7th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Available for Pre-order: | Amazon | 
Summary from Goodreads:

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn't let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.
Sorry about posting two cover reveals in a row... but isn't this cover pretty? :D  Super excited for this book, not only because of the cover, but because I love reaper books!  I also love the "Death doesn't fall in love.  Usually." tagline.

So, what do you think about the cover?  We'd love to know your thoughts! :)

February 17, 2012

Cover Reveal: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Publication: Septemeber 18th, 2012 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Available for Pre-order: | Amazon
UK summary from Goodreads:

NEVER LET ME GO meets HIS DARK MATERIALS in a beautiful, haunting YA debut, the first book in The Hybrid Trilogy.

Eva and Addie live in a world where everyone is born with two souls, but where only the dominant one is allowed to survive childhood. Fifteen years old, and closer even than twins, the girls are keeping Eva, the ‘second soul’, a secret. They know that it’s forbidden to be hybrid, but how could they ever be apart?

When a dramatic event reveals what really happens to hybrids if they are discovered, Eva and Addie face a dangerous fight for survival, neither wanting to be the one left behind…
Squeee, I'm so excited for this book!  I'm so happy it has a cover now, and a synopsis (which was revealed earlier, I just didn't know till now...)! After reading the synopsis, the cover sounds like a good match!

You can check out the original and legit cover reveal at Pub(lishing) Crawl, where there's also a giveaway!  There's also the US summary which you should check out :)

So, what do you think of the cover?  We'd love to know your thoughts!

February 16, 2012

Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynne M. Valente
Format: Hardcover, 247 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Published May 10th, 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Rating: *4.5 out of 5
From Goodreads:

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making is a short, but intriguing and charming book. It is the story of a girl named September, who in true fairytale fashion, goes off on an adventure in Fairyland where she is faced with an exciting but dangerous world filled with exciting but possibly dangerous characters.

What stood out most to me was the writing.  It is in 3rd person, with an often ominous narrator.  The writing was similar to the writing in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.  In a way, this kind of made me feel like you never really get to know the characters too intimately, they are kept distant from the reader as they go on their adventures.  I was okay with this, and thought it made the reading experience more unique but maybe not as enjoyable as it could have been.

I think what I enjoyed most from this book was the creative and colorful cast of characters that September meets on her journey.  I also really loved the world building in this book, although it take some concepts from traditional fantasy stories, I thought it was still really unique and well done.

Overall, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making is a thought provoking book, that should not be limited to middle grade readers.  It has gotten great feedback from readers of all ages, and I think older readers can appreciate the literary devices the author uses more than younger readers.  I would highly recommend it to fans of the writing in A Series of Unfortunate Events and to fans of middle grade books in general.

*To clarify on my rating, even though I think this book deserves a 5+ out of 5 based on writing, story, and all that literary jazz, it was not the book for me.  You know a book is good if it's blurbed by Neil Gaiman.  But if based on my personal interest in the book, I gave it a 4 out of 5.  Although I can see the book is brilliant and magical, the writing style did not completely work for me.

And just for the heck of it, here's my favorite quote :)
“One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.”

-Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making

February 14, 2012

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Yep, I decided to join the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge!  I have so many pre-2012 TBR books that I figured this was a fun way to get through them :)  (Yeah I know, I'm late to the party...)

The 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge is hosted by:

Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette 
Christa from Hooked On Books http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions


Challenge guidelines: 

1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed! 
4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.
11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!

Levels: 
1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

My goal is to read and review 21-30 books (A Sweet Kiss level).  I'll be keeping track of my progress under the 2012 Reading Challenges tab.

Some books I hope to be reading...

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

If you want more info, just click on one of the links of a host blog!  For example, here's Evie's from Bookish link.

February 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (20)

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 this week, I received...

From Amy @Amy's Book Den, I won:
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Twisted (Intertwined #3) by Gena Showalter
Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls #2) by C.C. Hunter


Thanks Amy!  Very excited about these :) Admittedly I haven't started the Intertwined or Shadow Falls series, but they are very high on my TBR list!

From Britta @I Like These Books, The {Teen} Book Scene, and Sarah Tregay, I won:
Love and Leftovers swag pack!  I got a signed bookmark and a (desperately needed) guitar pick charm. Sarah also sent me a cute Valentine's Day card :)  I didn't take a picture because I am having some lack-of-camera issues right now, but trust me, this is some super cute swag <3

That's it for my mailbox this week!  Feel free to leave a comment and link your IMM if you want me to check it out :)

February 9, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday

So honestly... I had no idea what to post for today.  But I thought it would be fun to spotlight some book trailers that came out recently!  I know a lot of bloggers do a "Trailer Thursday" thing, so just to let you guys know I'm not trying to steal anyone's idea, I just don't know who to/if I need to credit :P

So here are some book trailers released this week that caught my eye :)

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Publication: March 13th, 2012 by Katherine Tegan Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Things couldn't be better for 15-year-old Willa Fox: Her mom has just moved them to beautiful Paradise Valley, playground for the rich and powerful. Already Willa's been welcomed into the inner circle of her school's most exclusive clique and she's attracted the attentions of the superfine Aidan Murphy. But when Willa finds out that her new best friends are actually bullies, she decides she has to take a stand—even if it means taking the law into her own hands.

You can also check out the original trailer debut post at I Read Banned Books!  Honestly I wasn't that interested in this book until I saw the trailer, it sounds like a cute contemp that I'd really like :)



The Nightmare Garden (Iron Codex #2) by Caitlin Kittredge
Publication: February 14th, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Science Fiction
Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn't going to succumb to madness because of a latent strain—she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife isn't human. She is a changeling—half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out for her.

When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she's ravaged on the world that's about to poison her.
You can also check out the original debut post at the author's site!  The author is also offering a deleted scene if the trailer gets 500 views or 100 linkbacks so be sure to share it! :)



Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Publication: January 3rd, 2012 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and I love the drawings and background music!  The book's already out, so if the trailer interests you, you should check it out!



So, what do you think about these book trailers?  Were there any trailers that I should have mentioned in this post? We'd love to know your thoughts!