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.
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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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!)

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 :)