Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review-Girl of Nightmares

When I finished Anna Dressed in Blood I was really pleased that I already had a copy of the sequel, and inside it even had a cute little drawing! I started reading it during finals week, and once finals were over I was just so relieved to be out of school I didn't pick it back up until today. I was planning to finish it tomorrow, but I started reading it again and I just couldn't put it down, so I ended up finishing it. This is one of those books that's already in high demand and it's not even on the shelf yet, and the reason is because Anna was so good. Girl of Nightmares really gives the reader everything they could want in a sequel, and it's not one of those sequels that falls short either. Yes, there are fewer deaths of people, but the gore is still there, and ghosts do not disappear. All of the main characters from the first book make appearances, and Cas is still as witty as ever. When it comes to a boy's point of view it's nice to see them as actual boys, and although Cas is hurting the things that trip him up are actually there, he doesn't make them up because he is so broken due to his loss. He stands up for what he thinks is right and is not afraid to go his own path, which is a lot like most of the guys that I know, they're really stubborn when they want something. You should all be happy to know that the ending is solid as well. It didn't actually end how I expected it to, but I think that the way Kendare ended it really fit with the whole story and the characters perfectly. There were a few things that were not set in stone with the ending, but I really don't think that a third book will happen (although I wouldn’t mind seeing what happens in the future with Cas and the gang). Kendare has really come up with a great little ghost story, and I will pick up her other books as they come out as well. If you read Anna I would suggest you pick up this book when it comes out, and if you're looking for something a little different and haven't picked up Anna I suggest you do so soon.

Out August 7, 2012

4.5/5 dust spirits

Monday, June 25, 2012

Did you know that books make excellent shade?

Well, did you?  Now, that doesn't mean that you should go ignoring your sunscreen, but books are still good.
Did you know… books provide excellent shade? HarperTeen is giving you the chance to sample your very own Sun-Proof Fiction with nine of our most fantastic summer reads in paperback. During the month of June, we’ll be tweeting our favorite beach reading photos with #spf9 hashtag, giving away books and more on HarperTeen’s Facebook, and spreading the word that books can be better than sunglasses.

Thanks to HarperTeen I have the pleaseure of giving away a set of 9 books that will help you avoid skin cancer, and give you entertainment, so basically you get two things for the price of one! But in this case you get 9 and the price is free!

So here's the deal, as long as you live in the United States or have a mailing address in the United States you can enter to win these 9 awesome books.  Now, what are these 9 awesome books you ask? Well, let me tell you!
So that's 9 books to read over the summer!  And all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter! The contest will be open until the first of July, and the books will be sent directly from the publisher, so you should get them shortly after that!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Swaggin' Giveaway!

I have been invited to participate in the Summer Swaggin' Giveaway, hosted by My Home Away From Home!

Now I'm sure you all want to know what you can win, right?  So here is the list of awesome prizes;

1st place
$10 value book from Book Depository
Swag Smash Pack from P, L, TF (let me know!)
YA Swag bundie from Book Reader Add. (let me know!)
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Bookmark & Summer book swag from MHAFH (we're working on knowing what they are, lol)
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
eARC of Burning Bridges from MHAFH/Nadege Richards


2nd place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
ADULT swag bundie from Book Reader Addict

3rd place (ADULT)
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
ADULT swag bundie from Book Reader Addict
Signed paperback of LOVE BITE by Kay Glass
Surprise Book & swag from PBC (let me know what they are!)

4th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH

5th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH

6th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH

Adults can enter for both contest portions (YA & Adult) but they cannot do the extra entry for YAs.

And now without any more fuss, here is the rafflecopter, all you have to do it fill it out.  Good Luck! And all of the other blogs participating have the same information, but do check them out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review-Anna Dressed In Blood

When this book came out I scrambled to the bookstore to get a copy and then the next day in the mail I got a copy from the publisher (not sure where it came from, it just appeared) but I never cracked the spine.  When I learned that Kendare was doing a signing in my city I set out to read it then, but again I failed.  I finally cracked it open this morning, and I'm so pleased that I bought this book and got it signed, I'm also SO pleased that I have the second book on hand.  Kendare has crafted a delicious ghost story that has managed to mix horror with romance.  It reminded me of a teenage version of Supernatural, which is a show I love, so it was really hard for me not to love this book.  Anna was a character that's so unlike any other character out there, she's stong and knows it, she also knows what she has done is wrong and wants to make up for it, but can't.  The book is told from a boy's point of view, so it's also a great book for guys to read because it's not full of mushy stuff, but kick-butt ghost hunting, and some occasional swear words and the always appropirate pop-culture references.  The style was really unique as well, although I'm not sure exactly what it was that made it so different.  This is such a great spooky book, and I dont' think there are enough YA books like there out on the market at the moment.  I'm so glad I finally read this book so that next time I see Kendare I can fan girl just the right amount (and maybe a little more).  Kendare hit the nail on the head with this debut and I really can't wait to dive into Girl of Nightmares.

4.5/5 dust spirits

Review-A Want So Wicked

Last year when A Need So Beautiful came out I went to Borders (a moment of silence please) and picked it up.  I read it in a very quick time and by the end of the book I had tears steaming down my face, but it wasn't one of those books that made me cry because it was so devastating, but because it was so, well, beautiful.  Suzanne's writing was so amazing, and when I finished I was really looking forward to her next book.  When I got a copy of this book I was really excited, but with all of my school stuff it fell to the wayside.  Now that I've finally read it I'm so pleased with Suzanne's second novel.  It was different than her first book, but it was also the same, and even though you might think that would be old I didn't find it that way at all.  Elise was such a fun person to read about, and the way that it fit in with the first book was ingenious.  When I saw characters from the first book I was really happy and I was so pleased with the ending that Suzanne set up, and although there will probably not be a third book, I would be very pleased to see one if she has it in her.  The other thing I loved about this book was that it was more focused on the shadows, and we learn some back story that helps us better understand the things that happened in A Need So Beautiful.  Somehow Suzanne manages to make these books beautiful and interesting and so hard to put down.  When this book comes out I suggest that you pick it up, and if you haven't read Suzanne's first book you should pick that one up as well, because it's now out in paperback.  I look forward to Suzanne's next novel and will probably read these books a few more times, because the spin she puts on angels is so different from all of the stuff out there.

Out June 26, 2012

5/5 dust spirits

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review-Through to You

Emily is my debut author to interview for the month of October, and seeing as I've been pestering her ever since her book got a cover to read it, I'm sure she's glad I finally found a copy for myself.  It took me a long time to finish the book, but that's because I was sick and didn't feel up to reading.  Once I put my mind to it and I didn't feel as crappy I breezed right through it.  Emily has managed to make a novel that blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy.  It's not quite sci-fi/fantasy, but you can't call it contemporary either, like Nova Ren Suma's Imaginary Girls.  It's a short book, less then 300 pages, but I think it has a deeper meaning.  I really felt like there was more to the book than just the basic plot line.  It felt like a book about second chances, but also about how maybe things were better the way they ended up, and that a second chance is exactly what you needed to finally see that.  The other thing I loved about this book was that it was written from a Male's POV.  You don't see that very often in YA lit, especially when there's a pretty girl on the cover.  Emily did a great job at getting inside a teenage boy's head.  She did a great job in just getting inside of a teenager's head, as well as one who is grieving.  Everyone could learn a little something from this book, maybe about letting go, maybe about loving, and maybe even about being open to things we can't exactly explain.  Second chances aren't always what a person needs, but sometimes when you learn that a whole new world opens up.  Emily has created a beautiful debut novel that will appeal to contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy fans alike.  When this book comes out in October I suggest you go out and buy it (or better yet pre-order it) so you can read it right away.  I can't wait to see what Emily comes up with next because I'm sure she's going to be one of those authors that is amazing, if a little less known.  But me, I'm here to make sure that last part doesn't happen.

Out October 2, 2012

4.5/5 dust spirits


First I think I need to acknowledge this cover, it's BEAUTIFUL!  Now, I won a copy of Hourglass back on Victoria Schwab's blog (author of The Near Witch) and I read it in the summer and really enjoyed it.  When another blogger sent me an ARC of Timepiece I was so happy, because I couldn't wait to read it, unfortunately I had so much to do it fell to the wayside until right before the release date.  It had been a while since I read the first book, so I had forgotten some of the details, but once I got rolling things started to come back to me in little snippets.  When I read that this book was going to be from Kaleb's POV I was a little unsure about how it was going to play out, but I really enjoyed it.  The other part I liked was seeing things from the view point of someone who was not a traveler, and as the world fell apart it was interesting to see how all the characters reacted.  Just like in the last book there was one of those cliffhanger endings that make you crave the next book NOW.  There were some parts that confused me, seeing as the book still does deal with time travel, and I'm not exactly sure if any of the physics are right, but this is the only time travel series that I actually enjoy and can vaguely understand.  The next book, Infinityglass (you'll understand more when you read this book) comes out next year, and I can't wait to get a copy.  Hopefully the third book is going to be from Michael's POV, and that all of the questions will be answered.  I also wouldn't be opposed to a third book, because Myra is such a great writer and her characters are so great.

4.5/5 dust spirits

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review- Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

I bought this book when it was still in hardback and Borders was still around, but put it off for a long time.  I finally decided to read it because the Fierce Reads tour is coming up and Lish is part of it.  This book is the first in a series, but the second book doesn't come out until later this year.  I was pleased with this book because of a few things.  One, the main character is a guy, and he's not a girly guy either, he's an honest to God teenage boy.  The story is rather dark, but I think that this makes the story all the better, because along with the dark Lish keeps it light in some areas.  She also has such a great idea, it's so fresh and new, and the supernatural element hasn't really been used at all in the YA genre, or any genre for that matter.  I also enjoyed the chapter titles, I'm not sure if they're all songs or lyrics, but most of them are, and they're really fun.  The whole book was so much fun.  It was action packed and funny, and the main character being a boy made it a book that both genders can enjoy with ease.  The only thing that threw me a little was the change in narrators from time to time, but once you figure out whose talking it's easy to fall right back into the story.  This was a really quick read and I will be picking up the next installment to see how Lish moves on with the story and the characters now that everything has played out.  This is a great boy book, probably one of the best ones that I've read this year, and it's even better because the characters were so real and the story so fresh.

4.5/5 dust spirits

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review-Monument 14

I got an ARC of this book along with three other ARCs from MacMillan, and I decided to read it in preparation for the event that Emmy is going to be at in my city.  I was really excited for this book because it's about a great catastrophe, and for some crazy reason I like reading about what happens when the world ends and not everyone dies.  As I started reading this book though I found that it was a lot like a teenage version of The Mist now, it's not EXACTLY like that, there is no mist in this book, and no monsters (other than some of the people) but it's about people trapped in a store while the world around them falls apart.  It didn't fully live up to my expectations, but it was a good enough read.  There were some things I did like though.  First, it was told from a boy's point of view.  There are very few novels out there told from a guy's POV, and when I find one I'm pleased, because guys should read too.  Second, people died and there was blood. Now that probably makes me sound like a horrible person, but come on, it's the end of the world as we know it.  If there is no blood and no one dies how is that the end of the world in any way?  The thing that made me enjoy this novel a little less than some of the other novels I have read would have to be the style.  It's not a bad style, in fact, it's rather unique, it's just that I got the feeling it was supposed to be like a diary from the main character's point of view, and of course I'm fine with that, but sometimes I didn't get that sense.  It felt as if the story was half diary half actual storytelling, and I'm not sure if that was on purpose, or if that was maybe just an accident, but either way it put me off just a little bit.  I will most likely be picking up the next one when it comes out next summer though, because I want to see what happens to all of the characters even though this one did tie up the ending in a way that you weren't just left with something like BAM.  If you're a guy or looking for a book for a teenage boy, or maybe even just looking for a short book to read quickly this book might interest you.

Out June 5, 2012

4/5 dust spirits

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June Debut Author Interview + Giveaway

Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely Trish Doller, who's debut novel Something Like Normal comes out on June 19th. You can see my review here and now let's get onto the interview.  Trish's answers are smaller.
First off, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me. I know that you must be very busy.
Thanks for thinking of me!

Let’s start off with the basics, what tattoo describes your book best? (pictures are okay).

If you can tear your eyes away from his abs (I know! It's difficult!) he's got a Marine Corps EGA--eagle, globe, and anchor--tattooed on his chest. That's what it's all about.
Now I know that you have a tattoo or two, if you could get a tattoo of a quote from your book what would it be? What about a tattoo that just describes you in general?
I've actually thought about getting a tattoo of a quote from SLN and I've had an impossible time trying to narrow down a quote. But for a tattoo in general, I've decided my next will be a pair of Elvis Costello glasses with the words "everyday I write the book" behind them. The words that pass through the lenses will be magnified. If that makes sense. It does to me. Anyway, yeah. That.
Your book is from a Travis’ point of view all the way through the book, was it hard to write the whole book that way or was it easier? Will we ever get to see anything from Harper’s point of view?
Once I got into Travis' headspace, it was not difficult to write him at all. Or maybe he got into my headspace, because it felt like I was carrying him around in my brain all the time. Either way, he had things to say and demanded I write them down. As for Harper, I do have a short piece from her POV that I will likely share after SLN comes out--probably in a secret content portion of my website. I'll let you know when that happens.

I’m sure you know what my favorite scene is, what’s your favorite scene? Or quote?
My favorite scene is, was, and probably always will be the scene in which Charlie talks about how he became a Marine and the ways his mother tried to discourage it. It's no secret that Charlie is dead when the book begins, so I tried really hard to give dimension to the person he was, and I think that scene kind of captures that. And it's funny. My favorite quote (but I doubt I'd get a tattoo of it) is from that scene:

"My mom––the only parent on the planet to try and talk her kid into doing drugs to keep him out of the Marines."

What about a song or an album that you listened to while you were writing or revising?
I am a playlist maker. Generally when I'm writing, I'll start selecting songs that reflect what's happening in the book, or the mood, or the way I'm feeling when I write, and compile them into a writing playlist. By the time I'm finished, certain songs will have risen to the top as most representative of the book and those end up on the final playlist.

You can see the playlist here.

You write contemporary novels but it seems that the big money is really in paranormal. What do you think about that? Have you ever thought about writing a paranormal novel?
Paranormal offers readers an escape, letting them put themselves in the shoes of an ordinary main character who discovers she (or he) is more powerful and beautiful and, in my cases, desired by more than one boy. I can totally see the appeal of spending an afternoon in that kind of world! But I feel as if readers are doing themselves a disservice when they limit their literary diets to just one genre. There are some brilliant contemporary writers out there like Steve Brezenoff, A.S. King, and Blythe Woolston who are doing some really innovative things and I think their voices deserve to be heard. As for me, I'd probably write a paranormal novel if I had one in me, but I don't. I might have a sci-fi novel in me, though. We'll see...

What about your next novel, can you tell us anything about it? Or even give us a little teaser?

My current project is called ALL THAT WAS LOST. And while I'm not prepared to give away too much about the premise, I can tell you that the main character is a seventeen-year-old girl named Callie and it is set in a Florida town called Tarpon Springs, where there is a significant Greek population. Greek culture plays a role in the book, as does sponge diving, which is a trade still practiced in Tarpon Springs. That's a little vague, I know, so let me distract you with this little excerpt:

She looks worse than the last time I saw her. The dark roots of her hair are bleeding into the platinum and the fairy lights deepen the bruise-colored half-circles beneath her eyes. Her signature red lips are too present on her washed-out face. I wrap my arms around her, but she feels different to me. Slight and insubstantial, an autumn leaf that could whirl away in the breeze. And she doesn’t hug me back.

Your book is about marines, why marines?
I was a newspaper reporter back in 2003, when the first Marines were coming home from their first deployments to Iraq, and I was assigned to interview a young Marine home for the holiday. When I met him, it struck me how young he was, and that he'd seen and done things his high school classmates would never experience. That moment kind of filed itself away in my brain and surfaced when I started thinking about Travis.

You also had your main character fight in the Afghan war, are you afraid that this might turn people off of reading your book if they don’t approve of the war?
I worked very hard to keep politics out of the book and focus on one Marine's true-to-life experience dealing with war and its aftermath, so I hope readers will come away with a greater understanding of that, rather than feeling as if they've been propagandized.

There are also some scenes that might cause a stir because of content, are you worried about that at all?
I think there will be people who are bothered by the language or the mature content, but I told Travis's story the way it demanded to be told. He's a nineteen year old Marine. That's the warning label right there that SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL might be best suited for older teens.

You work as a bookseller; does that allow you a special behind the scenes look at any part of being an author? Did that make it easier or harder to get your book published?
Being a bookseller really didn't play much of a role in my getting published. I had to write, query, revise, just like everyone else. I am fortunate that because I work for B&N, my book will be in many of the stores, so there's that...and ARCs. I'm pretty much auto-approved everywhere.

Being an author can be a fulltime job, but you have to take a break every once and a while, what do you do in your down time?
I don't have a lot of down time, but when I need an escape, I'll go down to our boat in the Florida Keys and just chill for a few days. And I'll be getting my diving certification this summer.

You’re part of a group of 2012 YA debuts called The Apocalypsies, what books would you recommend we look out for in the coming year (no, you can’t pick your own)?
There are so many great Apocalypsies titles, but I think one I'm really excited to read is MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

And last but not least, and arguably the most important question of all, Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Not gonna lie, I am not a fan at all. But if forced at gunpoint, I'd have to say Team Jacob. Edward just creeps me out.

Now, I don't have any swag to give away, but beccause I love this book so much I'm going to give a copy to one of you guys!  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecoper below.  The giveaway will be international, and will end on June 30th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review-A midsummer's Nightmare

I've read both of Kody's other books, and I met her at a signing when she came to Seattle, so when I asked for an ARC of her next book from Little Brown/Poppy I was really pleased when it showed up in the mail with another ARC.  I managed to read the whole book in less than a day even with school and everything, and I think that's because Kody's books are just so much fun.  They can be a little heavy in places and they include some explicit content (this one not as much as her other two in my opinion) and vulgar language, but I think the nice thing about her books are how real they are.  Yes, some of her characters are a little more troubled then most people but they are real.  For some reason I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as her other two books, maybe because it reminded me a little of The DUFF but it was still a really fun and quick read.  There were a few things that I really did love about the book though.  First was the guy.  The guy in this book is just perfect.  He's like, my dream guy, smart, funny, nerdy, and a little athletic (of course I don't think I can find a guy like that).  Second, I loved that we saw some characters from her other books.  I love when authors add little cameos of characters from their other books in their new ones, even if it's just a few lines out of the book.  If you enjoyed Kody's other books I highly recommend you check this book out when it releases next week.  It's probably not the most appropriate thing for anyone under the age of say...14, but it is a really good summer read.  With her classic wit and charm Kody does it again, and I can't wait to read her next novel.

Out June 5, 2012

4.5/5 dust spirits