I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but based on all of the great reviews I knew it was something good, and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. Years before, my best friends introduced me to Doctor Horrible's Sing-along Blog and when I heard this book was like that in some respects I got really excited. The story started off as something more Superman or Batman-esque but as the book went on it did morph slightly into something resembling Kick-Ass. Generally in books like this (those that have a comic-book feel to them) the good and bad characters are pretty clean cut, but Schwab really tangled them up and turned it into bad and worse, especially as the novel went on. What I actually found the most interesting wasn't the plot (although it was expertly done), or the fact that the book jumped back and forth between past and present (which worked remarkably well), but the morals of it all. We as a society are so ingrained with the basic "good vs. evil" trope, but in the real world that's not really how it works. Comic books start off with said basic idea, but the best ones move away from that and make you think about real life. The "good guy" sometimes has to do some bad things to ultimately get the job done and make the world a safer place, so does that mean he's no longer a "good guy"? Schwab cuts to the heart of this question with a terribly profound deeper meaning, and also looks at what I would almost call the morals of being a person with some kind of "super" power, and how it could, would, potentially change you as a person. Honestly this was a book that went so much deeper than just what was on the surface, which is something that can be really hard to achieve, but that Schwab does so well it's scary. Fans of superhero comics and movies will most likely adore this novel, and those who are interested in the "good vs. evil" idea or just the basic human psyche. Hopefully Schwab writes other adult books like this, because although I might like to peek into the world later I think that the ending of this book was tied up so neatly a sequel could never live up to it.
5/5 dust spirits
*technically this is an adult book, but mature teenagers (and I do mean teenagers, not mature twelve-year-olds who read things like the Hunger Games) should be perfectly fine reading this novel.
I'm really excited to be a stop here on the HEARTBEAT promo blitz tour, and I have to thank Kismet and HarlequinTeen for allowing me to take place in it! Years ago I read Elizabeth's debut novel Bloom and I really loved it, so to be able to take part in this blog tour for her newest book is really cool. I can't wait to read this book and finally dive back into a world Elizabeth Scott has created!
About the Book;
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.
But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma—the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia—New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death—and maybe, for love? Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
“An intense examination of a family coping with grief, this absorbing character study easily keeps pages turning.”
— Kirkus on Heartbeat
About the Author;
ELIZABETH SCOTT grew up in a town so small it didn’t even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She’s sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn’t want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, and firmly believes you can never own too many books.
I don't remember when I first heard about this novel, but when I read what it was about I knew I had to read it. I've been a Star trek fan since I was a little girl, so there was really no way I wasn't going to read it. I requested a copy months ago and I just kept putting it off because I had other books to read that came out before, and then by the time it wasn't too early I had heard it had made people cry. I'm always weary of books that might make me cry, so I was both excited and anxious to read it, and it made me read slower than usual. That being said I really loved this book. The dual POV was great, it helped the story along and personally I love getting into the head-space of both a male and a female. The book was an odd mix of genres, part sci-fi, part mystery, part survival story, and although that might not work for every book Amie and Meagan pulled it off flawlessly. Honest truth, I'm still a little confused as to what the whispers actually were, although I have a basic idea so I'm not totally lost. There was also one part of the book I was confused about, which was Lilac's secret. I thought it was something different but when it was reveled it made a lot more sense than what I assumed. Both main characters were real and the fact that they transformed so magnificently across the book was a great. The plot was artfully crafted and despite some gut-wrenching scenes in the middle the ending was also very suited for the book and gave the characters the justice they deserved. While I'm sad that the next book in the series won't be about these two characters I've grown to love I'm excited to see what happens in the next books, and think that the idea of having companion novels for a sci-fi series that involves a crashed ship is something bold and inventive. The only book I can think of in the YA age range that even touches this one is Beth Revis' Across the Universe series, and even then the overlap is only slight. This is a great addition to YA lit and I can't wait to see more from both of these authors both independently/with a separate author or independently.
Out December 10, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
I love being able to read books back to back, but seeing as I read an ARC that means I'll have to wait that much longer to see how it all ends, which means things kind of even out I guess. That being said I'm very glad the whole series comes out in 18 months and not 3 years, because I would go mad if I had to wait another year for book three. The first book set up this world where, along with the basic dangers dystopian society holds (dead land, animals, ect) you also have to be afraid of school. Although if you look around there are people who already are, granted they don't die if they fail. Honestly I wasn't really sure what to expect with book two, because the testing had ended and those that made it were in University, so the only thing I was thinking was that some sort of rebellion would be the main focus. While I wasn't entirely wrong I was also pleasantly surprised because although the death toll wasn't nearly as high there was still action and tricks and secrets that swirled around just like in the first novel. I feel like it still has that Hunger Games element that this time reminds me a little more of Catching Fire. Sometimes I think there are books that follow a set path too closely, and you could say that these books are very similar to Suzanne Collin's breakthrough idea, but at the same time they are different enough and have different underlying themes/ideas that it shouldn't be a problem. I enjoyed the fact that some of the mysteries from book one were solved while some were not, and new ones were presented. To me it's important to balance questions with answers or the reader will get bored with all of the things they don't have answers for, and Joelle perfectly keeps this balance so we get just enough that we stay intrigued but not enough that we don't care what will happen next. Although we're stuck with a cliffhanger it's not as huge as it could be, and for that I am grateful, but I'm still anxious enough that should they have ARCs of book three I hope to get my hands on one sooner rather than later. Once this series is over I hope that Joelle continues to write books for teenagers because I would love to see more of her work.
Out January 7, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Secret Garden Books for letting me borrow an ARC of this book in return for an honest review
Today is the release of the prequel novella PROXY, which takes place before AVALON, which releases January 21, 2014. Most of the time these little novellas aren't a huge deal but this book, it's pitched as "a great match for fan's of Joss Whedon's "ult hit show Firefly". And if you're me you can't pass that up. So despite the fact that I have an ARC of AVALON I've waited patiently for this little novella to come out so I can dive head-first into the universe of the story. Mindee is hosting a giveaway in honor of this novella release, and I'm here to share a snippet of it for free. If you love it, or even just like it, you can splurge and spend .99 on it so you can read the whole 90 pages!
If you need something stolen from any star system in the Confederation, you need look no further than the Shades. Jeth Seagrave and his band of teenage mercenaries have been making a name for themselves for being able to steal anything—and for disappearing before anyone is the wiser.
Their latest job, a jewel heist on Grakkus, should be no different. But when Jeth's boss replaces a key member of his crew just before takeoff, and Jeth discovers a betrayal within his own ranks, he begins to suspect that not everyone is going to be coming back from his job alive.
Proxy is an action-packed introduction to a world like nothing readers have seen before.
The thrill of the job never got old. Jeth Seagrave
lived for it. For the way the anticipation sent electricity pulsing through his
veins, making his blood burn hotter, his heart beat harder, and sharpening his
senses until he felt like something more than human. A superhero from one of
the ancient myths of First Earth, perhaps.
You’re no hero. The
automatic thought skidded through his mind, barely registering. No, he wasn’t.
He was a thief. One of the best.
And that was all that mattered. Never mind that he was only
sixteen. Never mind that most of his crew was even younger. Together they were
an unstoppable force, a gang of teenage thieves their adult marks never saw
coming. The thrill pulsed harder inside him, and with an effort he focused on
the nav monitor in front of him. They would be entering the patrolled zone
around the planet Grakkus soon.
To his left, Celeste piloted the Debonair forward, her hands steady on the control column. Jeth
would’ve preferred to pilot this job—he would prefer to pilot every job—but he
and Celeste took turns. All of the members of the Malleus Shades held specific
roles that played to their strengths. Celeste’s forte was counterintelligence,
particularly the art of distracting marks. Jeth’s was strategy, and he
typically took point on every job. But when it came to piloting, he and Celeste
were equally matched.
Jeth drew a breath, still struggling to focus. He couldn’t help
it. The upcoming job was the most challenging, complicated one they’d taken on
yet. The target was located in a vault at the top of a tower only accessible
through the emperor of Grakkus’s personal bedchambers—not some insignificant
politician or petty crime lord, but an emperor.
Pulling it off would be like flying a spaceship through a solar storm without
getting fried. A grin threatened to break on his face. The job was going to be
fun, and with a payout well worth the risk.
At last the nav computer flashed an indicator that they were
heading into the patrolled zone.
Celeste glanced at him, her dark eyes narrowing. Straight black
hair hung in a blunt cut down to her shoulders. “Are you going to turn on the
stealth drive or what?”
“I’m thinking about it.” A part of him didn’t want to. The
so-called stealth drive was brand new and untested, at least by the Shades. If
it didn’t work, things were going to get a whole lot more interesting real
quick. And if it did work, well, then things weren’t going to get interesting. He couldn’t decide which he
In the end, Celeste made the decision for him, reaching over to a
switch on a sleek new section of the control panel. Jeth sighed. It was the
right thing to do, of course, and there would be plenty of risks to be had once
Or it might not work
properly, he thought, examining the nav monitor once more. Best not to
blindly trust some newfangled technology. Within minutes he spotted a blimp on
the monitor, a patrol to their starboard. The ship was far off, but within
range to scan them.
“What should I do?” A hint of panic colored Celeste’s voice. They
had never before flown so boldly through a patrolled area.
“Hold course,” Jeth said, not taking his eyes off the blimp. So
far the patrol ship hadn’t given any sign that it had spotted them.
“You sure you’re right?”
“Aren’t I always?”
Celeste snorted. “Do you want an honest answer?”
“Nope. I prefer my own version of the truth.”
“Right.” Celeste tightened her grip on the controls. According to
the instructions they’d received from their employer, who owned the Debonair, the stealth drive worked best
when the ship maintained a constant speed and course. Any sharp turns or
drastic acceleration or deceleration could turn up on a system scanning for
thruster signatures, stealth drive or no.
Maybe it was for the best that Celeste was piloting, Jeth
realized. He would’ve been tempted to test the theory of what constituted “drastic.”
They passed out of range of the patrol a few minutes later, and
Jeth sat back in the copilot’s chair, folding his arms across his chest as he
tried to ignore his disappointment. They flew within range of three more
patrols but moved past them without incident, finally breaching Grakkus’s
Once through, Celeste headed for their rendezvous point, an
isolated forested area a few hundred kilometers outside of the capital city.
Beyond the bridge’s main windows, the first rays of sunlight were breasting the
horizon, heralded by a swath of purple, pink, and vermillion.
At last Celeste set the Debonair
down on a large stretch of tall grass the color of seaweed. She powered off the
engines and turned on the auxiliary, which would keep the shipboard systems
running, including the stealth drive. It wasn’t likely that anyone would spot
them out here—the place was well off the main thoroughfares, not to mention how
inhospitable the swamp surrounding them was—but Jeth decided not to point that
Celeste stood and stretched, the movement languid as if she were
part cat. The dark, fitted clothing she wore aided the illusion. “So, what now?”
Jeth checked his watch, which he’d synced to Grakkus time. “I say
breakfast or lunch, whichever works, and then a couple hours’ R and R. The
setup man’s not due to arrive until fourteen hundred.” They’d had to get here
early to avoid being detected during landing. The stealth drive hid them from
sight, but it couldn’t disguise the sound of the engines or the wind raised by
“Think I’m going to shower again, before—” Celeste broke off as a
voice echoed over the ship’s comm system.
“Um, Boss? We sorta have a
situation. You might want to get down to the common room.”
Jeth blinked, all his disappointment from their unadventurous
journey vanishing in the space of a single breath. It wasn’t often that Will
Shady sounded nervous.
Wondering if maybe the ship was on fire, Jeth turned and headed
off the bridge with Celeste quick on his heels. They arrived in the common room
on the deck below moments later. Jeth stopped in the doorway, surveying the
scene. There wasn’t a fire. There wasn’t anything amiss at all, as far as he
could tell. Shady was sitting on one of the sofas, his attention focused on the
3D projection from his portable gaming system, a wave of bloodthirsty robots
coming at him, each one falling to his simulated gunfire. The comm unit he’d
used to radio the bridge sat discarded on the sofa beside him, in danger of being
swallowed by a cushion.
Jeth approached him. “What are you doing?”
“Practicing,” Shady said, not looking up. The scowl on his face
as he let off a triple blast, drilling a robot right between its bulbous black
eyes, made his features look distinctly leonine, the appearance aided by his
shaggy mane of blond hair. Shady’s assigned role in the Malleus Shades was
Jeth put his hands on his hips. “We’re not going to be shooting
anybody on this job. And please tell me this wasn’t the thing I needed to see.”
Shady shook his head. “Nope. It’s in that storage locker.” He
pointed to the row of lockers along the wall across from them. “The one in the
Jeth arched an eyebrow. He considered pressing Shady for more,
but knew there wasn’t much point. All the crew dealt with prejob nerves in
different ways, and once engrossed in his ritual video game, it was hard to get
Shady to concern himself with anything else.
Jeth crossed the floor to the locker in question, wondering where
the Debonair had been last. Their
employer used the ship for lots of different jobs, and it was possible it had
been parked planetside somewhere a wild animal could’ve gotten in. An image of
something furry and clawed and with teeth the size of fingers flashed through
Jeth’s mind. He wasn’t wearing a gun, and he briefly considered getting one
before finding out what had Shady so nervous, but then he shrugged and pulled
the door open.
There was something alive in there all right, but it wasn’t a
wild animal. Even still, it took Jeth several moments to come to grip with what
it was. Who it was.
You guys, this sounds like the start of something SUPER awesome and I can't wait to dig in. I don't know about you but I'll be buying this for my nook and reading it ASAP.
And here's a little bit about Mindee if you were curious!
Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares. She's the YA author of The Nightmare Affair (Tor Teen), an urban fantasy series about a girl who is literally a nightmare and must use her skills to solve a murder, and the forthcoming science fiction series, Avalon (B+B, 1/21/2014), where Jeth and his teenage mercenaries need to pull off one last big job in order to earn their freedom. You can find her online on her
Since today is Thanksgiving (and I've been pretty absent from the blog this month because of NaNoWriMo) I have decided to throw a giveaway for all of my lovely followers! So I thought to myself, "what should I give away?" Now, the obvious answer was "books" but because I'm not at my house today (I'm at my grandparent's) and all of my giveaway books are boxed away (well, most of them) I thought, "what do I have HERE that I could give away?" The answer is SWAG! Now some of you are probably thinking "really? That's how you're going to thank us? Swag?" and my answer is, "YES! Super epic swag that EVERYONE will want." What IS that swag you ask? Take a look at all of the pictures I took! There are separate giveaways for each set (because maybe you don't want a bajillion bookmarks but you want buttons and bracelets). There are also two super cool POSTER giveaways, and one luck winner will get a signed book (dude, does it really get cooler than that?) So, you want to see what you can win? OF COURSE YOU DO! So now, PICTURES and CONTESTS!!!
P.S. The biggest giveaway is the last one, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post!
This is by far the biggest pack and has several parts to it. Those parts are;
Unsigned bookmarks and a mix of signed/unsigned postcards
All giveaways will end on December 11, 2013 at midnight (the day I finish my first semester of college). I am in no way getting paid for any of these giveaways and all prizes being purchased are being done so using my own money. I cannot promise that these items will get to you by Christmas (or any other holiday) but I will do my best so that they are. I will not be responsible for any damages that may occur during postal transportation. Must be 13 years old to enter (or have a parent's permission). First prize pack may not exactly match what is pictured. If I find you are cheating in any way all entries will be removed.
Yesterday I posted who I shared CINDER with for The Gift of Cinder and today since she's having problems with her new blog I've decided to post her review here for now. I want to send Victoria from ladysbookstuff.blogspot.com a big thank you for taking time out of her busy life to read and review CINDER for me, and I'm super glad that she enjoyed it!
CINDER, by Marissa Meyer is a stunning twist on the classic
Cinderella fairy tale. Unlike the version we all know so well, this Cinder is a
cyborg in New Beijing. While a deadly plague takes its toll on Earth, a
mysterious group of Lunar People watch from space – No one knows Cinder holds
the world’s destiny in her control.
The plot is definitely science fiction and like most sci-fi
novels, somewhat slow starting. However, Meyer does a fantastic job of
world-building, character creation, and plot development; all the while,
incorporating the basic storyline from the classic tale.
Soon you are swept into this alternate future and go on the
adventure of a lifetime as Cinder fights for the world.
Even if you shy away from sci-fi novels, CINDER
is one hundred percent worth giving a chance because Meyer does a phenomenal
job with this very creative fairy tale re-telling.
I got an email asking me if I wanted an ARC of the wonderful Marissa Meyer's third novel, CRESS, and of course my answer was "YES!" All I had to do was give the gift of Cinder, so I looked at my list of blogger friends and found one that I knew would love it.
She's a new addition to that blog but I've known her for quite some time and 98% of the time we have the same opinion on books, so I knew she would love it. I really needed to share this book with someone because it was so amazing and original. I'm so thrilled that she gets to read this awesome book (that also happens to be by a local author), and that she gets to post her review on her new blog!
If you guys haven't read this book I highly recommend it, and you have five more days to win a signed copy to celebrate Marissa writing the first draft on the novel during NaNoWriMo!
In 2011 I read a debut novel and I just loved it. Every few months since December that author, Miranda Kenneally, has released a new book in the series. They're not sequels but companion novels, and they're so much fun I'm thrilled to say that I have Miranda here on the blog today! Below is my review of her NEWEST novel, Racing Savannah, the fourth book in the Hundred Oaks series. Please help me welcome Miranda to the blog, and I might even do a giveaway, so make sure to leave her lots of comments! Miranda's answers are bold and my responses to said answers are italicized.
1. You write contemporary companion novels, do you ever get the urge to write a sequel?
Honestly, not really. I like Happily Ever Afters or "HEAs," and the last thing I want to do after giving my characters happiness at the end of the book is to take it away from them in a sequel. Book plots require drama and I only want to put my characters through so much.
Excellent point. I don't want them to go through any more drama!
2. This is the first book that you’ve written that doesn’t have some kind of time label to go with the chapters. Why is that?
When I was first drafting the book, I did have a time label - I wanted to show Savannah working up to a big race. But then I realized that she wasn't even a jockey at the beginning of the book - it was something she would work up to. In that regard, I knew it wouldn't make sense to include a time stamp if she didn't even start training for a race until the middle of the book.
Makes sense to me!
3. Which of your characters is your favorite to write?
That is a tough question! No one has ever asked me this before. I'd say it's a tie between Sam Henry and Will Whitfield. Both of those ridiculous boys have so much to say.
4. Have you ever thought about writing a short story/scene from one of the boy’s POV?
I have! I've written from the perspective of two of my book boys while trying to figure out their motivations. I wrote from Matt's POV in Things I Can't Forget. It took a while to get to know him, and it wasn't until I put him in a "fake past" scene in which he attended high school with Kate that I discovered they knew each other at camp when they were kids. I've found that if you can't figure out a plot, take your characters and put them in a new situation to discover new details. And I wrote several chapters from Jack's perspective when writing Racing Savannah. I discovered a lot about what I DID NOT want Jack to be. When I first started writing from his POV, he was very snobby and lazy. I knew I had to change that asap.
Now the question is can we ever SEE those scenes. ;)
5. Each of your books has a…I don’t want to call it a theme, because that’s not it (although I do feel that they all have themes), there’s an activity that runs throughout them all, a sport (or in the case of Things I Can’t Forget it’s summer camp), why did you choose to do that and what can we expect for book five?
I love sports and I love strong girl characters who are working towards "something." For book 5, which is called BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE and comes out in July 2014, the main character is training to run a marathon on behalf of her boyfriend who died before he could run the race.
Wow, that sounds really awesome. And don't we all love a strong girl character?
6. After the Hundred Oaks series is over what can we expect to see from you?
No idea! I haven't even figured out what Hundred Oaks 6 is about. I am thinking Hot Lifeguards, but I don't know. I would like to write adult contemporary romance, but I'm not sure I have the right voice for it.
What do you guys think I should write?
Well I think that Hot Lifeguards would make an AWESOME book. So...that. Or at least something with a hot boy in it! Ohh, maybe even a book told from a boy's POV!
7. What book/series do you wish you wrote?
GRACELING, FIRE and BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore.
I've only read the first one, but I did enjoy GRACELING very much.
8. If you could have dinner (or lunch or breakfast or tea) with any three authors throughout all of history which three would you pick?
Lisa Kleypas, JK Rowling, and Melina Marchetta. A girl-power lunch over Mexican food!
Is there really anyone who WOULDN'T like to meet JK Rowling?
9. And last but not least what are some books you would recommend (they can come out any time, future or past)?
2013 books I've enjoyed include STIR ME UP by Sabrina Elkins, A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers, SEX AND VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian, JUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman, and a 2014 book I blurbed and loved is BOYS LIKE YOU by Juliana Stone.
I've read STIR ME UP and A LITTLE TOO FAR. I have to check out SEX AND VIOLENCE and JUST ONE YEAR. And I have to look up BOYS LIKE YOU! Thanks so much for answering all of my questions Miranda!
Thanks so much for having me!
Most of the time sequels to contemporary books don't work all that well, because then the author has to put the character(s) through more hell so that there's still a plot, but when the novel has a companion (or two or five) I'm almost always down. Very few people write amazing companion novels, and aside from Stephanie Perkins and Katie McGarry no one does it better than Miranda Kenneally. Each of her books is a completely independent novel but the characters from her previous ones that pop up always add that much more to the book and I just love it. Each of her book also has a sort of...central activity, which I enjoy reading about. This one is, obviously, horse racing. In 3 out of 4 of her novels she's written about something pretty foreign to me, and after I finish reading one I feel like I could go talk to someone who knows what they're talking about and actually hold mine own (although in reality that probably wouldn't end well). And each of her novels also have a...I guess you could call it a theme or an underlying message. They all center around the main female character and they're important messages that people need to learn or be reminded of. Sure, the novels are relatively light and fluffy, but there's depth to them in a way that not all light books have to them, which is important. There's also the fact that Miranda writes some pretty damn swoon-worthy boys and some pretty kick-ass/take no crap girls. Basically I love her books, and since they're not actually sequels you can read them in any order. That and they come out in paperback first thing so they're more affordable!!! If you've never given Miranda's books a chance I recommend you go out and find one, or buy this one when it comes out (Miranda is also pretty cool too). The story and characters are great and the little cameos are THE BEST. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book and I hope to see some of my favorite characters for a page or two along with the new characters I'm sure I'll love.
Out December 3, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an eARC of this book in return for an honest review.
When this book first came out I bought it for two reasons. One, Kimberly Derting blurbed it, and if she liked it I'll read it. Two, the dead best friend sending emails had the same name as me, so I had to see what was going on there. I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but for some reason I thought it would be more...suspenseful. Don't get me wrong, it is, I just didn't seem to connect with the suspense like I sometimes do. My heart didn't pound, my breathing didn't increase, and so on and so forth. Other than that I really liked it. I have to admit it took me some time to finish this book because of classes and NaNoWriMo, so my memory on some specific details is a little foggy, which is why when I try to remember what grade Kate was in I come up short. She did seem a little immature at some points, but given that she just lost her best friend I'll give her a break. The who-done-it part of the mystery didn't really surprise me as much as I would have hoped, but even knowing that the book was a more private-school type scene, I was surprised at some of the things that happened. In truth the ending was a little disappointing, just in how it all turned out and in the fact that it maybe dragged on just a smidge too long, but seeing as it was setting up for a second book I can let that slide. The whole email thing also has me a little confused because it comes up in the later books, so I'm curious as to how that will work out in the end as well. Hopefully I'll be able to dig into the second and third book soon, although with the crazy number of books on my shelf that might not happen. Fans of prep-school murder mysteries will enjoy this slightly lighter story of a spunky, bright haired heroine trying to uncover the truth about the death of her best friend, and although it deals with murder I think it would be appropriate for a higher-level younger reader as well, which is always a plus. It and it's sequel are out, and book three comes out on the 3rd of December, all out in paperback, so this would make a lovely gift for an avid reader.
I've been having trouble getting into books lately so I asked the internet what I should read and the overall consensus was that I needed to read Rainbow Rowell's newest novel. I snagged the e-book when it was on sale so I decided that I would see what all the fuss was about. The idea of this novel was rather surprising to me because it's about fanfic, which, although I don't read personally several of my good friends do, so that was really fascinating for me that it was part of a novel. All over the internet I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about Rowell's YA novels, and so far I've only met one bookseller who wasn't a fan of Eleanor & Park so she has yet to read Fangirl, which is pretty amazing is you ask me. Personally I'm not a fan of fanfiction, I mean, it exists and I know that it does, and I have no problem with it, I just don't bother to read it, although the fact that Rowell made it such a big part of the novel was a brave choice. Maybe because of that reason I didn't find the novel as amazing as everyone else had been saying it was. Not that it wasn't good, it was. It was cute and funny and made me smile but it wasn't anything amazing when it came to writing or characters in my opinion. Yes, I applaud Rowell for doing something different and for writing a character who is insecure but not overly so, and that has an interesting life and real-life problems, but it just didn't hit a major chord with me like it seemed to with everyone else. Quite honestly the part I loved most about the book was the character development throughout the story, because that's what I think the major point was, Cath becoming more independent and grown up. I do hope that I will be able to get this book for a friend of my when Christmas rolls around because I think she might appreciate it a little more than me. Basically the boy is cute, the fanfic is interesting, and the characters are fun, but I wasn't blown out of the water. I will be reading Rowell's first YA novel some time soon-ish (I hope) because I have high hopes for that one as well. Fanfic fans will probably love this book, along with those of you who like realistic novels that are very much rooted in what I would have to say is modern culture. Bravo Rowell, you did something amazing with this book and I hope that you continue to push boundaries and play with words because you have a real talent.
As you all know I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days) and I decided that I would promote the event by doing a giveaway. All three of the novels that I'm giving away were NaNo novels (that doesn't mean that what got published in the end was anywhere close to the finished NaNo product, but the plot/characters stemmed from the story) and all of them have great ratings. You don't have to follow the blog/facebook page but it does help me run these contests. You also don't have to tweet/facebook about it but I would love it if you did because that gets the word out.
The first giveaway is for two books that are already out and have been out for quite some time (two people will win, one book each), and it's open to anyone who wants to enter. You do get an extra entry if you're participating in NaNo this year but it's not necessary to enter. The Night Circus is a lightly used hardback copy and Cinder is a new, signed paperback.
The second giveaway is ONLY open to those of you who are participating in NaNo this year and the prize is really fancy. You'll have a chance to win an ARC (advanced copy) of Side Effects May Vary, which isn't out until March of next year. All you have to do is leave a link to your NaNo profile via the rafflecopter (the accounts are free and are a great way to connect with other people in your area and all over the world participating in the event). If you guys want to friend me my profile is here.
Each book will come with swag provided by other authors who also wrote novels during NaNoWriMo and then had them published. Authors include Jill Hathaway, Julie Murphy, Marissa Meyer, Teri Brown, Megan Bostic, and Suzanne Lazear.
Just last year a crazy talented writer came onto the scene with her debut contemporary novel Pushing the Limits and there is no doubt in my mind that since that no matter what she writes (it could be mutated bunnies killing the bee population and dooming the world) I will read it. When I asked for an ARC of this book and it showed up in the mail I basically freaked out. Katie has always somewhat pushed the limits (pardon the pun) when it comes to what she puts her characters though, they experience REAL danger and REAL problems. I have to say that in this book she NAILED the real problems, and she took one that is so overlooked and made it a huge part of the story. The main female character, Rachel, suffers from anxiety/panic attacks and for me this was HUGE because it's SO underrepresented when it comes to literature and television. We talk about depression all the time now, but anxiety is basically the other side of the depression coin, and it makes me sad that it's never talked about. Katie does such a great job at making it real and serious, which is something so many people just don't understand. On the flip side Katie also sprinkles the book with those swoony moments that she's become famous for in her books. If it's possible I think she's made NOT kissing even sexier than *cough* other things *cough*. In this book we really get to look into Isaiah's life and see so much more of him than we did in the first two books in the series. He grows SO much in this book and I just love it. BOTH of the characters grow, and we meet some really great new characters too. We've seen the three main characters from Pushing the Limits find someone they love and next year we get to see a new character get a shot at a happy ending, but I wouldn't object to seeing a few more characters from this book get their shot as well. Maybe if we all love them enough Katie will give them a shot. Regardless of what ends up happening I'll be happy with anything Katie gets to write/publish, and should she stop with four books in the series I'll still be elated because she's already slated for another series to hit shelves next year.
Out November 26, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Unless you've had your head stuck under a rock for the past few years you've probably heard of something called "NaNoWriMo" or "National Novel Writing Month". If you don't know what it is let me explain, basically it's when you write a novel (50,000 words) in a month (November 1-30). Every year thousands of people sign up and try to knock out a novel in thirty days. My friend has been doing it for quite a few years and this year I decided I was going to give it a shot too! This means that I might not be around a ton in the upcoming month. 50,000 words in thirty days is quite a few, and I really have no idea if I'm actually going to finish (well, actually it's called winning) but I'm gonna try my darnedest to do so. I hope that I'll still have time to read as well, but with homework and college classes I really can't promise anything. Maybe this book might even turn into something more, but first I'll have to actually write it.
If you've decided to take up the challenge too then let me know and we can hopefully all write (or procrastinate) together, and it not maybe take the month of November to celebrate some authors who got their start as NaNo authors! Cinder by Marissa Meyer and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are both NaNo novels that were published and are HUGE hits!
Wish me luck and if you are embarking on this journey too I wish you luck as well!
If you know anything about me then you know that I'm a fan of all of those crime shows on TV. CSI, NCIS, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, you name it I've probably seen at least one episode. For years I've been fascinated by the intricate workings of the psychopathic mind so when I heard about a book that revolved around a girl that can profile and then goes to work for the FBI I was hooked. Recently I had been in a reading slump and I decided to jump ahead a little and start a book that I was almost positive would catch my attention, and I was right. I was sucked into this story from page one, the research that Barnes must have done had to be extensive and the parts from the killer's POV just filled me with glee. If there's one thing I love it's reading a book where you get to look into the killer's thought process, and you get to do that numerous times in the book. The whole plot was a lot like a teenage version of Criminal Minds, although it was kept more PG vs the TV MA because it's for teenagers. Would I have liked a little more blood? Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, that would have been nice, but this isn't a slasher novel, it's about science, or well, depending on who you talk to it's science. And the ending surprised me! Well, who the killer was surprised me. Basically I just adored this novel, and I'm really happy to find that it's going to be the first in at LEAST a two book series. Criminal Minds and Lie to Me fans will eat this book up, along with fans of one of my all-time favorite book series The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. It has that same spooky feel without the paranormal element to it, which in a way makes it all the more real. Hopefully book two comes out sooner rather than later because although the ending is tied up there are lose strings floating around that I want to see tied up, and of course there needs to be more killers. I also hope that the books do well and Barnes will decided/be contracted to write more than two, because I would love to see more of these books out there to enjoy, even it's just me that reads them.
Out November 5, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review
Earlier this year I read a book written by the other co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and thought it was missing something, maybe a second author in the mix. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when it came to Garcia's first lone novel, but I found that it did feel a little more together than Stohl's. This seems to be one of the season's most anticipated books, and it had been compared quite often to the CW's beloved show Supernatural, which I've been a huge fan of for about four years. When I heard it compared to said show I was super excited to read it, and less than 50 pages in I saw the similarities between the book and the show. It's basically like a teen version of Supernatural with a female protag and a team instead of just two brothers (although there are two brothers). The more I kept reading though the more I REALLY saw the similarities. The two brothers, the methods the team used to fight the ghosts, the ending, all of it just poked at the back of my mind going "you've seen this before". There might be some explanation for said similarities, I have no idea if there's lore on salt and cold-iron repelling ghosts, and there were differences, but it was just a little too similar for my tastes at some points. The main character was also slightly aggravating, mainly because she had a photographic memory but kept forgetting basic things like "salt=no ghosts". You think she might catch on a little faster to things that could get her killed. I really enjoyed some of the side characters though, and would love to see more of them in the next books. All of that being said it was a really fast read and it was enjoyable and engaging all the way through. Fans of Supernatural will undoubtedly want to give this book a shot though, because it will appeal to most of the female fans. Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood should also enjoy the book, along with Buffy fans, because it has the vibe as well. The one thing it lacked in comparison to said shows and book was the snark, which does make some sense due to the fact that Garcia wasn't exactly known for all the witty dialogue, and there wasn't really much room for it in the story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see where Garcia takes the story and am excited to see more of Garcia's writing with Stohl for their new series.
Out October 1, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Little, Brown for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
A few years ago I read an ARC of a debut novel that was given to me by a blogger friend, and I found that I enjoyed the book. I have yet to actually finish said series (The Chemical Garden Trilogy), but when I heard of DeStefano's new book I was intrigued. It sounded like it would be an utterly unique read, and seeing as I really enjoyed DeStefano's writing style I asked for an ARC, and when one showed up in the mail I was super happy that I would get to read it early. DeStefano had been sharing small snippets of the book randomly or various social media sites, and each piece I read made me want to dig into my copy sooner and sooner, but I waited because I had other things to read. When I finally sat down and dove into the world she had created there were a few thoughts in my mind. The first was "wow, there are passages in this book that are SUPER amazing." Like, I-could-see-people-tattooing-them-on-their-body-in-curly-script-to-live-with-forever-amazing. Some of the quotes just spoke to me in a way that made me nod my head and go "I totally get that". The other thing that popped out at me was the fact that the plot was kinda fuzzy. Now, in this case when I say fuzzy I don't mean light and fluffy, I mean hazy and maybe not all there. Sure there was a plot, of course there was a plot, but the POINT of the plot was lost on me at some points. It was there, and I could kind of see it, but it wasn't really the main focus and some of what was happening really didn't relate to it much, in my opinion. I think this book is a variation on the dystopian genre in some sense, and to me in a dystopian world there is a very distinct theme, which is "everything isn't really as perfect as it seems" which in a way was in this book, but it was very much pushed to the side for most of the story. All of that being said I did enjoy the book. The writing was amazing, the plot idea was unique and fascinating, and it kept me engaged enough to want to know what would happen next. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see where DeStefano takes this story, and I would recommend it to fans of her first series (although this one seems to be quite a bit lighter in some ways), and for those of you who like to think when reading a book, although not necessarily about the book, but about things in real life.
Out October 1, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.