I was looking at upcoming releases on the Barnes & Nobel website and I stumbled across this book, so I looked at the summary and decided it sounded good. I shared it with another blogger friend of mine who has very similar taste in books and she found that it was up on netgalley, so of course I requested it. First, I'm not really sure about the cover, because the only thing it really shows is that it's a zombie book, which, in actuality it isn't. In the book there are zombie-like people, but it's not a virus, it's caused by prions (proteins that eat away at the brain, like Mad Cow Disease) and the people who contract it did so because of a contaminated drink that was supposed to help you lose weight. They are still very much alive, they just have no control over their rage or what is socially unacceptable, so they sometimes eat people. They also still feel pain. Some of them have been taken back by their families with special collars, like shock collars on dogs. This is where we meet our main character, when she finds her mom in a kennel full of contaminated people, and the story goes from there. Being a huge fan of zombie books I was excited to see what Garner brought to the table, and in the end I was very pleased. One thing that always bugged me about zombie books/movies was that no one was immune, but with this type of problem it's not a matter of being immune, it's a matter of were you exposed or not. The author had a logical reason for what happened, and the truth is things like this do happen. Mad Cow Disease is real, and it's possible what happened in the book could happen in real life. The characters were all really strong personality wise, and the author did a great job at creating a world filled with chaos. I was really pleased with the book as a whole, and with the ending that leaves some things open I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel so I can find out what happens next. Although not really horror-y/gory it was a good book and I would recommend it to zombie fans and those who have weaker stomachs but still enjoy a bit of thrill and mindless shuffling.
Out July 23, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Egmont for providing me with the e-galley in return for an honest review
I hadn't actually heard anything about this book until I saw the cover reveal, and despite that old saying "don't judge a book by its cover" I decided I HAD to read it because that cover, it's BEAUTIFUL. And when I read the description I was rather intrigued because despite all of the books about what happens AFTER the world ends, there really weren't any books about JUST BEFORE the world ended. In fact, I have a story idea that sounded a lot like this book, so I was at once both excited and somewhat disappointed because if someone already did it I can't do it. Now that I've finished the book I'm not worried at all about not being able to go forward with my idea because this book wasn't really what I was expecting. The book follows three teenagers through the week leading up to an asteroid hitting the Earth. No one really knows what will happen once it hits Earth, but the consensus is that it's not good. I think I was expecting more action and more substance. The whole book really revolved around the teenagers and followed the ins and outs of their days, including love, family, and death. If the book were something different I think it might have gone over a little better with me, but the fact that everyone seemed so calm in the face of the world possibly ending was really hard for me to believe, I mean, here in America we have riots if a sports team loses. I expected there to be more swearing and sex and crying and drinking, maybe some explosions and big confessions, but what I found wasn't that. It was really more of a contemporary book, which is fine, I just think it's maybe masquerading as something it's not. The other problem I had was I just, I didn't care. I didn't care about the characters AT ALL, and the ending left me REALLY unsatisfied. Maybe my hopes were too high for this book and I know I went in expecting something different, but although the cover is beautiful I can't highly recommend this book. It was an enjoyable read it just wasn't enjoyable enough for me to love it and go yelling to the sky about it. If you do pick up this book be warned that it's not a dystopian in any way, shape, or form, but more of a contemporary, and maybe if it had been pitched that way I would have been happier. As a contemporary though I feel like it had some really good parts and a good message in the end though, so for that, and the tri-POV I commend the author for her work.
Out September 17, 2013
3.5/5 dust spirits
*Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) for providing me with an e-galley of this book in return for an honest review
About two years ago I read a debut from an author in Texas that was wholly original so when I saw that she had another book coming out I knew I had to read it. When I learned that this book was based on an Edgar Allen Poe poem I knew I REALLY had to read it. I haven't actually read anything by Poe other than The Raven, but he's super famous and his stuff is super dark, so I'm sure if it were modernized (old-time poetry/works tend to leave me going "what?") I would just love it. Being pretty much a Poe virgin I really enjoyed all of the epigraphs before each chapter. Mary's writing was really beautiful and horrifying all at once and for that I commend her (and I mean horrifying in the best way possible). The setting was just the most fascinating thing ever, think Bates Motel only done 1000 times better. At first I was a little confused, which was the only part of the whole thing that I didn't enjoy one hundred percent. The book is told through two POV's although it's not the two main characters, it's Liam, the boy, and a Selkie girl who ends up playing a rather large role but is still off to the side most of the time. I have no idea if the myths in the book are at all correct but they were presented like they were. The only thing I wish would have been included was maybe Annabel's POV, but other than that it really was a terrific novel. The ending was somewhat ambiguous in my mind, but in that case I think it could be seen in one of two possible ways, and both wrap the story up nicely. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a standalone novel and I'm perfectly content with that. I can't wait to read Mary's next book, the next book in the Soul series and I highly recommend Mary's books to any of you who love a good love story with a horror-y twist to it.
Out June 27, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*Thank you to Penguin for providing me with an ARC (via ALA Midwinter) in return for an honest review
I have been granted the AMAZING opportunity to share with you all a sneak peak of Cora Carmack's novella Keeping Her. I have read and just LOVED both of Cora's full length New Adult novels and to have the chance to be part of this is just so amazing.
Before we get on to the excerpt I was asked to announce that Cora is doing a goodread's chat with fellow author Jay Crownover on 6/26 and the next day on Cora's facebook page there will be a Faking It book club from 3-4 pm EST where you can ask just Cora all of your burning questions.
NOW we can finally get to the excerpt (and ALL of the scenes from Garrick's POV that Cora released for the Faking It pre-order campaign) and come back soon to see the cover for Finding It!
This book had been on my radar for a while what with my contact at Harper telling me it was getting a lot of buzz around their office and with a picky author friend of mine falling in love with it. I got an ARC at ALA Midwinter but time got away from me and I was unable to read it before it came out, so then I decided that I would buy a copy and read that. That didn't work amazingly well, seeing as things have been a little nuts around here, but I finally bought a finished copy and dove into it. The book had me laughing from the very first page, and it just kept going from there. There was so much to this novel and there was so much happening and so many feelings I was overwhelmed with it in the best way. Kiri is such a REAL character because she's your average teenage girl dealing with love and loss and music and life in general. Although I have never used drugs and I don't have the specific mental illness that Kiri deals with I felt it ALL. There are those books that are written so perfectly and with such urgency that I couldn't help but devour it all in such rapid succession. The writing was beautiful and it was all so raw and rich and maybe a little crazy but honestly I think that's what being a teenager is like and to have a debut author capture that is just so amazing. Fans of authors who write about real things will enjoy this fresh debut and although it's not in prose like Ellen Hopkins I thing that her fans will also greatly enjoy the book. I can't wait to see what Hilary comes up with next.
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Please note that this book contains drug use, swear words, sex, and mental illness.
I had been pining for this book ever since I read the synopsis, but I didn't end up getting an ARC so I had to buy it when it came out. But if you know me you know that despite the fact that I want to read 85% of the books out there if I buy a book there only about a 10% chance I'll get to it any time soon. So I bought Altered shortly after it came out but because of all of the ARCs I had to read I didn't get to it, but I decided that this summer I would read about 10 books that were already out, and this is my first one. The cover has a hot boy on it and let me tell you it didn't disappoint. Four attractive boys were part of the WHOLE book, and I was pleased with all of them. Jenn crafted a great thriller with twists and turns, some of which even I didn't catch. There were some that I did, and I had those moments when I was internally yelling at the characters, but not in a bad way. The book was told from a female's POV, and there is a very attractive boy on the cover (so that may but a boy or two off just because) but the romance is really such a small part of the book that I think males would enjoy the story line just as much as females. Anna was a really strong character, and I found myself trying to figure out what was going on before the characters did, totally caught up in the mystery of it all. As a whole I enjoyed the fast paced plot and the mystery of it all, although there were times when I was slightly confused with some of the special traits of the four boys. Although happy with the way the book ended I am glad that there's going to be another one, and if I don't get an ARC of it then I will buy the sequel when it comes out.
I heard about this book a while ago, and when I read the description I decided that I needed to read it, so when I saw it at ALA Midwinter I grabbed a copy. First I have to say that based on the description I thought it was a zombie book, but it wasn't, it was a book about aliens, which I've found to be a thing lately. That being said I still really enjoyed the book. The aliens were really cool, they were green and reptilian and had AMAZING hearing, but they couldn't see very well. The first third of the book there is maybe a total of one page of dialogue, which I found to be an interesting stylistic choice. Although in the story you kept quiet or you died, so it had something to do with the world Demitria had created as well. Honestly I was weary about Baby's character, because from the back it makes it sound like she's well, a baby, but she's not, she's 6 or 7, and I really did enjoy her character, as well as Amy's and Kae's. I was talking to a fellow blogger about this book and she said that she was worried that there was no romance, because in an interview with the author it was stated that there wasn't any romance, but I don't think that's exactly true. While the romance is a VERY small part of the book and it's not all that important there is romance, although it's PG at the steamiest. The violence is more of a PG-13 level though, if you were wondering. The book is divided into three parts, and personally I enjoyed the first and third parts better than the second. In the second and third sections I thought it was interesting to weave between the past and the present, and I thought that Demitria did a great job. The huge twist at the end didn't catch me off guard, but the one at the end of section one did, and in the end it was a really enjoyable read. I'll be reading the sequel to see what happens next, and fans of action/adventure novels that don't mind some blood and gore should check this one out.
Out June 25, 2013
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC (via ALA Midwinter) in return for an honest review
Last Friday I finished my last year of high school, and today I graduate, so since I've been such a terrible admin the past few weeks thanks to all of the things I had to do. It's been a crazy 12 years of school, and this fall I start College, which I'm equally excited and freaked out about! For you I've gathered up 6 ARCs that I think fit the idea of "school's out". All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter to win! (Please no international entries [Canada okay] seeing as postage is NUTS, but if you live outside of the US and have a friend or family member that lets you use their mail box feel free to enter!).
Pack one: WATER
I've found it really hard to go to school if you're under water, so pack one includes two books that have teenage characters not in school because of something water-related.
Pack two: POST APOCALYPTIC
It's also really hard to go to school when society is in shambles, so pack two includes two books where teenage characters can't go to school because modern-society has broken down and they have to fight for their lives.
In these last two books school is still in the picture, but in one it will kill you and in the other the characters run away. That leaves you with high hopes for the education system of the future, doesn't it?
Earlier this year I read Kasie's debut novel, Pivot Point, and I just adored it. When I read about this book I knew I had to have it because, let's face it, the synopsis sounded ADORABLE and it was right up my alley in terms of cute contemporary books. The fact that I just started it this afternoon should say something about how much I enjoyed it. Recently I've been reading a lot of New Adult books, and while I enjoy them I think there's something to be said about a book that's just about two teenagers who meet and like each other. Being a teenager myself I would be very happy if I found a cute guy that liked me for me and then did something about it. Kasie's books are so drastically different but the one thing they have in common is cute boys. She writes some GREAT cute boys. If She could write me a boyfriend I would be very pleased. This was one of those contemporary novels that doesn't deal with harsh stuff, so it's more along the lines of Stephanie Perkins, but that doesn't mean that it's not a good book. I think that everyone can use a good cute book every now and then, and with this book being good, cute, and released in paperback right away I don't think you can go wrong with it. The main character is super snarky, which I totally love, and there's the requisite problem at home/with family. For me this is just one of those feel good books that you read when you're having an off day and you want to feel all fuzzy inside. As much as I can't wait for Kasie to write the sequel to Pivot Point and continue writing fantasy I really hope that she also continues writing contemporary because she's gifted at writing both. Fans of Stephanie Perkins and Rachel Cohn/David Levithan will just eat this book up, and I can't say I wouldn't be happy to see these characters later-on, because they're just so darn cute!
Out July 2, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Kasie for providing me with an ARC of this book (via a giveaway) in return for an honest review
I heard about this book quite some time ago, and when I read the summary I knew I just had to have it. In my opinion there isn't enough horror in the YA age group, and to see one that was a debut got me really excited. Before I started the book I thought it was one thing, and now that I've finished it I have to admit I'm not entirely sure what it is. The one thing for sure I'm positive about is that it's NOT realistic. The back/summary of the book leads you to believe that it's more of a realist horror novel, along the lines of Gretchen McNeil's Ten, but that's not what it is. It has more of a Nancy Holder feel to it, and while that's not a bad thing it's not what I was expecting to read. Having just read the last word I can say that I am equal parts pleased, confused, and somewhat disappointed, if that makes any sense at all. First I'll talk about the things that I really enjoyed. One, the poems at the beginning of each...I'm not sure what to call them, chapters maybe? I also enjoyed how there were different sections, and that each one had a title. The other thing I enjoyed was the mystery aspect of the story. That being said the mystery aspect also was one of those things that I ended up disliking as well. That may not make another sense, but let's see if I can explain. I'm a huge fan of mystery books, and I'm a huge fan of waiting until the very end of a book to reveal the whole story. But I'm also a firm believer that there are some things that the readers need to know before, and things that the reader can find out on the way. I'm not sure if Kate really hit that perfect ratio. In all honesty I'm still left going "I'm not entirely sure what I just read and if it really all made sense in the end." I enjoyed the book overall, the mystery, the intrigue, the fact that the plot seemed to be wholly original, but on the downside I didn't get a huge sense of closure and I'm still not entirely sure what happened in the end. In the end I would recommend this book, but it's one of those books you have to be wary of, because you either will enjoy it or you'll pick it up and go "what the hell is this?". It's pitched as Sara Shepard meets Stephen King, and while I haven't read Sarah's books I have read one of Stephen's and it is very much like that one in a sense. Before you buy I would highly recommend that you read the first 30 pages, but if you enjoy those pages go for it. Hopefully the author will write more books, and I look forward to reading those, and asking her a few questions about this one.
Out June 11, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.