Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ALA Day 3 Recap: More Signings, Scandals and Texas

Before I start posting reviews again (lol), I thought I'd go ahead and recap the last day (at least for me) of ALA. 1 Cynthia down (shame on you for wanting to spend time with your husband!) and goals to be met! So, the 30 minutes before they open the doors to the exhibits are probably the longest 30 minutes ever. You know what's in there so patience wears a bit thin.

Did I mention that Jen was sporting her Girls in the Stacks shirt? Check her out:

Shibby! And, if you don't follow me on Twitter, here's a pic of Greg and me:

Anywho, when the doors finially opened, we were off. Sunday had a TON of signings so the day consisted a lot of waiting in lines. The first signing we went to was Carolyn Mackler's and Jay Asher's line, where they signed copies of The Future of US. Take a gander at this line. Can you see where it ends? I was there, and I couldn't even see the end of the line!

Luckily, we didn't have to wait too long. And while in line, we hung out with Jess from Gone With The Words, where we laughed and recapped each other's experience thus far. We finally got to the front of the line, met with these amazing people...

then went to wait in line for a copy of CROSSED. And because you know I hate being last in line, we waited for over an hour, lol. No worries, while waiting, I met Bailey from IB Book Blogging. While Jen was off hunting books for us, I talked with Bailey and her parents, discussing food (because food is the most important thing when traveling), shopping and of course, books!

At one point, Jen stood in line for me, so I went hunting for goodies, and you won't believe who was signing:

GAIL CARRIGER!!! This lady has a fierce sense of style. Sadly, they did not have copies of Heartless, but I did grab Jen and myself signed copies of Blameless. GIGGIDY!

Before I knew it, they were handing out copies of CROSSED. SCORE! I think I was #20, so I didn't have to wait long, but I heard from a little birdie that someone stole 3 boxes (yes, BOXES) of CROSSED arcs. Whether this is true or whether they were misplaced, I have to say one thing: INSANE! If stolen, who ever did it is a real jerk. I mean, what are you going to do with 3 boxes of CROSSED arcs? Build a CROSSED fort? Luckily, the awesome publishers at Penguin got everyone's address who didn't get a copy and promised to mail them one. I swear, these women are patient, kind and freakin' rock my socks off!

Now, I did say scandalS, so I must tell you about this one. Everyone at ALA wanted a copy of Shattered Souls, but sadly, there were none to give. Totally understandable, right? Someone stole, STOLE, the display copy of Shattered Souls! Can you believe that? Some people are just terrible. Now, back to our scheduled program.

Next up, we waited in line for A.S. King to sign our copies of Everybody Sees The Ants. She then told us that after writing this book, she must swim in a pool every morning. I definitely have to read this book to figure out why. Sadly, I did not get a picture with her, but I did take a picture with the fantabulous author of the Evernight series...

CLAUDIA GRAY!!! Love her! We talked about Balthazar, upcoming projects and her stay in New Orleans. So excited to read Fateful (Butler...that's for you, Jen!).

Since it was close to 2, and my boyfriend had already checked out of the hotel, plus loaded the car with all my books (he really is an angel), it was time for me to say my goodbyes. I was really sad to go, but duty calls. While waiting for my boyfriend, I did get to go to Sara Zarr's signing where I snagged Jen and I signed copies of How To Save A Life. My friend Catie, who lives in Salt Lake City, runs into Sara at book signings all the time and I have to say, Sara is as sweet as Catie says. So, SCORE!

Jen was waiting in line to meet Maggie Stiefvater (SO JEALOUS I DIDN'T STAY FOR THAT!), who's line was intense, and I waited with her until my boyfriend came. We said our goodbyes and I was off to a little place I'd like to call...

home. To be honest, we've been home for a good 5 days now, and I have yet to unpack. I did, however, begin to organize my books! What can I say, I'm a bookaholic, and I love it!

Here's a pick of my goodies from Sunday. The left column are all the ones I got signed:

And that wraps up my trip. Special thanks to all the bloggers, publishers, my boyfriend and anyone else I forgot who made this trip truly memorable. Be sure to enter my ALA giveaway, where you can win a copy of The Near Witch and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. From what I hear, you definitely don't want to miss out on these!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ALA Day 2 Recap: Signings, Sightings and a Giveaway!

After a nice evening out, it was time to regroup and devise a plan of attack. This was our first full day at ALA, with loads of awesome signings and certain MUST HAVE books being released. Advice: If you attend any sort of conference whatsoever, make sure to work in teams. If I didn't have Jen, Cynthia and Christin, I don't know what I'd do. We had each other's backs! Word.

Doors opened...and? PANDEMONIUM!

We grabbed as many books as possible, unloaded at bag check, then headed off to our first signing with Laini Taylor, author of Lips Touch Three Times and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Laini had awesome pink hair and is just such a sweetheart. And guess who we ran into? JAY ASHER!!! I couldn't believe it. Jay Asher waits in lines, too! He also said he saw my tweet about almost peeing myself when we ran into him the first day. How embarrassing!

Then, we headed off to our next signing:

JULIE KAGAWA!!! Cynthia and I were lucky enough to be first in line, so we had a nice little chat with Julie and the publishers, discussing amazing new releases, what we're looking forward to the most, as well as a sneak peak at the cover of The Iron Knight WITH the synopsis! Sadly, due to prior commitments and sheer torture, we were not allowed to read the summary. *tear*

Next up, more books and unloading. We were all pretty exhausted and very much looking forward to another signing, so we decided to ask the awesome (VERY AWESOME) Penguin reps if there was a line for the signing yet. There wasn't, so yet again, first in line for...

BRENNA YOVANOFF! If you ever have a chance to go to one of her signings, please do. She is an angel!

Moving on, we got our copies of The Replacement and The Space Between signed and asked if there was a line for Lola and the Boy Next Door yet. The Penguin rep looked stunned yet pleased, especially since it was just for a book, not a signing, AND another hour and half till they released the ARCs. It didn't take long till this line was so long, you couldn't see the end. Don't believe me?

While we waited, every now and then, one of us would get up, scout the book scene and grab copies of various books. Sadly, while we were waiting, we missed the Cassandra Clare and Ellen Hopkins signings. Ahh, the price of Lola!

I had to use the little girl's room at one time and ran into David Leviathan and Maggie Stiefvater. Again, would've peed myself had I not just used the restroom. I hugged them both, was told of Maggie's sore throat (poor dear) and went back to my partners in crime to recap the story.

More time passes and...


We grabbed a quick lunch, rested a little more and then stormed the conference. We walked by the Simon and Schuster booth to see if they put out anymore goodies and look who we ran into:

ELLEN HOPKINS!!! I love her! She even offered and was kind enough to sign our books. During the whole fangirling blackout, I noticed a line was forming behind me. I felt so bad because she just finished her signing, just to do another signing, lol. But she said she didn't mind. Ellen, you're awesome and a trooper!

After that, we were walking around and ran into Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff! I wanted to hug Maggie again (I have some serious problems), but she was busy talking to one of the publishers, so I ended up chatting a bit with Brenna. We talked about books we're looking forward to and New Orleans in general. Then, Maggie joined us, we hugged it out, and she asked me if I grabbed a copy of The Scorpio Races yet. But of course, new best friend! That was the first thing we asked for, lol. Apparently it's her AND Brenna's favorite book that she's written so far. Umm...totally excited about The Scorpio Races now! :D

After this, we walked over to the Egmont booth, where our new Egmont BFF was preparing for Mette Ivie Harrison's signing. Tris and Izzie looks like an amazing book and Mette is a doll. She even gave us these awesome necklaces. Giggidy!

More walking, more scouting, more books, and finally, the day was over. Tis was an awesome, exhausting but fantabulous day. We ended the night with amazing drinks and food at Deanie's Seafood. YUMMY!!!

Check out my day 2 stash:

And now, it's GIVEAWAY TIME! For those who could not attend ALA, this giveaway is for you. One winner will win this little prize pack right here:

*an ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
*an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Jay Asher waits in lines, too!)
*Beads I caught on Bourbon Street (easy there, I didn't show anything or do anything to get them!)

*Comment below about anything I've mentioned. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you (i.e. email address)!
*Since I'm very poor right now, this giveaway is only open to US participants. If you are outside the US, but have a US mailing address I can send the prize to, feel free to enter.
*Giveaway ends July 12th.

Good luck, everyone! Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go pass out now!


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Monday, June 27, 2011

ALA Day 1 Recap: Goodies and Good Times

Hi, folks! Sorry I haven't posted anything in...well, forever, but I've been at the ALA Conference in NOLA for the past few days. Let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to go to any sort of conference, whether it's ALA, TLA or BEA, do it. While it's fun getting books and goodies, the best part is meeting/hanging out with all the amazing bloggers out there, especially the ones you know and talk to, but have never really met. I LOVE Y'ALL SOMETHING FIERCE!!!

Now, after a long 6 hour drive, we decided to explore the city. New Orleans has a lot of culture and delicious seafood!

After spending 1.5 days hanging out with my super awesome boyfriend, it was time to get down to business and head over to the convention center. On Friday, the convention center was only open for 2 hours (5:30-7:30), but that was more than enough time to do some serious damage. While exploring with Cynthia from A Blog About Nothing, we ran into this guy right here:

JAY ASHER!!! Our conversation pretty much went like this:

Me: *looks at the Harper books/booths* AHHH, JAY ASHER!!! I LOVE YOU!!!
Him: *smiles politely*
Me: Can I get a picture with you?
Him: Of course!
Me: I think I'm going to pee myself.
Him: Please don't.

I pretty much destroyed whatever dignity I had left. Little did I know, this would not be my last Jay (that's right, we're on a first name basis) encounter.

So, moving on. Since we had the Egmont launch party to attend, we left the convention center at 6:30 and started getting ready. Let me tell you, Egmont throws one heck of a classy party. We're talking free drinks, yummy snacks and an awesome author who made me want to run home and immediately read her book. Isla J. Bick is the author of Ashes, a post apocalyptic novel about a girl named Alex who has to find a way to survive in this new world and avoid "The Changed." Did I mention there's a girl named Lena in the book? Sweetsauce!! Special thanks to Isla and her publicists for their generosity, champagne with strawberries, and sheer awesomeness. We had a great time!

(That's Christin from Between The Covers, Jen from Novel Thoughts, Isla, and me with, yes, a giant pink flower on my head.

After that, it was dinner time, and we wanted some GOOD non-seafood food. Thus, we stumbled upon Leonardo's, an awesome Italian restaurant with at least a dozen tvs, playing various Italian inspired movies (The Godfather, Scarface, etc). And the food? Delicioso!

After that, we were all pretty much spent, so it was time to head back to the hotel, call it a D-A-Y, and rest up for the next day. Now, I know what you're thinking, "DANG IT, WHAT DID YOU GET FROM ALA?!" Well, after blacking out for 15 minutes on the exhibition floor, I finally came to and realized I had 2 huge, very full bags of books to lug back to the hotel. Thank goodness for cabs! Want to see a picture?

Do you?

Okay! Here is a pic of my Day 1 stash:

I'm definitely super excited about all these books, especially The Scorpio Races, Variant, Smoke & Bones, Every You Every Me, Dear Bully, Life Eternal, Juliet Immortal, Eve and Glow.

That's it for day one! Stay tuned for my day 2 recap, and quite possibly, a giveaway of some sort. LOVE Y'ALL!!!

(P.S. I tried editing a lot of these pictures, however, photobucket is not being very friendly and is posting the "before editing" photo instead. Sorry Christin, you're fettuccine pic was cropped b/c photobucket is cruel:( )

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases our most anticipated books. This week, my pick is The Predicteds by Christine Seifert.

Summary:Daphne is the new girl in town and is having trouble fitting in. At least she has Jesse... sort of. He wants to be more than "just friends," but there's something he's not telling her about his past. Something dangerous. When a female student is brutally attacked, police turn to PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for drug use, pregnancy, and violent behavior, to solve the case. As the witch hunt ensues, Daphne is forced to question her feelings for Jesse-and what she will do if her first love turns out to be a killer.

Why I Can't Wait:At first, I didn't know whether or not I liked the cover. After taking a closer look, I have to say that I really, really like it. I love how it's broken down into pixels and still leaves a bit of mystery as to what the book is about. Though the summary is short and reminds me of the movie Minority Report, it sounds like something I'll really enjoy. I love a good mystery book! Excited, much? You betcha!

Expected publication: September 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Uncommon Criminals

Title: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Expected publication: June 21st 2011 by Hyperion Book
Source: Copy sent for review from publisher

Summary:"Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules."

Thoughts:Uncommon Criminals is a fantastic addition to what is now quickly becoming one of my favorite series. All your favorite characters, Kat, Hale (EEP!), Gabrielle and Simon are back and bigger than ever. The stakes are higher, the romance more juicy and the action? Wow. It makes me want to go out and create my own heist society. Are you in?

Kat technically really isn't a thief. After all, she only steals things that belong to others and returns them to their rightful owners. Doesn't that make her more of an advocate for the innocent? Not long after reuniting with Hale, a lady approaches Kat with a new job, stealing the infamous Cleopatra Emerald. After the fiasco with the Henley, this one couldn't be as difficult, right? Wrong. No one has seen the bloody jewel in ages and to top it off, it's cursed. Everyone warns Kat of the risks, but what kind of hero would Kat be if she didn't at least give it a shot?

Though I didn't love this book as much as The Heist Society, I still found it to be a very refreshing and entertaining read. It's a superb mix of action, romance and excitement that will have you up way past bedtime. I love how much the characters have grown in this novel, especially Kat and Hale. They're no longer rookies and have the personalities to match.

Hale. Oh, how I love Hale. I love his sarcasm, quirkiness and heart. Who said thieves couldn't have hearts of gold? The sexual tension between Kat and Hale is just the perfect amount of frustration and anticipation. "Hale's here. But then he inched closer- to her and to a line that couldn't be uncrossed- and Kat felt her heart change rhythms." Page 8...and that's only the beginning!

Fans of The Heist Society will be pleased with Uncommon Criminals. There are plenty of twists and turns, surprises and revelations. After all, isn't that what you look for in a good novel?

Rating: 4/5

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I'm really excited about a lot of the books I got this week. Ch-ch-check it out!

*What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (signed! Expect a giveaway soon!)

Trades (Thanks, Katie!):
*Want To Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman
*Passion by Lauren Kate

For Review:
*Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik
*The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

***Special thanks to Katie from Katie's Book Blog and HarperTeen!***

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Sometimes It Happens

Title: Sometimes It Happens
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Expected publication: July 12th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Source:ARC from Around The World Tours

Summary: "On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think..."

Thoughts:Holy moly, I really didn't think I'd love this book as much as I did! Don't get me wrong, I knew I'd like it, but wow. I literally inhaled this book.

Sometimes It Happens has everything I love about contemporary YA. There's romances, backstabbing, cheating boyfriends and soooo much chemistry! I really, really enjoyed how the chapters alternate from the first day of Hannah's senior year, to the beginning of the summer, back to the first day, and so on till the day before their senior year. With the way each chapter ends, it'll have you reading and reading till the very end. Really, it's that addicting!

And Noah. Oh, sweet Noah, how I adore you! He's not only a great friend, but a great boyfriend. I felt bad for Ava, yet at the same time, I couldn't help but cheer for Hannah and Noah. They were just so darn cute together! While I don't condone cheating (Heaven forbid!), I must say, sometimes it does happen. One thing's for sure, I will never look at Boost (yes, the drink) the same way.

I've already preordered my copy of Sometimes It Happens, and I recommend you do the same. Lauren Barnholdt is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. If you're a fan of Simone Elkeles or Jennifer Echols, I recommend this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Summary: "NEWSOUL

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.


Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?


Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? "

Why I Can't Wait:Doesn't it sound amazing? Incarnate is the first book in the Newsouls trilogy, and I'm excited to see what it's all about. Plus, I love the cover. It's a little "Fragile Eternity-Melissa Marr", but I still really like it. Is it just me or do Harper authors get the best covers? ;)

Expected publication: Winter 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Hourglass

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Expected publication: June 14th 2011 by Egmont USA
Source:Arc from publisher for review

Summary: "One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut."

Thoughts: When I first started reading for pleasure (again), one of the first books I picked up was The Time Traveler's Wife. Oh, how easily I fell in love with the writing, the romance, the heartache and the characters. Since then, I've been looking for a book that not only captures my heart the way The Time Traveler's Wife did, but also hooks me into the story line. Well folks, I think I found that book. Hourglass is a sensational debut novel that trapped me into the story within the first few pages.

I adored Emerson and truly had a soft spot for her. She's so strong, but has this softness to her that can only come from someone who has lost so much. The mystery behind why she sees ripples intrigued me and drew me furthur into the story. I also loved the relationship she had with her brother, Thomas, and his wife Dru. So many stories nowadays put their main character in these tragic, horrific living conditions with even worst parenting. While the death of Emerson's parents is incredibly heart breaking, I'm glad she still had her brother and his sweet, kind wife to help guide her through life. Oh, and her bff Lily? LOVED her!

Then, there's the love interest (since I'm a boy crazy book whore). Michael is not only gorgeous, but also charismatic, brave and oh so swoon-worthy. The chemistry between Michael and Emerson is undeniable, however, the forbidden aspect of their relationship became so infuriating, I just wanted to throw my book against the wall. Since Michael is hired by Emerson's brother as her consultant, they have a strictly professional relationship, though clearly, they both want something more. Much more. Needless to say, Michael will have you swooning one minute and frustrated the next. A nice (yet very frustrating) little combination, if you ask me.

Though I loved the characters, one of my favorite things about the book are the time traveling scenes. I love the bits and pieces of the past, catching up with the future, but conflicting with the present. Each piece is a puzzle, so readers, be sure to pay attention. It was quite entertaining when one of the characters would talk about how the other traveled to the past and spoke to them/gave them advice when they were younger. I know, it sounds a bit confusing, but I promise you, this will all make sense once you read Hourglass.

There's also the added bonus of why Michael is being so secretive about the Hourglass and then, what is really going on behind the scenes. Time traveling is just a perk. There's a lot more going on, and I can't tell you without being spoilery, but it is GOOD!

Hourglass offers readers so much more than just a romance novel with a nice little twist. There's mysery, intrigue, danger, suspense, jaw dropping secrets, and so much heartache, you'll think your heart burst into flames. At times, the story felt a little drawn out, but the details and emotions the author displays in her debut novel made it very much worth while. I ate up Hourglass and demand seconds. It's probably one of my favorite debuts yet! I really hope there's a sequel because I can't stand the idea of the story ending at just this. Bravo to Myra McEntire. You wrote a fantabulous novel, and I'm dying to know what comes next!

Rating: 4.5/5

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Boy howdy, did I have a great week. It was full of surprises and excitement. First off, for all those who will have The Dark Days of Supernatural tour stopping in your town or a town near you, I highly recommend going. Tis full of good times, possible spoilers and amazingness!

Next, onto what I got in my mailbox this week. I'm super, uber excited about a lot of these books!

Borrowed from my BBB (Best Blog Buddy), Karen, from FWIW:
*Enthralled antho edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (Jeri Smith-Ready's verse short is amazing and Melissa's Mortal Winter King stories are fantabulous!)
*Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (loved The Duff so I'm definitely looking forward to this!)

For Review:
*Haunting Violet by Alexandra Harvey (stunning cover!)
*Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater (almost done, and I gotta say, it's intense)

Random Acts of Kindness/Fun Finds:
*Between The Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

***Special thanks to Karen at FWIW, Kate from Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Jen from I Read Banned Books***

Feel free to comment below and leave links to your IMM posts. I'll try my best to visit/comment on as many as possible. Have a great rest of your weekend, y'all!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: The Day Before

Title: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Expected publication: June 28th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Source: Arc courtesy of Around The World Tours

Summary: "Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.
Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last."

Thoughts:Seven days. That's how long I had to read The Day Before before I sent it off to the next person. One day. That's how long it took me to read every single word, sentence and page in this stunning novel. Really, it's THAT good. Every time I tried to put the book down and go about my daily activities, I simply couldn't. I had to know what happened next. Since I finished it in a day, but couldn't make it to the Post Office for at least four, what did I do? Reread it of course, only this time, I took my time. I enjoyed Lisa's beautiful, poetic writing and felt the emotions behind her words. I actually got teary-eyed a few times.

This story is about a girl named Amber. Her life is spinning out of control, so she decides to escape to the beach. One thing she didn't expect to do was meet Cade. He's dreamy, mysterious, and well, a little bit perfect. The thing is, Amber can tell Cade is hiding something from her. There's darkness behind his eyes, the same darkness that is reflects from Amber's. The question is, should she ruin their perfect day by asking him what's wrong and risking losing him or just enjoy try to enjoy the day?

This book is the best kind of roller coaster! It's heartfelt, touching, sweet, and charming. It's everything I look for in a good book. And Cade? As far as swoon-worthy boys go, he's pretty freaking amazing. He might not say much, but his good natured, boyish charm is easy to fall for. I wish I had a Cade of my own. We would share salt water taffy and jelly beans and build sandcastles, oh my!

All in all, if you're a Lisa Schroeder fan, The Day Before will not disappoint. And if you haven't had the chance to read any of her previous books, now is the time to start! I honestly think this is my favorite of her books thus far. What can I say? Her writing keeps getting better and better.

Rating: 5/5

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednsday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases each blogger's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is Passion by Lauren Kate.

**If you have not read the first two novels (Fallen AND Torment), I recommend you stop reading now. The summary might be spoilery.**

Summary:"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever."

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series hits stores Tuesday 14th June 2011.

Why I Can't Wait:The Fallen series is quite possibly one of the most frustrating, yet romantic series I've read in a very long time. I love the chemistry and relationship between Luce and Daniel. Heck, it's the main reason I keep coming back. After reading Torment, I'm dying to know more about Luce and Daniel's past lives together and how it will affect their future. Please let them be together...please let them be together. Sadly, I'm positive their future and what's to come is something that will not be answered till next year when Rapture, the final book in the series, concludes. I'm just hoping this book will not leave it's readers with a huge cliffhanger, but also know Lauren Kate loves those cliffhangers.

Release Date:June 14th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Giveaway: Win a copy of Ruby Red

Summary:"Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust."

Doesn't that sound awesome? If the summary hasn't sold you yet, check out the trailer:

Are you sold yet? Good, because thanks to Tara from Zeitghost Media, I am giving away a copy of Ruby Red to one lucky reader.

To enter, you must fill out THIS FORM. This giveaway is only open to US and CA participants. The winner will be selected on June 15th, will be notified via email and will only have 24 hours to respond before another winner is selected.

Be sure to check out Kerstin Gier's Macmillian page, where you can find updates on Ruby Red, as well as excerpts from the story.

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Review : Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)

Title: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Expected publication: June 7th 2011 by HarperTeen

Summary: "2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time."

Thoughts:Absolutely hilarious. Sarah Mlynowski does it again, spinning a brilliant story about all the crazy things that can happen if you just take your parents and any parental figures out of the picture. I laughed. I cried (due to laughing so hard). I fell in love. Then I laughed some more.

Ten Things We Did is simply a quick, fun novel that you pick up when you need a good laugh or an escape from reality. Each chapter breaks down the ten things April and her friends really shouldn't have done while their parents were out of town. Some of the stunts are rather crazy, out there, and yes, unbelievable, but that's just what makes this book so fantabulous. They're things other people wouldn't have come up with. The creativity, plus uniqueness behind the book is what makes it so special.

While I adored almost every character in this book, one of my absolute favorite characters is Vi. She is April's best friend and is just doll. She's honest, smart, upfront and not afraid to be who she is. She tries to protect April as much as possible, but sometimes that can blow up in your face. And at one point in the book, it does.

Ten Things We Did isn't all fun and games. There will be scenes that might break your heart, mixed in with a little bit of teen angst and topped off with a teaspoon of family dilemmas. Instead of all these things taking away from the story, it actually makes it that much more charming. Ten Things We Did also touches some serious issues such as the consequences of having unprotected sex. While it's a bit of a controversial subject, it's still something that needs to be addressed, especially to teens.

Now, onto swoon-worthy boys. I have to say that I'm definitely a Hudson fan. Not only is he funny, he's an overall good guy.. I love that Hudson is the person everyone goes to when they need money, but at the same time, no one knows where he gets all his money from. The mystery is both funny and alluring. For some reason, Noah (April's boyfriend) never appealed to me, but Hudson? He had me at Never Have I Ever.

All in all, I highly recommend checking out Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). It's a great summer read, especially if you're planning on spending any time by the pool or on the beach. Due to the sexual nature of this book, I would recommend this for older teens (15+). After reading this novel, I'm definitely checking out Sarah Mlynowski's other books. If they're half as good as this one, then it must be made of win!

Rating: 4/5

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekly Writing Contest: Divergent

Inkpop is hosting yet another amazing Weekly Writing Contest, and this one is based on the debut novel Divergent by Veronica Roth.

*Straight from the inkpop forum*

"Honest, Brave, Selfless, Peaceful or True, those are the only type of people you can be in the world of DIVERGENT and you can only be ONE! So what happens when a character, like Beatrice Prior, finds themselves embodying more than one of these persona? Who are you when you are not what society expects you to be?

That is the challenge! Write a short story or poem that explores a character that does not quite fit into the world around them. Like Divergent you can create a dystopian environment where everyone is supposed to act a certain way or you can explore a world much closer to your own, like a high school where someone just doesn't quite fit in."

Two writers will be selected by Veronica Roth and will win not only a copy of Divergent, but also three (that's right, THREE) other books of their choice from the HarperTeen catalog.

Not a writer? That's okay because two commenters will be chosen at random and will also win a copy of Divergent, as well as three other HarperTeen books of their choice.

For more information about the writing contest and how to enter, please check out inkpop. Good luck, everyone!

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I'm really excited about the books I got this week!

For Review:
*The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon (Just finished it. LOVED IT!)
*Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter
*Forgotten by Cat Patrick
*Spoied by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

*Graveminder by Melissa Marr (got it signed!)
*Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
*Teeth : Vampire Tales (antho, with stories from Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Melissa Marr and more!) by Ellen Datlow (got Melissa to sign this one, too! :D)

And that's all folks! Feel free to leave links to your IMMs below, and I'll try to comment on as many as possible. :)

**Special thanks to inkpop, HarperTeen, Disney Hyperion, and Little Brown/Poppy**

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

June Giveaway

It's that time, kiddies! June has some amazing releases, and what better way to celebrate than to host a giveaway? I mean, can you say BEACH READS?! YEEHAW!

Alright, so here we go...

*One lucky winner will receive any June YA release of their choice! Thanks to my twitter buddies for helping me find a list of June YA releases. I believe it's accurate, but if it's not, feel free to let me know! Alas, this is what you COULD win:

*She Loves You, She Loves You Not.. by Julie Anne Peters
*The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen
*Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
*Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
*The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier

*Forgiven by Janet Fox
*Forgotten by Cat Patrick

*The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
*Cruel Love (Privilege) by Kate Brian
*Hereafter by Tara Hudson
*My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
*Possession by Elana Johnson
*Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern
*He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
*Spirits of the Noh (Waking) by Thomas Randall
*Blood Red Road by Moira Young

*What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell
*Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
*The Quicksilver Faire: The Scions of Shadow Trilogy (The Faire Folk Saga) by Gillian Summers

*Displacement by Thalia Chaltas
*Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi
*Crush Control byJennifer Jabaley
*Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
*What Would My Cell Phone Do? by Micol Ostow

*My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star by Joyce Raskin

*Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
*Dead End by Jason Myers
*The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller
*The Demon's Surrender (Demon's Lexicon #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
*Brother/Sister by Sean Olin
*From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die) by Katie Alender
*Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess
*The Chamber of Five by Michael Harmon
*All the Things You Are by Courtney Sheinmel
*Paper Covers Rock byJenny Hubbard
*The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
*Sisterhood Everlasting: A Novel (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) by Ann Brashares
*Belladonna by Mary Finn
*Passion by Lauren Kate

*Dead Rules by Randy Russell
*Uncommon Criminals (A Heist Society Novel)by Ally Carter
*Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson
*A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
*Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer
*The Slice (Killer Pizza) by Greg Taylor
*Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
*Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
*The Detention Club by David Yoo

*Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel

*Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
*Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
*The Siren's Cry (Otherworldlies) by Jennifer Anne Kogler
*The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
*Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

*Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
*The Ascension: A Super Human Clash by Michael Carroll

How To Enter:

*You must fill out THIS FORM .

*You must be a follower (new or old).

*Extra entries will be reward to not only those who spread the word about the June Giveaway, but also tweet my BB, Karen, the following message: "@teamsheltie Mother Goose, will you read me a bedtime story? #JuneGiveaway"

*Is this giveaway international? It sure is, provided the Book Depository delivers to your realm.

*The June Giveaway will end July 1st at midnight (CST). Please give me at least a week to add up all the entries and select a winner. The winner will be announced on my blog, contacted via email and will have 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected.

Happy Summer, and good luck!

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: The Eternal Sea

Title: The Eternal Sea (Everlasting #2)
Author: Angie Frazier
Expected publication: June 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press

Summary:Romance and adventure are just around the corner . . .

After the thrilling journey that led Camille through the dangerous discovery of love, secrets, and a magical stone that grants immortality, Camille has everything she wants. She's escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home, to San Francisco, Camille learns that the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Oscar's could be in grave danger.

Thoughts:Holy freaking crap! Please excuse my language, but I wasn't nearly prepared for this novel as I thought I was. The synopsis does not do this book any justice! Wow, not to sound like a raving fan girl, but I absolutely loved every single minute of The Eternal Sea.

This fabulous sequel takes place right where Everlasting ends. I thought I'd be confused or possibly lost, since it's been quite some time since I last read Everlasting. Luckily, the author not only recaps past events, but also updates you on each character's whereabouts. Instead of a happily ever after, both Camille and Oscar are left with the aftermath of their decisions and actions. As you know, in Everlasting, Camille's heart makes a decision that not only affects her, but also Oscar, Randall and, well, just about everyone.

Camille thought that as long as she has Oscar, nothing can go wrong. Sadly, this is not the case. Oscar is not only being distant, but also hurtful. To top things off, guess who shows up out of nowhere? You've got it! Randall, Camille's fiance whom she was hoping to escape. As if that wasn't enough drama, the curse of Umandu is back. Instead of heading back to San Francisco, the crew must now embark on a quest to Egypt. The stakes are higher, and the sea even more dangerous. In the end, what would you risk for love?

I honestly didn't think Angie would take this story to such a dark, yet lavish place. One thing I'll say is I just love the way she writes and crafts her novels. There's just a certain elegance and grace to them that you normally don't see in YA books. Her stories remind me of a fairy tale. A twisted fairy tale, but still a fairy tale.

Romance wise, I have to say that this novel broke my heart in the beginning, started to mend it again somewhere along the line, then broke it all over again. I can't tell you how many times I was on the brink of tears. These poor, poor characters. Every single one of them is suffering in their own way, but no more so than (in my opinion) Camille. I mean, this girl just can't catch a break. By the end of the book, I was sobbing like a new born baby. I haven't read such a tragic, yet beautiful ending since Maggie Stiefvater's Linger.

Overall, if your looking for a lush, captivating, alluring novel, filled with adventures on the sea and darkness in the horizon, I recommend checking out The Eternal Sea. I'll admit, I wasn't too keen on Everlasting, but after reading The Eternal Sea, I'm adding Angie Frazier on my list of must read authors.

Rating:4.5/5 Stars

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases each blogger's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston.

Summary:"Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never."

Why I Can't Wait:Cover lust, much? I just love the colors and basically everything about the cover. It's stunning, to say the least. After Lesley's Wondrous Strange trilogy ended (*tear*), I've been anticipating what will come next from this amazing author. Once Every Never sounds like a unique, interesting, thrilling read that I'm sure I'll love. If it's half as good as any of the Wondrous Strange books, then it has to be made of win. SQUEE!

Release Date:The release says June 14th 2011 by Penguin Canada, but I can't find the US release. If you know, please do tell me. :)

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