Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features everyone's most anticipated books. This week, my pick is As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott.

Summary (From Goodreads): "What if you woke up and didn't know where you were?

What if you didn't know who you were?

And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be?"


Also, someone posted a glimpse at As I Wake from the Dutton catelog. I couldn't really read it, but here's the link if you want to check it out.

Now, Why I Can't Wait: Are you kidding me? I love Elizabeth Scott's books! They're one-day reads that not only excite me, but also always have me asking for more. Plus, check out that cover. Gorgeous much? I'm sensing a bit of mysterious, and dark theme here with also a bit of agony. After reading that tiny glimpse from the Dutton catalog, it makes me want to read it even more. WOOHOO, two new Elizabeth Scott books this year. Who's excited?! ME, ME, ME!

Expected publication: September 15th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile



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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review : Born At Midnight


Title: Born At Midnight (Shadow Falls #1)
Author: C.C. Hunter
Published: March 29th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: ARC, courtesey of Ellz Reads
Buy From: Amazon (and a sneak peak!)

Summary: "Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen… One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…"

Thoughts: Like books about summer camp? What if they had a paranormal twist? Would you like that? Well, then you should probably pick up a copy of Born At Midnight because this book has it all.

Being a teenager is never easy, especially when you're a typically good girl who gets caught at the wrong party, at the wrong time. So when Kylie's mom sends her off to a summer camp for troubled teens, Kylie is (needless to say) less than thrilled.

During the bus ride there, she notices that these kids look...well, freakish. That's probably because they're all paranormal beings, and Shadow Falls is a camp for paranormal teens. The only thing every single camper has in common is that they're all born at midnight.

From werewolves to vampires
Plus witches and fae
A girl who doesn't know what she is
Oh boy, oh yay!

The camp holds other paranormal beings as well, but it didn't fit well in my nifty little poem, so I left them out. I guess you'll just have to read it to find out. Part of the allure (in my opinion) of Born At Midnight is trying to figure out what Kylie is. The camp counselors think they have an idea, but aren't too sure, especially since Kylie's parents are both humans. Without coming off spoiler, all I'll tell you is that what Kylie is involves ghosts and a whole mess of problems. The only thing that bothered me about Kylie (considering she's the leading lady) is how she kept telling herself and hoping that she was human when clearly she's not. I can see why she would wish that. She just wants to be a normal teenager, and who wouldn't want that? But at the same time, I wish she owned her paranormal heritage. I wanted her to spend more time finding out what she is rather than trying to fool herself into believing she's human.

Onto a different subject and my personal favorite one: boys. Okay, so technically you have three to choose from, but I really wouldn't count Kylie's ex-boyfriend, Trey. I mean, not only did he dump her because she wouldn't put out (how cliche!), but he's also human. ICK! Who wants a human boy when you can have, lets say, a werewolf? Lucas is an alpha werewolf, and oh so dreamy. Maybe it's his brooding nature or his protectiveness, but I easily fell for him. Too bad he's incredibly distant, unlike Derek (half fae), who makes it pretty apparent he likes Kylie. Needless to say, there's at least one boy in this book for everyone.

My only problem with Born At Midnight is the pacing. I'm not going to lie, but I put it down a few times, read something else, and then came back. Some of the chapters felt unnecessary and considering the ARC alone is 398 pages, could have been edited out. That's just my opinion though. I will say that halfway through the book, the pacing does pick up. Also, just because the pacing is slow from time to time doesn't mean the book isn't interesting. It's still an enjoyable read and has a unique concept involving paranormal beings.

Overall, Born At Midnight is a great debut novel for author C.C. Hunter (a native Texan!). I took pleasure in the characters, relished in the setting (HOUSTON! CAMP!), and delighted in mystery and action. I look forward to the next book in this series and would recommend it to YA/paranormal fans. I also recommend not giving up because of the pacing. There's a real treat inside if you just stick to it!

Rating:







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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through Her Eyes

As usual, Inkpop is hosting another amazing Weekly Writing Challenge. This one's theme is based around the upcoming novel, Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer.

Here's the theme: Through Her Eyes is about a girl named Tansy, who moves to a small town in Texas, only to find out that the previous tenant (Henry) died there 60 years earlier. Through photography and poetry, she finds herself mysteriously linked to Henry.

Photography captures a moment in time, and now it's your chance to step out of the present and back into the past. Write a poem, short story or essay about a photograph you would like to step into in order to enter that moment of time.

As always, there will be FOUR winners. Not a writer? That's okay. Two winners will be selected based on their writing entry and the other two will be based commenters! The winners will win a copy of Through Her Eyes, as well as THREE other HarperTeen books of your choice from the HarperTeen catalog.

For more details and where to enter, please click HERE, and follow the link to the Inkpop website. This challenge ends March 31st, so you better get cracking!

Special thanks to Inkpop for hosting another awesome writing challenge. Good luck everyone, and may the odds be ever in your favor.




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In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I didn't get much this week, but I'm really excited about the ones I did get. And wait till you see my IMM next week. I seriously love Texas Bloggers/Literary Lonestars!

For Review:
*Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan

Bought (there goes my book buying ban!):
*Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

Trades:
*His Eyes by Renee Carter

eBook For Review :

*Instructions For A Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson


***Special thanks to RP Teens and Sourcebooks***

That's it for this week's IMM. Feel free to leave links to your IMM posts below!


XOXO ,

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Prom & Prejudice


Title: Prom &Prejudice
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Published: January 1st 2011 by Point

Summary: "After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise. "

Thoughts: For fans of Pride and Prejudice and even fans of Bridget Jones's Diary, you must check out Prom & Prejudice. It's quirky, captivating and just an overall delightful read.

Since the author keeps the names of the characters exactly the same (with a few nickname twists) to those in Pride and Prejudice, it makes the book a little predictable. She even uses the settings of P&P, but spins it into something different. And though the storyline runs the same course as P&P, that doesn't mean it takes away from the story itself. Lizzie Bennett is the scholarship student at this fancy Longbourn Academy. The kids there are anything but nice, torturing the scholarship students till they drop out. Luckily, Lizzie's roommate, Jane, isn't like the other girls. They instantly become best friends, when Jane's long time crush returns from Europe, Jane drags Lizzie to a party. While there, Lizzie meets Will. From the start, they bump heads and just like in Pride and Prejudice, will Lizzie's pride and Will's prejudice get in the way of them falling in love?

My favorite character in the story, of course, is Will Darcy. Who doesn't love the brooding guy with a good heart? If you loved Mr. Darcy from P&P, you'll absolutely adore this younger, more modern version of Darcy. I love how the author unveils just a little bit about Will at a time. Needless to say, it made me want to finish the story in one sitting, just to know what happened to Will, and why he is the way he is.

My only grievance is the romance. I don't mean the lack of chemistry between the characters, but the actual romance behind the story. Something, and you'll know what once you read it, was missing. No, not booty. Ick! I mean something else. I won't go into details because I feel as though that might become borderline spoilery. To understand what I'm talking about, you're going to have to read it.

Overall, I found the story very enjoyable and entertaining. It's funny how you'll know how a story will play out, but still race to figure out what will happen next. And since I really liked Elizabeth's first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, I'm definitely putting her on my auto-buy list.

Rating:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It showcases the most anticipated books. This week, my pick is The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen.

Summary (from Trinity's website): "A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?"

Why I Can't Wait: Ok, I know the rule of thumb: Don't judge a book by it's cover. BUUUUUT I CAN'T HELP IT! I'm dying of cover lust here. After forcing myself to look away, I finally read the summary, and now I'm even more excited. I love stories that involve overcoming difficult/impossible obstancles to be or win over the one you love. Me likey. Me wanty!

You can also read the chapter, posted on Trinity's website HERE.

Release date: September 27th 2011


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review : Invincible Summer


Title: Invincible Summer
Author: Hannah Moscowitz
Expected publication: April 19th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Summary: "Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....

Not your typical beach read."


Thoughts: Where to start. I wanted to love this book. I really did, but it just didn't happen. From the pacing, to the character developement, to even the story line itself, Invincible Summer just fell a little (for lack of a better word) flat.

I had a few issues with not just some, but all of the relationships in the book, especially with Noah and Chase's relationship. Though brothers, their bond is just too odd for me. I understand loving and being close to your siblings, but they were TOO close. I especially felt this way when it came to their neighbor, Miranda. Plus, the way Chase always thinks about Noah and misses him, even though Noah has only been away a few hours or days? To me, this came off as borderline obessive and not very believable. Younger brothers look up to their older brothers all their life, but doesn't that "missing phase" end at puberty? I'm not a brother, but I have one, and I think I stopped missing him/following him around when I turned 7.

Something I did enjoy was how the book breaks down into 4 parts. It starts with Chase's 15th summer at the summer house and ends with his 18th. I love that and found this to be a very original concept. I just wish Chase progressed more as a character. At 18, he still felt like the same as he did when the book starts with him turning 15. I guess it's because he's Chase "Everboy" McGill.

And the cover? Love it! Doesn't it make you want to do crunches until you pass out? I not-so secretly wish I was at the beach right now (not Galveston!).

On a funny, random note, the character Shannon? For the longest time, I thought this person was a girl and wondered why Chase was chasing Bella instead of Shannon or not going after both. They're twins after all. It took about 80 pages before my question was answered. Shannon is a boy. Somehow I missed this. Shame on me, I know.

Anyway, though Invincible Summer was not the book for me, this doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't check it out. It may be the summer read you're looking for. In fact, it has a very high rating on Goodreads, and I am very much in the minority. I also think Hannah is a very gifted writer and plan on reading her future publications. I may not enjoy the concept behind Invisible Summer, but I still think it's a well written book that other people may, would or already do enjoy.

Rating:






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Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Breakups (2)

Book Breakups is hosted and inspired by Lori at Pure Imagination.

Did you ever start reading a book and just couldn't get through it? I know we should give every book a chance, but if I'm still not into it after 100 pages, I sometimes make the decision to call a quits. This doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad book. It's just not the one for me.


Why I Called A Quits:I can see why it would appeal to some people, and maybe I pulled out a little too early, but this just wasn't the book for me. I tried. I gave it 150 pages, but when reading feels more like work than leisure, it's time to call a quits. I did enjoy the concept behind "siders" and the fallen, but it just wasn't enough for me. Don't get me wrong. Like I said, I can see the appeal, and I'm sure loads of people will enjoy it, but this just isn't my cup of tea.

People Who Enjoyed A Touch Mortal:
*Amy From My Overstuffed Bookshelf
*Victoria Schwab, author of The Near Witch
*Angela from Reading Angel 002


Why I Called A Quits:First off, I just want to let you guys know that I am definitely in the minority when it comes to this book. It seems like everyone really enjoyed it, but I just could not get into it. Maybe it was my mind set. Maybe I was expecting something else. Who knows, but after 70 or so pages, I decided to put it back on the shelf and start something else. With all the raving reviews, I'll probably try picking it up again someday, but for now, it's time to move on.

People Who Enjoyed The Demon Trapper's Daughter:
*Sara from The Hiding Spot
*Savannah from Books With Bite
*Elie from Ellz Readz


That's it for this edition of Book Breakups. Please don't let my experience ruin yours. You may love these books. Keep in mind that this is just one person's experience, and like I said, I may give these books another go. For now, it's time to move on to another book, being the book hoe that I am.







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Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's been a slow week for me, but still a good one!

Won:
Rhymes with Cupid by Anna Humphrey

Bought (before I made my vow):
*Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Trades:
*Red Glove (Cursed Workers 2) by Holly Black

From NetGalley:

*Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

S&S Galley Grab:

*Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott (great book!)

**Special thanks to Lindsey from Just Another Book Blog, Katie from Katie's Book Blog, NetGalley, and Simon and Schuster. **




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Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekly Writing Contest + Lauren Oliver Chat



Over at inkpop, they are hosting their weekly writing contest. This week's contest is based on the fourth novel in the Evernight series, Afterlife by Claudia Gray. Here's how it works:

Write a story, poem or essay that pits two characters who must overcome a great challenge to be together. It can be about two people who live on opposite sides of the world, whether physically apart or emotionally apart. Simple and fun, right?

Now a writer? That's okay. Two writers and two COMMENTERS will all win a copy of Afterlife, plus THREE books of their choice from the HarperTeen catalog. Whoa, awesome much?

For more info, rules and where to enter, check out inkpop by clicking HERE.



Moving on, does the lady in the picture look familiar to you? Why, it's just bestselling author Lauren Oliver. Before I Fall and Delirium are high on my "Geez, I freaking love this book, I wish she'd write more, faster" list, and now here's your (and my!) chance to chat with Lauren herself.

On Sunday, March 20th at 2:00 EST, head on over to inkpop and have your chance to chat with the amazing Lauren Oliver as she discusses what it takes to maintain a consistent audience and write a bestselling novel! WOOOO, so excited!



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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features our most anticipate and desired books. This week, my pick is The Carrier Of The Mark by Leigh Fallon.

Summary: "A move to Ireland is about to introduce Megan to her destiny, her real destiny, can she embrace it and will she survive it?

A tragedy in Megan’s past set her on a predetermined course. A chain of events has been set in motion that brings Megan to Kinsale, a small town in the south of Ireland where her destiny awaits her. Her life starts to fall into place as she makes new friends and settles into her new school. However, the reclusive and distant Adam DeRís calls to her body and soul.

She finds herself increasingly drawn to Adam and his strange family. Adam knows a secret from her past and he and his family hold the key to her future. A future that binds her to Adam and his world, a world of power, mystery and ancient orders. A world that unbeknownst to her, she very much belongs in."


Why I Can't Wait: Doesn't it sound amazing? I've heard a lot of fantastic things about this book from Inkpop, especially about the romance. And you know me, I love a good romantic story with a paranormal twist! Plus, I'm absolutely in love with the cover. Wow, Leigh was indeed blessed by the cover gods.

Release Date: September 13th 2011 by HarperTeen



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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.
The rules are simple:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!(make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

-Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




This week's Teaser Tuesday comes from Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott. Hope you enjoy it!

"Then he looks up and...

He looks up, and my brain actually stops working for a moment, because this guy is gorgeous. Not gorgeous in the oh-hey-hot-guy way, but actually truly gorgeous."-
Page 15

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Wither Book Trailer



Wow. I could probably elaborate, but wow. If you think the trailer is awesome, wait till you read Wither. It's pretty unbelievable. It's probably one of the best debut novels I've read in quite some time, which says a lot. Only a few more days till the release!

Review: Playing Hurt


Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Holly Schindler
Release: March 8, 2010 by Flux

Summary: "Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?"


Thoughts: Playing Hurt is a charming, romantic and touching read about finding love when you least expect it.

Meet Clint. He works at a fishing resort and absolutely loves it. He doesn't believe in summer love. In fact, he decides to start a summer boot camp this year because when he's working, he doesn't have to think about the hurt he constantly feels.

Meet Chelsea. She has everything going for her. A possible basketball scholarship, home town fame, and she's dating the hottest boy in school. It took one game, one instant for her to lose the one thing she loves most...basketball. While on vacation, her dad decides to sign her up for this summer boat camp, and well, you see where the story is headed.

First off, I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love alternating points of views. The story jumps between Chelsea and Clint. The chemistry between the two is undeniable. Even though Chelsea has a boyfriend, I found myself cheering for her and Clint. And wow, were their scenes together steamy. I think I had to fan my face a couple times!

The story isn't all fluff and romance. Both Chelsea and Clint are hurt, and though they're hurt in different ways, they both need each other to heal. At times, some of their drama seemed unnecessary, but isn't all teenage drama unnecessary? There were moments where I just wanted to shake both characters and just tell them to get it together. But lets face it, how good would a book be if there was no drama or complications? My thoughts exactly.

To be perfectly honest, while I did enjoy Chelsea's character, her actions towards certain situations bothered me. For example, her approach to "handling" Gabe, aka her boyfriend back home. I truly felt sorry for Gabe. From the very beginning, you know something will happen between Chelsea and Clint. Though I wanted them to be toether, I still felt incredibly bad for Gabe. He's a great guy, and clearly adores Chelsea. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish Chelsea would have handled that situation better and with a bit more grace.

One of my favorite characters in the book has to be Brandon (aka Chelsea's little brother). What a little bundle of fun! His love for music and excitement added a delightful twist to the story. I love the way he told Chelsea exactly what he was thinking, even if he knew she didn't want to hear it. I wish I had a brother like him.

Now, Clint. Ohmylanta, he is everything people are saying about him and possible more. Who doesn't love the untouchable hot guy with a dark past? His background story nearly had me in tears. Holly did a great job creating not only this believable male lead, but also one girls can easily fall for. If Clint was real, I think my knees would buckle every time I saw him. I'm swooning right now just thinking about him.

For any Simone Elkles, Jennifer Echols and Elizabeth Scott fan, this is a must read. Playing Hurt is marvelous novel, best read outdoors. I will say that some of the content is quite sexual, so fair warning to all of you younger readers out there. I'd probably recommend you be at least 15 before picking this one up. Otherwise, be sure to have the day free because once you pick up Playing Hurt, you won't want to put it own!

Rating:








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Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. I am ridiculously excited about the goodies I got this week. Check it out!

For Review:
*Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) by Andrea Cremer (EEEEP. LOOOVED Nightshade! So excited about this!)
*Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
*Enclave by Ann Aguirre
*Wither (Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano (Already read and reviewed. Gorgeous debut novel!)
*Drought by Pam Bachorz
*The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenna Han

Bought:
*Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

**Special thanks to Kai at Fiction State of Mind , Simon and Schuster, Penguin Teen, my best buddy Karen at For What It's Worth , Natalie at Mindful Musings, and Kelsey at The Book Scout. ***

Feel free to leave links to your IMM posts in the comments below. Love you guys! XOXO.



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Friday, March 11, 2011

Review : Steel


Title: Steel
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Expected publication: March 15th 2011 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC

Summary: "It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn."


Thoughts: The first thing I want to mention is how stunning I think the cover is. It's what originally drew me to the book. Carrie Vaughn was indeed blessed by the cover gods!

Pirates? Time travel? Fighting? Oh my! To any fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and historical fiction, this book will definitely intrigue you. I love the originality of the story line and the creativity it takes to write a novel like this. Sadly though, I thought Steel was an okay read. The book is well-written, but I just couldn't get into it.

First off, I don't fence, so I didn't understand a lot of the techniques Jill (the main character) discussed when fencing or fighting. I didn't realize it till after I finished, but the back of the book contains a dictionary, helping you understand what each move and "pirate slang" means. I wish I had known about this before reading because that would have helped me imagine what was going on just a bit better than I did.

Next, I'll be honest, it took me a little while to get into the book. When I finally did, I just wasn't invested enough in the characters to really enjoy it as much as I would have liked. It was fun and interesting, but a little drawn out for my taste.

Lastly, everyone knows what a fan I am of romance. A book has to have some romance in it for me to get into it. With Steel, the romance just fell a little flat. It was sweet, but lacking chemistry. Plus, there wasn't enough of it. Imagine watching Pirates of the Caribbean, but having the romantic couple be more buddy-buddy rather than a hot and steamy couple. That's how it felt to me.

This doesn't necessarily mean I hated the book. No, on the contrary, there are things I did enjoy about Steel. I mean, there wasn't just one, but TWO awesome heroines! Who doesn't love girls that kick serious butt? Plus, I love that Carrie includes true Caribbean pirates in her novel. I'm a huge supporter of diversity in YA, so that was a nice, beautiful touch. And the fighting scenes? They're amazing. Very vivid and flows nicely into the plot.

Overall, in my opinion, I think Steel was a well-written book, but just not the book for me. Though I did not enjoy Steel as much as I would have liked, that doesn't mean it might not be the book for you. If you're a fan of action books filled with loads of pirate goodness, than check it out. You may love Steel. Like I said, it's creative and fun, but just wasn't my personal cup of tea.

Rating:






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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Want To Get Published?


Over at Inkpop, they're hosting A Midsummer Night's Dream Writing Contest. All you have to do is reimagine a scene or an act from A Midsummer Night's Dream! How fun is that?!

Twenty of the highest ranked entries will be reviewed by a HarperCollins editor. Five of the twenty will be selected as top projects and will be considered for publication in A Midsummer Night's Dream published by HarperTeen in September 2011.

For more details and where to enter, check out Inkpop!


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday


by Trisha Telep (Editor), Francesca Lia Block, Lesley Livingston, Karen Mahoney, Brenna Yovanoff, Sophie Jordan, Tera Lynn Childs, Jackson Pearce, Martin Millar, Lisa Mantchev, Sharon Ashwood, Jessica Verday, Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire.

Summary: 13 Tales of Twisted Faeries on the Dark Side. These are dirty, sticky and sweet stories with a Melissa Marr-ish slant, beautifully crafted and filled with alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, magic, and dark intrigue. These are modern, urban, 'tattooed' stories, not retellings of fairy tales, about beautiful, dangerous fey, or fairies and the mortals who hunger for them.

Why I Can't Wait: I am a HUGE Melissa Marr fan. She's one of my favorite authors, so when I saw this, I literally fell out of my seat. My brain keeps screaming "must have, must have!". Plus, I love anthologies, and look at those authors. Holy cow! This is going to be amazing, I just know it! Oh, and that cover? Gorgeous, much?

Release Date: September 22nd, 2011

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review : Wither


Title: Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: ARC from Around The World Tours

Summary: "Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left."


Thoughts:What to say about Wither. First off, I just wanted to point out how perfectly the cover fits the tone of the book. Not only is it stunning, but it gives you an idea of what the premise will be like. It's beautiful, arduous, and hopeful, all at the same time.

Wither is a dystopian novel, with kind of a "Big Love" spin to it. As you can see in the summary, males die at the age of 25, and women at 20. Thus, they must repopulate as young as possible. Young girls are often kidnapped from their homes, and traded off as wives. In Rhine's case, she's picked up by a wealthy family and forced to live as a prison in their mansion. There's an elevator, but you need a key card to go anywhere, so she's trapped on the same floor as her sister wives. As she explores the grounds of the mansion, she realizes how fake everything is. From the plants, to the hologram fish, to even the kindness of her husband (Linden)'s father, nothing is as it seems.

All Rhine knows is she must escape this fake life, and live in the real world again. She must find a way out, back to her brother, before it's too late.

One thing I truly adored about this novel is all the different relationships between the characters. It's funny how each wife perceives being Linden's wife. For example, Cecilia's naive views on the situation almost had me in tears. Though her words portrayed excitement, all I kept thinking about was how young she is, and what she could have been doing instead. Poor Jenna was just miserable the whole time, and then Rhine, who acts so innocent, plots. I did have an issue with Rhine's relationship to Gabriel. I didn't understand their attraction to each other. Was it because they were both, in a sense, prisoners and because so, they bonded? That's what it felt like to me.

Now, Linden. I adored his character so much. He's not as innocent as he seems, but just accepts things as they are. I think his heart was always in the right place. His father clearly lies to him. As oppose to Rhine and Gabriel, his relationship with Rhine felt more real to me. He adored his wives and would do anything for them. Honestly, his naive nature made him all the more adorable for me. Sometimes, I wanted to shake him and scream "OPEN YOUR EYES, LOOK AT WHAT YOUR FATHER IS DOING!", but I couldn't. I mean, it's not like he could hear me, right? Anyway, in the battle of Linden and Gabriel, I choose Linden.

One problem I had with Wither (and a lot of dystopia lately) is why the world is the way it is. I understand the "world building process" and what not, but I want to know the who, whats, whys, etc. What happened that contaminated the world? And how come the rest of the world, other than North America, not exist? Are there not history books out there or were those destroyed as well? Hopefully these answers will be answered in Wither's sequel because like I'm sure many of you out there feel, I hate having so many questions unanswered.

Overall, Wither is an original and alluring novel that will surely touch every one's heart. Though it's not fast paced nor action packed, it's beauty is behind each and every word. I recommend reading it in doses. Personally, I think it's more enjoyable that way and will help you really understand the meaning behind the story.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

March Madness Giveaway



I know March Madness is all about college basketball, but why can't it be about books too? Let's celebrate the start of Spring together with a book of choice giveaway. Ready for it? Here we go:

The Prize:
One lucky follower will win their choice of any Young Adult March Release. To help you out, here's a list of March releases and the dates they're released.

HARDCOVER RELEASES
March 1st
Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaurgh
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell
Hex Hall series Book 2: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (rec this series)
Daughter of the Sea Book 2: May by Kathryn Lasky
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Numbers Book 2: Chaos by Rachel Ward

March 7th
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

March 8th
Kissed By An Angel series: Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler
Evernight Series Book 4: Afterlife by Claudia Gray (rec this series)
The Hunt of the Unicorn by C. C. Humphreys
Human.4 by Mike A. Lancester
Sisters Club series: Cloudy With a Chance of Boys by Megan McDonald

March 15th
Angel in My Pocket by Ilene Cooper
Vampire Diaries-The Return: Midnight by L. J. Smith
Steel by Carrie Vaughn

March 17th
Chime by Franny Billingsley

March 21st
Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

March 22nd
Chemical Garden Book 1: Wither by Lauren Destefano
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Alex Rider series: Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent
Chronicles of Nick series: Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Bloodline Rising by Katy Moran
Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 3: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan (highly rec this series)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Purple Daze by Sherry Shohan

March 31st
Department 19 by Will Hill
Karma by Cathy Ostlere

PAPERBACK RELEASES
March 1st
Serendipity Market by Penny Blubaugh
The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen
The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting
Percival's Angel by Anne Elliot Crompton
Beautiful Dead series: Summer by Eden Maguire
Haunting Emma series Book 2: Betrayel by Lee Nichols (rec this series)
Keys to the Kingdom series: Lord Sunday by Garth Nix
The Dark Mirror by Mary Jo Putney
Fever Crumb by Phillup Reeve
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

March 8th
The Fatal Child by John Dickinson
Poison Honey: A Story of Mary Magdelene by Beatrice Gormley
Evernight series Book 3: Hourglass by Claudia Gray
Date Mates series: Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins
The Homelanders series: Long Way Home by Andrew Klairan
Puppy Love by Nancy Krulik
Hex series: Shadows by Rhiannon Lassiter
Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur by Tony Lee and Sam Hart
A City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Afterwar by Gloria Skurzynski

March 15th
Anastacia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

March 22nd
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black
Royally Crushed bindup by Niki Burnham
The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
In the Arms of Angels by Jordan Dane
Nickel Plated by Aric Davis
Daughter of the Moon bindup series Volume II by Lynne Ewing
Chronicles of Nick series: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins

March 29th
Shadow Falls series: Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter

March 31st
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

How can you enter? It's simple. You must fill out THIS FORM. I also ask that you are a follower to enter. Last, but not least, you must be at least 15 years old to enter. If you are younger than 15, please have one of your parents email me with their permission at addicted2novels(at)gmail(dot)com.

Since I will be ordering the book through the Book Depository, this giveaway will be international! YAAAY. Good luck, everyone, and may the odds be ever in your favor.




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Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge Winner



Alright, I know this is long overdue, but I finally have the winner of the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge. First off, I wanted to thank everyone who participated. You guys are amazing, and this wouldn't be possible with YOU!

Anyway, enough lollygagging, the moment you've all been waiting for...

Out of 431 reviews...

With the help of random.org...

The winner is...

#226: Brandi with her review of Star In The Middle



CONGRATS! You just won a ridiculous amount of books/swag! An email is being sent your way. Please email me back as soon as possible so I can contact the authors who donated with your mailing information, as well as personally send you some books/swag.

To everyone else, I'm so sorry if you didn't win. I wish we had a prize for each and every one of you, but still remember that you are a rock star, and this will not be the last of the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge. :)


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Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox


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

For Review:
*Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
*Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (already read, loved it!)

Trades:
*Abandon (arc) by Meg Cabot (Can't wait to start reading this! The cover, front and back, is GORGEOUS!)

Won:
*The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa + shirt

Bought:
*Bloody Valentine by Melissa De La Cruz

**Special thanks to Quirk Books, Harper Teen, Inkpop, Frenetic Reader, and Cialina from Muggle-Born.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Feel free to leave links to your mailboxes below! :)


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