Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Hunt and The Prey

If you haven't heard of THE HUNT by Andrew Fuduka, I highly recommend checking it out. Think THE HUNGER GAMES but with vampires. Seriously. If you've already read THE HUNT, then you're next step is to check out THE PREY, THE HUNT's sequel. Fo' sho.

At any rate, how would you guys feel if I gave away a copy of each to one lucky winner? Is this something that would entice you? Let me know in the comments!

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #8

8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8!!!!!!!!

Hmm, nothing a little paint can't fix! Nothing wrong with a little shabby chic, right? Get ready for clue #9!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #7

I don't think you're ready for this jelly... Maybe clue #8 will help us solve this mystery!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: The Farm

Title: The Farm
Author: Emily McKay
Published: December 4th 2012 by Berkley Trade
Source: Finished copy received from the publisher for an honest review

"Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race..."

First line: "Some days, you just want to let the bad guys win."

Thoughts: Welcome to the post apocalyptic world. Ticks aka zombie like vampires are taking over the world, and you're just along for the ride...sort of. When humans are practically pigs for slaughter, what are you going to do? This is the world that Miss McKay has built for us. Packed full of action, suspense, twists and turns, THE FARM is a terrifying journey that will have your heart racing till the very end. Who will survive? Only time will tell.

Remember the University of North Texas? I sure do, and that's what it is now: A distant memory. What was once a university for students to study at is now a farm where surviving teenagers are quarantined, and the only thing that protects them is an electric fence. Outside the fence are bloodsucking ticks who sense teenage hormones and favor them best. Wouldn't you rather be inside the fence than outside it? The thing is, the farm isn't the sanctuary you think it is. This safe haven for teens is all grand until you hit the lovely age of eighteen. After that, you're kicked off the farm and sent somewhere else. Where? Home, perhaps? Probably not, but Lily isn't sticking around to find out. She needs to run and run fast. The thing is, she can't leave her autistic sister, Mel, behind. Along with an old crush name Carter, Lily and Mel escape the compound and literally run for their lives.

One of the things I loved about the book is how the author decided to not only tell the story through Lily's eyes but also through Mel's and Carter's. As a sucker for multiple points of views, I was interested in seeing if the author would give each character a distinctive voice and whether or not it'd take away from the overall story. Folks, it was beautifully done. Not only did it not take away from the novel, but it also enhanced it. Even though Lily is the main character in this story (and a feisty little thing at that) , I couldn't help but fall in love with Mel's character the most. She knows more than she lets on and part of the fun is figuring out what it is and what she'll do.

Now, with all this danger, I'm sure you're wondering whether or not this book has any romance to offer. Well, I'm here to assure you that yes it does. It's minimal but it's there, and it is fabulous. It's remarkably easy to fall in love with Carter and even though him and Lily have this ridiculously complex relationship, you can't help but cheer for them. Besides, aren't the complicated ones your favorite? I know they're mine.

Overall, THE FARM is an original and enthralling novel that will intrigue fans of Carrie Ryan and True Blood. If you love books packed with action that will have you guessing till the very end, this is the book for you. Personally, I cannot wait to see where the author will take us next on this incredibly journey and really, isn't that the mark of a truly spectacular novel? I think so.


Favorite Quotes:

“'What can I say to convince you that I'm on the up-and-up?'
'Why don't you just start at the beginning and I'll stop you when you've won me over.'"

“'You just told me you didn't intend to love me. You didn't want to love me. You got yourself arrested to keep yourself away from me. That's not love. That's a compulsion. And, by the way, kudos on coming up with the worst pickup line of all time.'"

“I worry about Lily, sluggish as she is. Will she see Carter's truths? Will he tell her? God knows she won't hear them. She's moving too fast to hear anyone's music but her own. She's so set, but I know he could make her settled. I tried to sync their noise into music, but they both pushed back. Too obdurate to be oblong.
Silly Lily. How can she resist someone who brings gum and sounds like math?”

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #6

Woohoo, it's time for #6! Giggidy!

Wha, wha, whaaaaaaat? OH DANG! Be sure to check in tomorrow for clue #7!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Monday, January 28, 2013

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #5

The wait is over! PHEW! Here's clue #5:

Whoa. Are you anxious for #6? I sure am!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Y'all, I am having the best mail week. Want to see all the goodies I got? Here we go!

For Review:

*Spellcaster by Claudia Gray (goodreads)
*The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead (goodreads) (AHHHH!!!!!)
*Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin (goodreads)
*Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan (goodreads)
*Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox (goodreads) ( LOVE the cover!)
*The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (goodreads)

***Special thanks to Harper Teen, Penguin Teen, Macmillan, and Pantheon***


*Shades of Earth (Across The Universe #3) by Beth Revis (goodreads)
*Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi (goodreads)

Weekly Round-Up:

*My picks for the Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of.
*The Who is Marcus Finch campaign is ON! Want to win a copy of THE INDIGO SPELL (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead? More Info HERE

And that's all she wrote! I hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend. Be sure to leave links to your STS/Malibox posts below so I can check out yo stash!


Friday, January 25, 2013

The Indigo Spell Giveaway!

Want to win a copy of this bad boy? I don't blame you. Heck, *I* even want to win it!

If you haven't noticed, there is a huge Who Is Marcus Finch campaign going on, and you're invited to participate. To enter to win a copy of THE INDIGO SPELL, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. For every clue you answer, you get an extra entry, Simple, right? I'll even make it even more simple. I'll leave links as they're posted to the clues below. SWEET!

At the end of the campaign, on February 17th, the winner chosen and contacted. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

*Clue #1
*Clue #2
*Clue #3
*Clue #4
*Clue #5
*Clue #6
*Clue #7
*Clue #8
*Clue #9
*Clue #10
*Clue #11
*Clue #12
*Clue #13

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #4

Y'all, this one is the juiciest yet! Ready?

OH DANG! Can't wait to see what #5 will be? Be back Monday to find out!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #3

Clue #3! Clue #3! Clue #3!

Woot, woot. #4 is just around the corner. Stay tuned!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #2

Ready for clue #2? Here you go!

Clue #3 will be revealed tomorrow. Same bat time, same bat channel.

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Settings I Would Like To See More Of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is the Top Ten Settings You'd Like To See More Of. Giggidy! Let's do this thang.

1. Paris. You and I both know it's true. You can't have too many books set in Paris. Je veux macarons et les garcons chauds! Oui!

2. Japan. I can't help it. I love the culture and the beauty...I love it all. AND THE CAT CAFES! Don't forget about the cat cafes.

3. Niagara Falls. I personally haven't been but I can only imagine how romantic the setting would be. There's so many possibilities to where the story can be told. Canada, New York, etc.

4. Austin, TX. Maybe I'm bias because I went to college here but to me, Austin has a lot to offer. Think of the romantic settings (Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, etc). Think of the music and film scene. Think of the football (HOOK 'EM!). Think of all the possibilities.

5. Switzerland. I've been to Switzerland and can vouch for it's beauty. Other than delicious chocolate (Really delicious chocolate), Switzerland offers mountains, fabulous street life, and castles. CASTLES! Plus, the flower bridge in Lucerne is something that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.

6. Boston, MA. I would love to visit Boston one day and would also love to read more books based in Boston.

7. Greece. Have you seen pictures of Greece? Have you seen Greek boys? Economically, it's not the best time to visit Greece but that doesn't mean we can't read about it.

8. Underwater communities. After reading RENEGADE by J.A. Souders, I have come to love all things under the sea. Down where it's wetter, down where it's better, take it from meeeeeee!

9. London. It's the home of Shakespeare. Also, English accents? RAWR!

10. Venice, Italy. Imagine riding on a gondola down the Grand Canal. Imagine a starlit sky and music. SIIIIGGGGHHHHH. Wouldn't you love to read about it?

That's all, folks! What settings would you guys like to see more of?

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #1

Ready for your first clue? Here you go:

Be sure to check in tomorrow for clue #2!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Is Marcus Finch?

That's the question of the hour, isn't it? The only hint I can give you is he's a character in this book:

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting clues about who Marcus Finch is. At the end of the two weeks, courtesy of Penguin Teen, I'll be hosting a giveaway where you can enter to win a copy of INDIGO SPELL (BLOODLINE #3) by Richelle Mead. Be sure to keep track of the clues. You'l need them!

Are you excited? Cause you should be!

*Bloodlines Website
*Bloodlines Facebook page
*Bloodlines trailer
*Bloodlines excerpt

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

For Review:

*Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter (goodreads). I may or may not have peed in my pants a little.
*The Prey (The Hunt #2) by Andrew Fukuda (goodreads)
*Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo (goodreads)
*Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) by Anna Banks (goodreads)
*Love In The Time Of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block (goodreads)
*Double Crossed : A Spies and Thieves Story (Heist Society 2.5) by Ally Carter (goodreads/not shown in picture)

Bought (not shown above:

*Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (goodreads)
*Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters #2) by Jessica Shirvington (goodreads)
*The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker (goodreads)
*The Lies That Bind (The Liar Society #2) by Lisa and Laura Roecker (goodreads)

***Special thanks to Disney Hyperion, St. Martins, and Macmillan. Y'all rock!***

Weekly Round-Up:

*Wherein I review USES FOR BOYS by Erica Lorraine Scheidt. Dark yet captivating read. Highly recommend for fans of SOME GIRLS ARE.
*Waiting on Wednesday featuring books by Lydia Kang, Saundra Mitchell, and Kasie West.
*Wherein I review LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans. Amazing "memory" scenes and vivid characters.

And there you have it! I hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend. I'm off to wait in line at a sample sale with mi madre and besties, so I'll talk to you guys later! *MWAH*

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Level 2

Title: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Published: January 15th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves."

First line: "I'll sleep when I'm dead."

Thoughts: As a fellow blogger, what originally drew my attention to LEVEL 2 was the fact that it is written by a blogger. It's like finding out someone you went to high school with is on American Idol. Plus, who knows good books better than a blogger? Well folks, the same applies to writing good books. LEVEL 2 is a captivating, fast paced novel that will grasp your attention from the very first page. To put it another way, it is simply made of win.

First off, I love the concept behind the book. Felicia is dead and instead of being in heaven or hell, she's stuck. You see, Level 2 is a version of purgatory only instead of sitting around and waiting to be called, you're trapped, constantly replaying memories of your life. You can even watch other people's memories and rate them. Welcome to Level 2, the next stepping stone till you reach Level 3 (i.e. heaven). Still with me? Awesome.

Not all is grand in the world of the afterlife. There is a rebellion brewing outside those Level 2 walls, so while Felicia dreams and remembers, other's want to escape. Enter Julian, Felicia's former best friend's boyfriend. Julian promises to reunite Felicia with Neil (her boyfriend) and though she doesn't trust him, what else is she going to do to? To the rebellion and beyond!

What I love about this book is the author's meticulous attention to detail. From the setting to the characters, I could literally picture every event happening in my head as well as feel every feeling. One of my favorite things about LEVEL 2 are the memories. The story offers Felicia's memories, documented and rated not only by her but my others. The author does a fantastic job of transitioning from past to present, and to me, it also made the characters feel more alive. These memories help the reader not only document what happened in Felicia's life but help them understand her more. They give her depth. It shows pieces of her relationship with Neil, Julian, her ex-best friend and even the complicated relationship she had with her parents. Ultimately, these memories are your road map and where you'll find out how Felicia died, ended up where she is, etc.

Now, on to romance. When I first started the novel, I assumed there would be some sort of love triangle in it. Even while reading it, I patiently waited for the Julian- Neil-maybe someone else smackdown. I know several of readers (i.e. me) who personally do not enjoy these types of relationships. Well, you didn't hear it from me, but let's say this isn't something you should worry about. Both Julian and Neil are fabulous characters, and I truly adored where the author intends to take you, the reader, when it comes to the both of them.

All in all, I found LEVEL 2 to be a dazzling debut novel that kept me entertained till the very end. To me, the book reads more like a contemporary novel rather than sci-fi or otherworldly book, and I savored every minute of it. I'm anxious to see where the author will take us and will definitely keep my eye out for the next novel in the Memory Chronicles series.

Favorite quotes:

"'I know it might not seem like it now, but there's more to life than parties and studying. The point is to keep trying new things, meeting new people, visiting new places. Once you settle into a rut, not matter how fun that rut ma seem, you stagnate. You might as well be dead.'"

"He leans in close and smashes his lips against mine. And with that, my resolve to stay away from him is overpowered by my desire."

"We grin at each other with big cheesy smiles. He shifts his body so he's propped up on his side, and he reaches out his hand to brush the tendrils that have escaped from my ponytail away from my face. My scalp tingles, and the tiny pulses of pleasure radiate down my body."


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

"After the violent death of her father, 17 year-old Zelia loses her younger sister, Dylia, during an abduction at a foster care agency. It turns out her sister Dylia isn’t just pretty and sweet – she’s illegal. In the year 2150, DNA must be pure by law, and anyone with enhanced genes face death. Zelia’s only allies are the freak-show inhabitants of her new, underground foster home. Along with the unexpected love of a very strange boy, she will need her flaws and their illicit traits to save the only family she has left."

Why I Can't Wait: If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know what a HUGE fan of dystopia I am. This book just sounds so good to miss. I definitely want to see what it means to have pure DNA and what Dylia will do to save her sister.

Expected publication: December 19th 2013 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Add it to your Goodreads list.

"When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.

Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.

Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?"

Why I Can't Wait: One thousand souls? Creeeeepy!!! I love how original this story sounds and can't wait to experience this journey.

Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Harcourt Children's Books
Add it to your Goodreads list.

"Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about."

Why I Can't Wait: Umm, LOVE the cover! I love stories that involve class/social circles. In my opinion, it definitely makes an even sweeter romance.

Expected publication: July 2nd 2013 by Harper Teen
Add it to your Goodreads list.

What books are you guys looking forward to?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Uses For Boys

Title: Uses For Boys
Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publication: January 15th 2013 by St Martin’s Press
Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

"Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys is a story of breaking down and growing up."

Thoughts: Do not be fooled by the title and cover. When I first picked up USES FOR BOYS, I was expecting a contemporary novel with a romantic based theme. What I got was so much more than I thought it'd be. Dark and realistic, USES FOR BOYS is an intense coming of age story that speaks volumes about what it's like growing up neglected and lost.

The story begins with Anna as a young girl. For as long as she can remember, it has been just her mom and her. This all changes when Anna's mom decides she doesn't want to be alone anymore and needs to find a man. With her mom always gone, Anna can't help but feel this all-consuming emptiness inside of her. It's not until Anna's first awkward encounter with a boy that she soon starts to believe maybe a boy is what she needs after all.

So, first and foremost, this book does not contain any sort of butterflies in your gut nor romantic feelings whatsoever. Are we clear? Good! Let's be honest, not all of us fall in love in high school let alone jr. high. Instead, what the author does is take you to a different, more dangerous realm. One I'm sure many girls have experienced before.

The story is told exclusively through Anna's point of view and is written in kind of a prose-journal/diary entry sort of way. Each entry is an event that impacts Anna's life and shapes her into who she is and somewhat explains why she does the things she does. All this poor girl wants more than anything in this world is a family to belong to and pure comfort. She wants her mom to hold her and love her like she did when she was younger. Throughout the novel, my heart constantly ached for Anna. I just wanted to reach out for her, stop her from making stupid mistakes and just hug her. At her age, many girls find comfort in boys, especially if they grew up without a father figure. Plus, who hasn't been an outcast at some point in their life? While I personally don't agree with many of Anna's choices, I still understand where she's coming from.

Also, something that I really enjoyed about this novel is how the author reminds us that there are consequences to one's actions. Anna is a prime example of this. Without visiting the spoiler department, I'll just say that what this girl has to go through might make some people uncomfortable. Heck, it made ME uncomfortable! The thing is, it's truthful. It's sad but it does happen.

I'm not going to focus on the other characters in this book. Though some of the secondary characters are interesting and unique (and some are *ahem* assholes, excuse the expression), I personally feel like Anna deserves all the attention. It's her story, and I recommend it to people who are looking for a contemporary novel that isn't full of fluff.

Favorite Quotes:

“And then he hugs me. Really hugs me. Like he thinks that there's only one of me and I'm special and I'm enough for him. Like he doesn't need anything else. Like he was alone and then I came along.”

“And the stories we tell ourselves are not the only stories.”

“Angel asks me about Josh and I tell her that he likes it when I fall asleep with my head on his chest. I tell her how he keeps me wrapped up in his arms all night. How romantic it is, how he's loved me forever.
She knows how it is with boys. 'It's always romantic in the beginning,' she says.”


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

For Review:

*Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton (goodreads)
*Just One Day by Gayle Forman (goodreads). LOVE, LOVE, LOVED IT! Need JUST ONE YEAR like yesterday!


*Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (goodreads)
*I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (goodreads)

Weekly Round-Up

*Want to win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes? Of course you do!
*My Top Ten Reading Goals For 2013.
*Wherein I gush about the creepy crawlies in SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard.
*The JUST ONE DAY read-along is over! Special thanks to Penguin Teen for hosting it and Gayle Forman for the awesome Twitter chat. Be sure to follow Penguin Teen on Twitter where they'll be announcing the Parisian Prize Pack winner tomorrow.

That's all, folks! Hope you guys are having a fabulous week! *MWAH*

Pssst...Go Texans!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just One Day 24 Hour Read-A-Thon Starts TODAY!

I'll be there and you better be there, too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Splintered

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Published: January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."

First line: "I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers."

Thoughts: Oh my goodness...oh my goodness. This is hands down one of the best books I have read in ages! What a twisted tale Miss Howard has weaved. Kids, this isn't the Alice In Wonderland you think you know. It's far more terrifying and scrumptious!

As you can see, Alyssa Gardner is the descendant Alice Liddell. That's right, that's THE Alice in Lewis Carol's Alice In Wonderland. Ever since then, all the Liddell women have been cursed with insanity. Talking bugs, false memories that feel real (are they real), the whole works. In order to save her mother and herself, Alyssa must travel to Wonderland and right the wrongs before it's too late.

From the beginning, I was captivated by Howard's world. The bits and pieces of the original story, mixed in with the author's version, were not only alluring but also mesmerizing (and yes, sometimes a bit boorish). Every time I read something from the original story, like the white rabbit (who I personally named Skeletor), I got giddy with excitement. There's just something fun about reading a retelling of one of your favorite tales you grew up with.

Onto the characters. To be honest, I didn't know what to think of Alyssa. I constantly went from stages of feeling bad for her to liking her and in the end, admiring her. She's just a vulnerable teenage girl in a less than optimal situation. Who couldn't relate to her, minus the talking bugs, plants and general maniacal parts? It's amazing how quickly she pieces things together. Fact versus fiction, it's all part of the fun!

Now, the boys. The author has graced us with not only one swoon-worthy boy but two. Jeb is the kind, sweet yet brooding boy next door (literally). Who wouldn't fall for charm and rockstar good looks? Well, unless there was someone like Morpheus. I don't even know where to begin with Morpheus. He's this dark yet captivating boy dads warn their daughters about. Though I liked Jeb, somewhere along the way, I fell in love with Morpheus. When it comes to boys in books, I normally hate one and love the other, yet I liked them both. What an odd feeling it is to not object to one of the main love interests. Am I team Jeb or team Morpheus? Hmm, I think I'm team Switzerland.

Overall, I found SPLINTERED to be an entertaining novel that will entice fans of fantasy and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It's a pretty dark and somewhat creepy read so not all people will enjoy it, but I most definitely did. If you love bizarre tales with a heart in it's core then this is the book for you. Enjoy it with a cup of tea mixed with ashes.

Favorite Quotes:

“Tearing down the rest of the world won't make you happy. Look inside yourself. Because finding who you were meant to be? What you were put into this world to do? That's what fills the emptiness. It's the only things that can.”

“Raising one hand, he tilts his hat to that sexy slant. "You want me. Admit it."
Even if he's partly right, I'll never tell him. "Why would I want you?"
He lifts thee fingers to countdown. "Mysterious. Rebellious. Troubled. All those qualities women find irresistible."
"Such an optimist."
"My cup is never empty."
"Too bad your brain is." The words bite, but my smile softens with affection.”

“Because of all the things I've experienced on this journey - shrinking and growing, flying sprites, living chess pieces - not a one of them is more magical than this moment.”


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top Ten Reading Goals For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is your Top Ten Reading Goals For 2013. Hmm, I don't know if I have ten, but let's see!

1. Read at least 50 books this year. I normally go for 100, but I already know I have a ton of personal things going on this year.

2. Read 13 books by debut authors. I adore debut authors. Fresh new voices? Love them!

3. Finally read MOCKINGJAY. I think I've put it off for long enough.

4. Read REQUIEM and the last book in the DIVERGENT series. As you can see, I'm really bad about finishing a series mostly because I don't want it to end. I want to remedy this, and I want to do that with these two books.

5. Read at least 10 books I've purchased that have been sitting on my shelves for ages. I don't know about you, but I have TONS of books I've bought yet haven't read.

6. Review all 50 books I read this year. I can do this...I can do this...

7. Mark all of my favorite quotes. I bought these translucent sticky tabs and still haven't really used them. How fun would it be to mark your favorite quotes and reread them when you're having a bad day?

8. Read one biography/nonfiction book. I NEVER read nonfiction books. It'd be nice to actually read one and see if I might actually like it.

9. Read more adult/new adult novels. I read so much YA that sometimes I forget about the adult books out there. For example, I just finished reading GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Holy cow! Blew my mind. Am I cool girl? Am I really loved?

10. Finish every book I start, even if I don't like it. I admit, sometimes I'm a quitter. After I read 100 pages, I tend to decide whether I'm in it for the long haul or over it. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to give every book a chance and actually finish them. Who knows what I've been missing out on, right?

Those are my reading goals, folks! What goals are you guys setting for yourselves? Let me know!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Giveaway: Nobody and Every Other Day

Hey guys! Thanks to the fabulous people at Media Masters Publicity, I am giving away a hardback of NOBODY and a paperback of EVERY OTHER DAY, both by the very talented Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Haven't heard of these books? No problemo!

"There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them."

"Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She’s human.

And then every day in between . . . she’s something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive . . . and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process."

To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends February 11th.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

*Jennifer Lynn Barnes' blog.
*Wherein Jen talks about EVERY OTHER DAY, which is releasing in paperback the same day as NOBODY.
*Wherein Jen talks more about EVERY OTHER DAY.
*Barnes and Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stacking The Shelves + Weekly Round-Up

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Ha[py New Year, and welcome to the very first Stacking The Shelves of 2013. Holla!!! Without further ado, le books!

For Review:
*Farseed by Pamela Sargent (goodreads)
*Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (goodreads)
*Shadowlands by Kate Brian (goodreads)
*MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (goodreads)
*Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed (goodreads) Came with tea and a biscuit! :D

***Special thanks to TorTeen, Spencer Hill Press, Disney Hyperion, and HarperTeen***

Trades and Gifted:
*The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin (goodreads)
*The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski (goodreads)
*Silver by Talia Vance (goodreads)
*Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones (goodreads)
*Prophecy by Ellen Oh (goodreads)

***Special thanks to my very awesome friend Lyndsey***

Weekly Round-Up:
*Waiting on Wednesday featuring books by Sarah McCarry (gorgeous cover) and Katherine Longshore.
*Where I review FALLING FOR YOU by Lisa Schroeder. AMAZEBALLS!

I hope you guys are having a fabulous week. Feel free to leave links to your mailbox posts below. I'll drop by as soon as I can! LOOOOOOVE Y'ALLLLL!!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Falling For you

Title: Falling For You
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Published: January 1st 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC received by the publisher for an honest review

"Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves."

First line: "At last I can breathe."

Thoughts: FALLING FOR YOU is a compelling, haunting and suspenseful novel that will undoubtedly keep you up way past your bedtime. If anyone asked me what book I was looking forward to the most in 2013, this would definitely be on the list and for very good reasons. Only Lisa Schroeder can create such a dark world yet shed light to it, break your heart then fix it, and terrify you yet still leave you feeling safe.

The story starts off with Rae in the hospital. Since the story is told through her point of view, you don't really know why she's there. All you know is she's both coming back to life and blacking out. In the next chapter, the story flashes back to the very beginning. You're introduced to all the key characters and start learning about Rae's life prior to the accident. I'm really glad the author decided to tell the story this way because it kept me both interested and invested in the story. I loved the mystery of how Rae ended up in the hospital and who (if anyone) is responsible for it. The enigma kept me reading and guessing. Did I guess right? Not at all. I'm usually a pretty good detective when it comes to mysteries, but not this time. Oh, Miss got me good. That's how well the story is told.

I must admit, when I first heard this book would not be told in verse, I was a little disappointed. Where is the poetic justice?! Well, rest assured because while this novel is not told in verse, the narrator does write poetry. That's right, Rae writes these amazing poems with so much depth in them, I actually felt myself tremble. If you love strong yet delicate heroines, you'll easily fall in love Rae.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out FALLING FOR YOU, especially if you're a fan of darker contemporary novels. It's not an easy read, but I promise you that there is light to all of it. Upon finishing this novel, I couldn't help but feel extremely blessed for all the incredible people in my life. That's the message I took away from this novel, which is why I think every single person should read it. Tell the people you love how much you love them, never settle for less than you deserve, and live every day as if it were your last.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger's most anticipated books. I've got a couple picks today, so let's go ahead and get this party started!

"The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can."

Why I Can't Wait: Cover? Love. Title? Love. Summary? LOOOOOOOVE!!! I'm fascinated about the mythical spin and am curious. Love triangle? I'm usually a hit or miss fan of these, but this one sounds incredible. I really hope this is told through alternating points of views. Eeek!

Expected publication: July 30th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin

"Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court--and to convince the whole court they're lovers--she accepts. Before long, Anne's popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice--but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history."

Why I Can't Wait: I cannot tell you guys how much I love all things Tudors related. I really adored GILT and have been anxiously awaiting what Katherine has in store for us next. Must read ASAP!

Expected publication: June 2013 by Viking Juvenile