Friday, September 30, 2011

Follow the Path

Written by: Anna Carey
Released: October 4, 2011 by HarperTeen

Summary: Where do you go when nowhere is safe?
Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.
Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.
Oh my god I should have written this review months ago when I actually read it. Sadly, my e-galley has expired for it, so forgive me if I’m a little vague on some parts. I do, for the most part, remember quite a lot about this novel. It was a rather spectacular novel.
First and foremost, don’t read this novel if you get incredibly irritated with non-fulfilling endings. I HATED how this novel ended simply because of A. How it ended and B. The fact that I have to wait such a long time until the next novel comes out. It leaves a reader desperately wanting more and like a tease it offers nothing. BUT I do recommend reading this novel as soon as you decide you’re prepared enough to, just be wary of the Andrea Cremer style ending.
I loved how Eve really evolves as a character throughout this novel. She starts off as this annoying goody-goody who always follows the rules but after just one event she finds herself searching for answers and discovering truths that leaves her almost wishing for ignorance again. However, it was great to read a strong character like her who changes little by little. This made it more believable and a better reading experience.
The supporting characters in this novel are crafted amazingly well. Arden starts off as this huge bitch but by the end of the novel you can’t help but kind of like her. I have to admit, though, that I can’t remember what happens to her in the end. I remember up to a certain point and then remember nothing about her. Caleb, on the other hand, I had my fingers crossed that he would be able to break through Eve’s barriers.
And then the ending near killed me. Seriously! It wasn’t what I was expecting at all and it made me cry (whether in frustration, sadness, or joy I’m not telling. That would be giving out spoilers) I can’t wait for the next in this series. 8/10!

My thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this novel!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mysteries Revealed at Last

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

Written by: Chris Van Allsburg and others

Released: October 25, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade

Summary: One Pulitzer Prize, five Newbery Medals, three Newbery Honors, two Caldecott Medals, one Caldecott Honor, three National Book Awards, seven National Book Award nominations, and five Coretta Scott King Awards. This is only a partial list of all accolades earn by the contributors of this book.

This inspired collection of short stories is based on the original illustrations of Chris Van Allburg in his esteemed and mysterious The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, originally published in 1984, and features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both adult and children's literature: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself.

Van Allsburg's Harris Burdick illustrations have evoked such wonderment and imagination since Harris Burdick's original publication in 1984; many have speculated or have woven their own stories to go with his images. More than ever, the illustrations send off their eerie call for text and continue to compel and pick at the reader's brain for a backstory--a threaded tale behind the image. In this book, we've collected some of the best storytellers to spin them.

When I was in grade 5 or 6 (some time in the late ‘90s) my teacher decided that we were going to do a literary unit on Chris Van Allsburg. The weeks that followed had us reading Jumanji, The Z was Zapped, The Polar Express, and every other Van Allsburg book that we had available in our school library. With each book we did a project and the one that went with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick was my favourite. That’s because the project that we did was this book.

Ok, it wasn’t this book exactly, but everyone in the class had to sign up for one of the pictures and write a short story incorporating both it and the caption below it. Mine was the picture with the glowing pumpkin called ‘Just Desert’ – which I totally spelled Dessert on the project – and it was about Halloween and witches. It was a disaster. But I remember at the time being completely taken with this book and wondering what stories would go with each of the pictures.

Then one day I was looking through netGalley and stumbled across this. No lie, the first thing I did after requesting it was to message one of my classmates from then and inform her of this upcoming publication. She too was excited.

Now, for this collection of stories, some were better than others. I really enjoyed a lot of them but there were a few which I skimmed through. But since it’s a collection of 14 short stories, they aren’t all necessarily going to appeal to the reader. I still loved reading them (even the ones I didn’t enjoy) purely because it’s like reliving my elementary school days. Plus it shed some light into the possibilities of what those stories could have been at the time that the pictures were originally drawn.

This collection is a wonderful use of the imagination that will captivate audiences all over the world. It really showcases the power of a picture and how it can help form an entire stream of consciousness. I give it 9/10.

My thanks to both netGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty-One

Written by: Jackie Morse Kessler
Released: March 20, 2012 by Graphia
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.

In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.

But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?
I absolutely loved both Hunger and Rage, so I’m sure that Loss will be amazing as well. I’m happy that it’s out in March!
Kessler really pushes the envelope with her subject matter and I feel as though this one will relate to a lot of people out there (not that her previous two didn’t) and be able to maybe help them a little.

The only thing that I dislike about this novel is the cover. And even with that, it's just how prominent the "Riders of the Apocalypse" is. Then again, this may not be the final cover. It seems to be lacking the glamour that the previous two have. Of course, that my just be me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

This top ten Tuesday (Books I want to Reread) was hard in the way that I had trouble dwindling down my list of ‘want to reread’ novels to only ten! So, here’s what I was finally able to write down – in no particular order, or course.
1. Wildefire by Karsten Knight
2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
3. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier  
4. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (you know, once I find books 2, 4, and 5 in their proper hardcover format)
5. The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard
6. Nightshade and Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
7. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
8. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
9. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
10. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

I’m pretty sure that I could have added ten more – like Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer – but as it is I went over anyway with grouping together several books.
As always, check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten fun!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (68)

Yes, I was a bad little blogger and broke my book ban (last week, I think...maybe) so I received some books in the mail this week! I have to say, I don’t regret it at all.
So, this week I got in my mailbox;

Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.
I read Perfect Chemistry last summer and loved it. I just finished reading Rules of Attraction and I think I love it a little bit more. I can’t wait for Chain Reaction to come to me next week!

Then, the amazing people at Random House Canada hosted a giveaway for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (or was it International Pirate Day... whichever) and I WON! So, from the fantastic people there I got;

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook by Jason Heller
Oh yeah, my coworkers were super jealous and wanted to read it. Actually, I flipped through on my break one night and it is quite the comical read. I can’t wait to really be able t crack it open!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Random House Canada!

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week. Leave me a line and let me know what you got in yours!

As always, IMM credit goes fully to Kristi over at The Story Siren. Visit her amazing site for more information.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rules are Meant to be Broken

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
Written by: James Patterson
Released: June 27, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ok, this book was pretty cute. Though geared more towards guys that girls, it would still appeal to both like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books do. It also follows the same basic idea with the drawings going along with, essentially, journal entries; the pages pretty much go half and half with writing vs. drawings.
Summary: Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.
Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.
This is definitely the type of book that I would pick up for my younger boy cousins (in fact, I may have given a copy to said cousins while in NYC for BEA... but I can’t remember if I picked up two of this novel or just one) since it would appeal to even non-avid readers.
I’ll admit that I skimmed through this book rather quickly and though I jumped over some of it I was able to get the story clear in my head. I liked the characters though I hated the mother for being one of those women I always want to slap sense into. She did redeem herself by the end of the novel, though, (sorry for the mild spoiler) and by the end I felt just a little bit sorry for her though happy at the same time. I also really liked Rafe and Leo – his best friend – and their end of the novel was a little bittersweet but in a heart-warming way.
I’m giving this novel a 6/10.

I received the special BEA edition of this novel. It came wrapped in a red bow and was very pretty.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dead Liz

Written by: Jessica Warman
Released: August 2, 2011 by Walker & Company
Summary: Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out...
I think that I will definitely finish reading this one at a later date, but for right now I just have more that I want to read.
The premise of this novel is fantastic. It’s a murder mystery that the victim is essentially solving as she comes to terms with her own death. I know that in time I’ll finish reading this novel and find out exactly what happened the night of Liz’s birthday.

Side note; LOVE the cover. And I received my copy at BEA.
Sadly, this was a DNF for me. It’s not that I wasn’t intrigued or that I didn’t want to know exactly what was going on, but after trying to read it for two months I decided that enough was enough. I read too many books while “reading” this one.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Alien Romance

The Wild One (Roswell High 2)
Written by: Melinda Metz
Released: December 1st 1999 by Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Summary: Dangerous love...

Isabel: From the moment she hears the roar of Nikolas' motorcycle, she's hooked. This new guy in town seems to understand exactly how she feels and thinks, exactly what she needs. He's someone willing to let her be what she was born to be...the wild one.

Alex: He's jealous of Isabel's new boyfriend. Worse, he fears that Nikolas is dragging Isabel deeper and deeper into danger. If Isabel's not careful, Sheriff Valenti will discover the truth about her. And if that happens, no one from Earth will be able to save her....Isabel: From the moment she hears the roar of Nikolas' motorcycle, she's hooked. This new guy in town seems to understand exactly how she feels and thinks, exactly what she needs. He's someone willing to let her be what she was born to be...the wild one.

What I loved about this novel was being able to see other sides of the characters that I know and love. I was always a Michael over Max fan and now I’m an even bigger one. I want a guy to come through my window with candy and a horror movie! It’s so obvious that he’s in love with Maria but is too much of an alien-guy to know what to do about it. I just wanted to slap some romantic sense into his character and be all ‘don’t deny the inevitable’. It was also both nice and infuriating to see another side of Isabel in this novel as well. I hated how annoyingly dense she was but I couldn’t help but applaud her for doing something out of character even though at the same time I was all ‘no, don’t do that!’
I loved the few scenes which I could identify from being incorporated into the show; specifically the generalness of the bowling alley scene.
In all, I loved this novel and I love this series. I can’t wait to see what else happens – especially since it is quite different from the show and I’m not sure what to expect! A well-earned rating of 9/10.
*Sigh* I love these books and I’ve only read the first two. Ok, I think that a lot of that springs from my love for the television show but still. I NEED to get my hands on the remaining seven (preferably at the same time or in order) so that I can read them as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Sixty

Written by: Anna Davies
Released: May 1, 2012 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Summary: Miranda has lived on Whym Island since the death of her parents. She has taken comfort in its seclusion and in the folklore that claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and its surrounding waters. It's just been easier to believe that things are out of her control.
But when a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy that haunts her dreams. As the guilt of the accident consumes her, she finds refuge in her late night swims. Then, she meets Christian, a boy who seems so familiar, but won't tell her where he is from and why they can only meet at the beach. As Miranda falls for Christian and begins to put the accident behind her, she discovers that there are secrets that Christian is keeping to protect her that may only end up bringing her nothing but harm.
Doesn’t that sound amazing? I wonder if it’s mermaids or a take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest (you know with the character Miranda and an island...).
I have to admit that I’m not too keen on the cover but that’s simply because it looks like a cheesy romance. I do like the detail that is used with the scale-like patterns on the guys chest, though. I think that’s why I’m leaning towards a mermaid-esque story which makes me super excited! I’m a total sucker for mermaids.
Another bonus with this novel is that it’s a 2012 debut! I can’t wait to read this one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (4)

This week for the Top Ten it is books that make me feel as though everyone else has read but me. I found it a little hard to think of books, though, since I’ve been catching up with some of my reading. But, nevertheless, here is my list for this week in no particular order;

1. Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door
2. Bloodlines and The Vampire Academy series
3. Across the Universe
4. Sister’s Red and Sweetly
5. Cassandra Clare’s books (I’ve only read the first two Mortal Instruments novels)
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7. Divergent by Veronica Roth

That’s all I can think of for this week. I suppose that if you add them up all collectively that it would be more than ten, so I guess that means I win! For more Top Ten Tuesdays visit The Broke and the Bookish 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (67)

It's been a few weeks and I did get a few books in the mail that I forgot to share!

I was so excited when I got my copies of Sweetly by Jackson Pierce and The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore in the mail! I also finally got my hardcover copy of Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (to match the signed hardcover sequel I got at BEA)

Sadly, I had to replace two books that I previously owned. I have no clue what happened to the copies that I had before but now they're missing and that annoys me. So I got Vampire are Forever and The Rogue Hunter by Lynsay Sands. I <3 this series AND it's mainly set in Toronto! WOO for Canadian-based novels!

Finally, I was incredibly lucky (and I'm NEVER lucky) and won a copy of Miss Perigrine's Home for Peculiar Children from RandomHouse Canada. THANK YOU you guys!!!!! The book is gorgeous and all my co-workers were super jealous when they saw me flipping through it in the break room.

So this is what I got in my mailbox - over the last few weeks. Sadly I also broke my book ban and ordered some books from The Book Depository. I just had to pre-order Mara Dyer after I read the ARC I was lucky enough to get! Stay tuned for that review. It was an AMAZING novel!

Leave me a line and let me know what you got in your mailbox!

As always, a disclaimer stating that The Story Siren is the fantastic genius behind IMM. Visit her site for more info!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Utopia Destroyed

The Shattering
Written by: Karen Healey
Released: September 5th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

I didn’t know what to expect when I went into reading this novel. I was thinking that it would be more of a mystery/thriller and that was it. What I got, instead, was something slightly unexpected – which I have to admit made me read the pages as fast as I could.

The chapters in this novel alternated between Keri, Janna and Sione and offered a different perspective each chapter with each having their own idea as to what was happening pertaining to the murders. Usually this is something I don’t enjoy with a novel but it really worked with this one. It was nice to see the different voices each time and get to really know the characters.
I have to admit that Janna was the main character that I disliked the most. I found her flighty and annoying at times and even though she came through at the end hers were the chapters that I liked the least. Sione fell a little flat, but I loved Keri. She was one of those characters who really grew as the story went along. I felt more for her with her brother dying than I did the other two, though maybe that’s just because hers was a more recent tragedy.
This was a novel that kept me wondering right until the last few chapters and, even though there were a few parts that I think didn’t work that well, it was a really enjoyable novel. Plus, it was great to read a novel based in New Zealand for a change.
If the summary is something that interests you (and you are able to keep a relatively open mind for the path it takes) I would suggest you try this novel out. 7.5/10.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Please Hold for Baby

Pregnant Pause

Written by: Han Nolan

Released: September 19, 2011 by Harcourt Children’s Books

Summary: Nobody gets away with telling Eleanor Crowe what to do. But as a pregnant sixteen-year-old, her options are limited: move to Kenya with her missionary parents or marry the baby’s father and work at his family’s summer camp for overweight kids.

Despite her initial reluctance to help out, Elly is surprised that she actually enjoys working with the campers. But a tragedy on the very day her baby is born starts a series of events that overwhelms Elly with unexpected emotions and difficult choices. Somehow, she must turn her usual obstinance in a direction that can ensure a future for herself—and for the new life she has created.

I’ve said it before; I love reading books about teen pregnancy. I think that’s also where my slight addiction to watching 16 and Pregnant stems from. I always want to know what their decision will be – abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby – and then I almost always put myself into the situation and see if I would have made the same choice.

** On a side note, I was able to read this novel through netGalley and I’ve been super slacking on writing my reviews right away... so bear with me if I’m vague about some things!

Ok, this was one of the books that I started to read during my whole BEA-NYC adventure (see, this review is so late) and it kept some amazing company while I was flying back home. I was immediately sucked into the drama of Elly’s life; her sudden pregnancy, her forced marriage, and her basic eviction from her family. I immediately clicked with her (even in her whiney moments) and was empathetic with her problems. Sure, some of it I felt as though she really brought on to herself, but at the same time I was in awe of how well she was handling everything. Plus, major bonus points for the fact that she quit smoking, drinking and partying as soon as she found out about her sperminated state.

The way that this novel was written it made it extremely hard to date – which is a good thing because then it has a timeless quality. There weren’t really pop culture references or a whole lot of product spam. The focus was Elly and the months that lead up to her giving birth and then the few weeks after. It was really entrenched in the lives of the people at the summer camp. The character building in this novel was fantastic (though admittedly most of that went with Elly) and the people and situations were realistic enough that you could completely picture it in your mind.

Aside from Elly, you get to deal with her ultimate dick of a “husband”, Lam, and his neurotic parents who own the summer camp. Most of the time I found myself hating Lam and his parents, but then one of them would come out with this heart-warming comment or they would do something sweet and out of character that I would soften a bit towards them. At the end of the novel the only one of the three who I still couldn’t stand was Lam, and even then as much as I would like to fault the guy for being a dick, he had a lot to deal with in a very short time... no, I take that back, he was just a huge asshat.

The rest of the characters in this novel each serve their purpose and some are more memorable than others. Some are also more integral to the novel and some just keep surprising you until the end. The thing is, too, that there were a lot of characters in this novel. There were the campers and the multitude of camp counsellors plus all the family members who play important roles. Yet, with the number of them I never felt as though I were overwhelmed in trying to keep everyone straight. The only one I wasn’t sure of was the grandmother because for a few pages I couldn’t tell if she were Lam’s or Elly’s grandma.

It was the ending of this novel that really made it great. While I don’t think that I could do what Elly ultimately does, I think that I would still feel the completely inner battle that she did. Still, the ending was perfect and even though it didn’t seem quite a few times where things would end on any sort of happy note, I was glad that it did.

Han Nolan is definitely an author who I will be looking out for in the future. This was an amazing novel and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next. I’m giving it a 9/10.

Many thanks to netGalley and Harcourt Children’s Books for the opportunity to read this eARC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Fifty-Nine

Look! The cover and the summary are released on Goodreads!

For years scandal has rocked Rosewood, Pennsylvania—and high school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have always been at the center of the drama. They’ve lost friends, been targeted by a ruthless stalker named A, and narrowly escaped death. And it’s not over yet.
Aria’s love life is on the fritz. Emily’s exploring her wild side. Hanna’s kissing the enemy. And someone from Spencer’s past—someone she never thought she’d see again—is back to haunt her.
But none of that compares to what happened last spring break. It’s their darkest secret yet and guess who found out? Now A is determined to make them pay for their crime, and the only thing scarier than A is the fear that maybe, just maybe, they deserve what’s coming to them.

I almost find myself wanting to wait for this and the following two novels to all be released before I start reading this new quartet. Luckily they seem to be coming out quite quickly after each other. This one is set for December 6 or this year! Thank you HarperTeen and Sara Shepard for being so speedy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

There have been many, MANY books that I have read in the last two years(ish) because of another blogger. I’m pretty sure that I never would have read most of the debut authors from the last couple of years are thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and the Debut Author Challenge. But there are so many other amazing bloggers out there who I follow and look to for book reviews. Nicole from WORD for Teens is the one who got me onto both the Bloody Jack and the Parasol Protectorate novels. The rest of the novels on the list (whether I enjoyed reading them or not) are all memorable novels which I first heard of from other bloggers and their glowing reviews.

And so, here is my top ten list for Books I Read Because of Another Blogger in no particular order;

1. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Soulless by Gail Carriger
4. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
5. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
6. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
7. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
8. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

For more information about Top Ten Tuesdays visit The Broke and the Bookish!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Short Sexy Non-YA Times

Cosmo’s Sexiest Stories Ever
Written by: Jane Greene, Jennifer Weiner, and Meg Cabot
Released: August 23, 2011 by Hearst Books
Summary: The world’s best-selling magazine for young women asked three best-selling authors to each write a story steamy enough for the pages of Cosmo—a tall order, but these ladies so delivered. The trio of tantalizing tales was such a hit that they’ve been compiled into this must-have ebook. Now, readers can devour these naughty little nuggets whenever, wherever. Here’s a taste of the deliciousness inside:
 “Sex Under the Stars” by Jane Green
Maggie’s marriage fell apart three years ago—and now she has her eyes set on her ex-hubby’s smoke-show of a best friend. 
Birthday Sex She’ll Never Forget” by Jennifer Weiner
Daphne’s turning twenty-six, and the best damn gift she could have ever asked for comes in the form of a hot guy from her past—and his spine-tingling mattress moves. 
Falling in Lust at the Jersey Shore” by Meg Cabot
When Gemma agrees to go in on a house at the Jersey Shore, she assumes every dude there will be a gorilla juicehead. So she is pleasantly surprised by the yummy piece of eye candy waiting for her when she arrives.
Steamy? Check. Fantasy inducing? Check. Safe-sex practicing? Check. These short (super short) stories have it all.
I was a little surprised to see this on NetGalley but it intrigued me to I clicked the request button. I thought that it would be more like those horrible compilation romance novels that are meant to make the reader buy the full-length spin-off whatnot when it comes out. However I also figured that I couldn’t go wrong with Meg Cabot being one of the authors, so I took a chance.
I loved to see that there were three short one-shot stories. Each was about seven pages long (on my e-reader) and it was a nice foray into a non-YA novel for a little while.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I’m giving it a 9/10. If you’re on NetGalley check it out!

PS: These stories are totally NSFW.

As always, my thanks to everyone through NetGalley who made it possible for me to read this e-book.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Of Closets, Teapots, and Aquatic Animals


Written by: Gail Carriger

Released: June 28, 2011 by Orbit

Summary: Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

I read this MONTHS ago (I’m that far behind in my review writing) but I absolutely adored this novel and it’s hard to forget.

I loved how huffy Alexia was with just about everything and especially her little quips about her pregnancy. She just made me smile the entire time with her sarcasm and sass since the entire novel you could see just how much she didn’t really mean it. Top it all off with growling werewolves and haughty vampires and you get this amazing combination of characters who do nothing but get in and out of trouble.

This novel was full of adventure, experiments, and fabulous fashion sense. It’s definitely not one of those novels where it wasn’t as good of a read as the first in the series; if anything these novels keep getting better.

I can’t wait for the next novel in the series and luckily I’ve already pre-ordered it from The Book Depository! 10/10.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


In Trouble

Written by: Ellen Levine

Released: September 28, 2011 by Carolrhoda Books

Summary: Jamie and Elaine have been best friends forever, and now they’re finally juniors in high school. Elaine has a steady boyfriend, and Jamie could have one—if she'd just open her eyes and see Paul. But Jamie has a bigger problem to worry about.

Then Elaine gets "in trouble"—something they thought only happened to "other" girls. Are there any good choices for a girl in trouble?

In Trouble is a novel born of author Ellen Levine’s interviews with women who came of age in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including those who knew what it was like to be a teen facing a horrible choice.

In the decades before Roe v. Wade, a young woman "in trouble" had very few options—and all of them meant shame, isolation, and maybe much worse.

Jamie and Elaine's stories are just two among the thousands of stories of teenagers facing unplanned pregnancies.

I love reading novels with subject matter like this one because it’s so entrenched in real life that I can’t help but imagine it being true. Plus, while I’m pro-choice in matters such as these, I’m fascinated on the process that other people go through in order to make their own decision.

Both Jamie and Elaine’s stories are ones which I know have happened to so many different girls all over the world. With one pregnancy resulting from false declarations of love and pressure and the other from unfortunate circumstances, this story covers a wide spectrum pertaining to pregnancy. They also cover the different choices that a girl has – which in the set time period of this novel isn’t necessarily as many as there are today – and the turmoil that those choices can cause within a person’s life.

What I didn’t like about this novel was the way it was written. The story, I loved, but I could have done without the secondary plot line of Jamie’s father and the annoying jumps to a script-like narrative. It was choppy and made it hard to really get into and stay into the story. The only place where the script-thing even worked well in my mind was when Jamie was remembering her attack and the events leading up to it. But even the attack itself was awkward from the very beginning; the way that it was first hinted at, the almost pointless build-up (since the reader knew about it anyways so long as they could put two and two together and get four), and how nothing seemed to be done afterwards.

This novel deals with heavy subject matter and might not be for all people. Aside from pregnancy, it deals with religion and politics and while I liked the novel well enough, it just wasn’t enough. I’m giving it a 4/10.

I was graciously provided this eARC though netGalley by Carolrhoda Books.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wish List Wednesday - Number Fifty-Eight


Holy Smokes! I think that I would read this purely for the cover. However, the summary is amazing as well.

Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish.

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.

Anna Banks and Feiwel & Friends, I officially cannot wait until next May 22 so that I can buy this novel and just stare at the cover (and, you know, read it).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week the topic is Top Ten Sequels I'm Dying to Read. And so, in no particular order, my top books are;

1. Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer – Technically the third book, but still!
2. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
3. Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
4. Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler – Another one that’s technically the third, but I still can’t wait!
5. Crossed by Ally Condie
6. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
7. Devoted by Hilary Duff
8. White Glove War by Katie Crouch
9. Thumped by Megan McCafferty
10. Seizure by Kathy Reichs

This was such an easy Top 10 to write. There are just so many books out there that I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (66)

Well, I only bought one book this week but there’s a reason for that. See, if I spent X amount of dollars at Shoppers I was able to get mega points and so I bought a book to get me up there.

The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
I’ve been eyeing this one for months and so I caved.
On a side note, I bought Nicole by O.P.I. drying drops for when I paint my fingernails. Holy crap these things are amazing!! They really work and they work fast!

I was able to download my waiting titles from NetGalley and I got;

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
DANCERGIRL by Carol M. Tanzman
Ditched by Robin Mellom

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

So this is what I got in my mailbox this week! Leave me a line and let me know what you got in yours!

As always, check out The Story Siren for more IMM fun and info!

Friday, September 2, 2011

RAK August Wrap-up and September's Beginning

Ok, technically through the RAK channels I didn't receive anything BUT I did have some random acts of kindness, so I'm counting them since they were random and they were incredible acts of kindness!

So, turns out I have a local fellow book blogger - NotNessie from Today's Adventure - and we were able to get together and have a book swap. I got a WHOLE lot of books from her so here are the top highlights;

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (ARC)

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (ARC)

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (ARC) - Yes, I bought my own hardcover version when it first came out but I really love the ARC cover!

For the rest of the amazingness that is NotNessie, check out my IMM here where they're all listed with pictures!

Then, Sara from Just Another Story was AMAZING as well and sent me her extra ARCs of Witchlanders by Lena Coakley and Fury by Elizabeth Miles.

In return, (I really need to keep better trac of what I send out) I sent Sara an ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater and Kate from The Book Monsters I sent out a sample chapter of The Death Cure by James Dashner along with some little buttons and bookish stuff!

I can't wait for September's RAK and what it will bring!

For my Wishlist, visit my post here!

Deal With the Devil

The Mephisto Covenant

Written by: Trinity Faegen

Released: September 27, 2011 by EgmontUSA

Summary: Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

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?

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed reading this novel. It sucked me in from the very beginning and I hated putting it down (like while I was at work and probably shouldn’t have been reading for so long...), but something is bothering me about the story. I also feel as though – and in no way is this a negative thing – that this is something that I could have easily read on In fact, change the hell spawn to either vampires or werewolves and I’m pretty sure I have. Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely amazing novels posted at and this would have become a favourite, but I guess it’s weird, with the intense connection I mentally made between the site and this novel, to see this being published. Which doesn’t make any sense since there are several amazing authors who were first on and are now either published or about to be published.

At this point I’m so confused about it myself that I’m not even sure if I’m being coherent at this point. So on to the actual review.

Ok, as I stated above before babbling on, I really enjoyed this novel. As soon as I started reading it I didn’t want to put it down and I needed to know what would happen. I love it when a book can sink its hooks into me from page one and keep my eyes glued to the page until the very end and while I’m greatly looking forward to the next novel, I can’t help but think that this could have been condensed into one longer novel. Of course, that could also just be my insane want for the next so that I can find out what happens next. The ending was pretty well done, but there were enough loose ends left that I still have many questions left unanswered.

Normally, I don’t care much for Angel/Devil novels but this one is definitely an exception. In fact, this is how I think Angel Burn should have been with the whole “child of an ‘evil’ one” and “guy saving girl from dark forces” not to mention the general story, characters, and pacing. This definitely was a novel that did the whole religion inspired plot very well – at least I thought so. I liked the spin on the whole thing (I don’t want to give too much away), especially how it blurred the lines of what was good and evil and how far someone would go to save a loved one.

If you’re looking for this spectacular read with in-depth characters and a super-involved intellectual plot... yeah this probably wouldn’t be the novel for you. What I liked about it was how simple it was – which is a whole part of the similarity – and how easy a read it was. I liked how I didn’t have to really think while reading and it offered this great escape from the drudgery of my busy schedule. There’s also a sex scene near the end (and not like the crap-tacular one in Breaking Dawn), so if that’s not something you want to read, give this a pass maybe.

I’m giving this novel an 8/10 and I can’t wait for the next.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Egmont for allowing me to read an E-galley of this novel!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Simple Ball of Yarn

Dark of the Moon

Written by: Tracy Barrett

Released: September 19, 2011 by Harcourt Children’s Books

Summary: Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, finding companionship only with her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

Then a ship arrives bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, and Ariadne meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.

But Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .

I know that this story is base on the ancient myth about the minotaur and the labyrinth, but I have to confess that that’s about everything that I knew about the legend. Well, that and that there was a ball of string involved. So I went into reading this novel not fully knowing what was going to happen and having no clue what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome, though.

This novel alternated between Ariadne and Theseus’ perspectives, which really made it easy to follow the “love story” aspect and everything else that happens. Normally I’m not too keen on the alternating perspectives, but it really works for this novel, so I really didn’t give it a second thought. It also was interesting to read about how minor details can completely change a person’s perspective on something that happens... but I don’t want to give anything away.

I was catapulted into the world that this story encompasses and it was hard to put down my e-reader. I’m pretty sure that I read this novel in just about one sitting (one afternoon at least) simply because I needed to know what was going on and what was going to happen to the characters. It was also just this fascinating read and knowing that it was also based upon an old legend, it makes me really want to look further into the origins. But the way that the story unfolded on the page, I can easily see it being how it actually could have been before it was misconstrued and details were either elaborated or changed to make for a better story; it was logical while still being mythical.

I loved the characters that this novel introduced. Aside from Ariadne and Theseus, the secondary characters really added something else to the story and they kept you guessing. Unfortunately, my loan of the eARC has expired, so I can’t name names, but if you get a chance to read the novel, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

In short, I enjoyed reading this novel. It may not have been what I would normally pick up, but it was a nice change and very interesting. I’m giving it a 7/10.

My thanks to netGalley and Harcourt for allowing me to read an eARC of this novel.