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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
(Hyperion/December 10, 2013)
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
(Hyperion/September 3, 2013)
Marina has everything. She’s got money, popularity, and a bright future. Plus, she’s best friends with the boy next door, who happens to be a gorgeous prodigy from one of America’s most famous families.

Em has nothing. Imprisoned in a small white cell in the heart of a secret military base, all she has is the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

But Marina and Em have one big thing in common: they’re the same person.

Now Em must travel back four years in time in order to avert the terrible future from which she’s fled, and there’s only one way to do it. She must kill the person who invented the time machine in the first place: someone from her past. A person she loved.

But Marina won’t let them go without a fight.

 What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
(Margaret K. McElderry Books/May 7, 2013)
“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.
Oh man, this one sounds so tantalizing and intriguing!!  "Sing, and the darkness will find you?"  Sounds like an amazing story in the making!  Seems like there are a lot of good books coming out in May--just in time for summer!
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

All I Need by Susan Colasanti
(Viking Juvenile/May 21, 2013)
Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?
This sounds like a fun summer read!  I enjoyed Ms. Colasanti's writing style in Keep Holding On and look forward to reading her newest work!  (And I'm a sucker for romance, so this is definitely on my TBR list!)
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
(Philomel/May 7, 2013)
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth. 
Having enjoyed previous works by these authors, I hope Invisibility will prove to be another good read!  (The boy being invisible reminds me a bit of a book I read during my middle school years, Things Not Seen!)

 What are you waiting on this Wednesday? 
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer
(Razorbill/April 23, 2013)

Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She's trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed's girlfriend.

And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She's been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . . .
I really enjoyed Immortal City and thought it was a stand-alone novel.  The story was a stood quite well by itself and although I am hopeful that this sequel will deliver, I'm a little hesitant!  I thought the ending to Immortal City was nice and left a possibility that readers could imagine and interpret as they will, but I guess that will no longer be the case!  Nonetheless, I have hopes that Natural Born Angel will be another good read and that Maddy will have matured since the first novel!
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Release Date: May 31, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 224
Source: BEA

Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for the love that keeps her holding on.

Susan Colasanti's writing is very approachable and honest--and definitely tugged more than a few heart strings in Keep Holding On!  If you're looking for a fun, light-hearted read, this is not the novel for you!  Ms. Colasanti tackles much heavier themes in this novel--bullying, poverty, and dysfunctional families.  She captures the struggles and feelings of pain, humiliation and sadness of someone going through so many things; a young teen being bullied relentlessly at school while receiving no support or help at home.  Although Noelle came off as whiny some times and I wished she would take control and try to make improvements on her own, I can see where she's coming from, since she already has so much to deal with. 

The only major issue I had with this book was how neatly everything wrapped up in the end.  After all the struggles Noelle went through, I don't deny that she deserves a better and happier life, but the way things wrapped up in the end seemed a little too fast and wasn't consistent with the tone and pace of the rest of the novel.  Nonetheless, I though Keep Holding On was a well written book overall, and I am looking forward to Ms. Colasanti's future works!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 3.75 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Cover: 3.5 stars 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Reboot by Amy Tintera
(HarperTeen/May 7, 2013)
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
Sounds like a really good read!  Although the bit about "the longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return" sounds a lot like the concept Daniel Water's had in his Generation Dead series, except with zombies.  Although there doesn't seem to be many more similarities between the two beyond that seeing that we're talking deadly soldiers here in Reboot
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leap Into Books Giveaway!

For this hop, one lucky reader will receive a copy of Real Vampires Know Hips Happen by Gerry Bartlett! 

Praise for Gerry Bartlett’s Real Vampires Series:

"Real vampires, real fun, real sexy!"
New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks,

"Hot and hilarious. Glory is everywoman with fangs."
New York Times bestselling author Nina Bangs

“I have said it before and will say it again; this is a great laugh out loud series.
This series is a keeper. Ms. Bartlett is an auto buy.”
Night Owl Reviews
Does plaid make your butt look big?
Glory St. Clair knows that it does. But she'll even throw on a Campbell kilt if it will help her win her hunky Scottish lover back. She's risked everything to cross the Atlantic to confront him in Scotland. Now powerful forces are determined to keep them apart. An attack on Jeremiah Campbell leaves him with amnesia and he doesn't remember her or their centuries together. Glory must win her man back and prove to her nemesis that she's where she's always wanted to be, even if it means dragging Jerry back to Texas.

Jeremiah doesn't remember the woman who claims they've been together so long but he's more than willing to take what she freely offers--her ancient blood and her voluptuous body. But when she tries to get him to travel to the New World in a flying machine and to work with his ancient enemy, he thinks she's cracked. In his mind, he's stuck in 1590. This modern world is almost too much for him. But there's something about this woman with the generous curves... Soon enough he finds himself risking death for her more than once. Who or what seems determined to keep them apart? The ancient warrior in him won't stand for it. And the fight is on.
Check out GoodReads for more on Real Vampires Know Hips Happen!
Interested?  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck!
Please enter by Feb 7th, midnight (EST)
(Sorry, open to US mailing addresses only!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My giveaway for the YA Giveaway Hop!

For this hop, I'm giving away an arc copy of What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang!  
I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

Interested?  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck!
Please enter by Feb 4th, midnight (EST)
(Sorry, open to US mailing addresses only!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 368
Source: BEA

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

Crewel was very unique.  I haven't read anything quite like that in a while!  I was hooked in pretty quickly, by the second half, I didn't want to put it down at all!  Adelice has the ability to weave on the looms that make up time, surroundings, people--basically the ability to weave life.   Despite her parents' best attempts to help her hide her abilities, her talent is noticed and she is forced to join the Spinsters that are part of the Guild that rules and controls all life.  While it might seem like a posh, plush life to live from the outside, Adelice learns otherwise pretty quickly; there are politics and power-hungry people that aren't worried about trampling others to get what they want--after all, they have the ability to change and destroy lives.

It was a very intriguing read that I quite enjoyed.  It feels hard to describe any of it without giving too much away, but I will say it is a gripping, unique read that will keep you entertained!  However, while it was an enjoyable read for me, it wasn't flawless.  I found myself re-reading several parts to try to understand how the looms and their worlds worked.  It's a bit confusing at times, and I think some of it could have been explained a bit better, but it's certainly an interesting idea!  I don't fully understand the intentions of a certain character (sorry about the vagueness, but I really don't want to give anything away!) and while most of the characters are developed quite well and the world-building is terrific, I found a few characters a bit lacking, which made it harder to understand what was going through their minds.  

I am not a big fan of love triangles and there's a bit of one in Crewel.  I don't think it was that well developed and the two boys involved could have used a bit more of character development; despite their importance, I did not find them to have much depth.  It would have been nice to know more about their pasts and to see more of their personality.  That said, Adelice's involvement with boys was a bit shaky.  Granted, she's been mostly segregated from boys her whole life, but some of her decisions are still confusing to me.

Lastly, the ending.  It was interesting and not entirely what I was expecting, but it was also a bit messy.  Character motives, the structure and world of as a bit jumbled and confusing at the end, but it does leave us at an interesting cliffhanger.  With this being a series, I'm hoping that the second book will pick up smoothly and be able to untangle the ending to Crewel!

Overall: 4.25 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 3.75 stars
Writing: 4.25 stars
Cover: 4 stars

Friday, January 11, 2013

Origin by Jessica Khoury

Release Date: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 394
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

While the premise of this story is certainly interesting and the writing was quite good, I found that the story dragged in quite a few places.  Although I understand that Pia felt cooped up in Little Cam's facilities, I felt that the story had some uneven pacing; there were quite a few scenes in Little Cam that did not add very much the plot and slowed the overall pacing of the novel down.

The writing was pretty strong in Origin; Jessica Khoury does a great job creating vivid environments--from the sterile and secretive labs of Little Cam to the jungle, filled with its promises of danger and adventures--that readers feel like they could just step into.  Of course, given how many hidden dark secrets the staff of Little Cam may have and the unknown wealth of dangers the jungle holds, readers may not want to step in!  This only goes to show what a great job Jessica Khoury did in setting the scene for readers!

That said, while the writing was good, I didn't think all of the characters were stellar.  Eio's personality did not seem particularly special, and while it seems all good and well that he's devoted to Pia, it all happened a little too quickly for me.  Sure, plenty of novels have the love-at-first-sight thing going, but most of those characters had at least had interactions with other people of their gender before their love-at-first-sight moment.  Pia being, quite frankly, a lab experiment that was locked away in the jungle for so long, had no experience with other people of her own age.  So having her fall so deeply in love with Eio so quickly made me wonder if she fell for him just because he's the only boy her age she's ever met, especially since she already had her heart set on helping make her own "Mr. Perfect Immortal" as her companion.  

Another issue I had with Origin was the build up.  I have to admit that when the big secret was revealed, I was disappointed.  I had expected something spectacular and mind-blowing since the author had held off on the big reveal until late in the novel!  It wasn't as well fleshed-out as I had hoped it would be, and given the tone of the book, I had expected something more science-based.  But in the end, it was more magic than it was science.  After the reveal, it all ended pretty quickly as well (again, the uneven pacing of the book).  That said, I will at least give credit to the author for not dragging the story or the big reveal out into several more novels!

Lastly, I found a point the novel brought up quite interesting--how far would you go for the advancement for science?  The answer that some people might give could just chill you to the bone!  It certainly disturbed me quite a bit how focused some of the scientists at Little Cam were, and how little they thought about how their methods could be harming others.  While having passion for your field is a valuable trait that could undoubtedly help you work harder, this novel also brings up the questions concerning the morals of such research and how far people should go.  That said, how scientists are portrayed in this novel should not be how you see all scientist!  Not all scientists are souless people who care nothing for morals, ethics and others, unlike most of the scientists in Little Cam! 

Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 3.75 stars
Characters: 3.5 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 4 stars 


Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.