26 October 2012

{Unplanned} Blogging Hiatus

Source: http://ugaadmissions.blogspot.com/2011/04/out-of-office.html 
Hi, friends and fellow readers!  As I procrastinate this fine evening, I realized that it has been QUITE some time now since I posted here and I wanted to offer up an explanation. :)


First, I'm finishing my MA in Library Science this semester and at the school I attend, that means comps.  It has meant a full week of working all day and researching/writing all night and it's been stressful.

Second, I'm presenting at the YA Lit Symposium. (Anyone else attending? I'm super excited!) I'm on a panel presenting about LGBT literature for teens and my major role in the project has been creating a blog/website with book reviews and resources (and, of course, reading books to review) because my section of the presentation is on collection development. (Wanna see it? Find it HERE.)

By mid-November I'm hoping to be able to post the backlog of things I've read because I really have read some great books lately!! Thank you much to those of you who have stuck around. :)

02 October 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Release Date: 16 October 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux BYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
My Thoughts...

01 October 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Release Date: 2 October 2012 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
My Thoughts...

24 September 2012

Fierce Reads Event Recap!

When I first started blogging and really taking a renewed interest in the book community, I was often disheartened at the number of book/author events that happened elsewhere (especially when they were in Chicago and therefore closer to where I grew up than where I currently live). It seemed like St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which at about 2 hours from where I live, nevertheless seemed to draw YA authors. Then, magically, Ally Condie came to St. Louis courtesy of the plibrary and Puddnhead Books. That event was almost a year ago now and since then I've had the pleasure of attended three more events, including Lauren Oliver, HarperCollins' Dark Days of Summear, and now the fabulous FIERCE READS tour. Despite the stress and business of a new job and my final semester of my MA program, I knew that with such a fabulous 5 author line-up I couldn't miss this event and I'm so glad that I made the trip! The evening's line-up features Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, Elizabeth Fama, Lish McBride, and Marissa Meyer. How could you NOT want to attend that event?! I had the chance to chat with the ladies a little before the event and I have to say that they were fabulous. They make me want a third job with a publisher just touring with authors. (And can you identify the author who "doesn't belong" in the picture?)

Moving on to the actual event, the Audience asked some great questions and I will try to distill for you some of my favorite answers, tidbits, and random facts. (And I apologize for the poor quality pictures as my camera died right before the event and without spare batteries in tow--silly me--I had to resort to the iPad camera).

You really do learn the most interesting things at these author events.  For example, Ann started off the discussion talking about why she loves writing YA so much now that she's moved to writing for the age group.  She said the cross-genre possibilities are awesome but the best part is really the uncensored, enthusiastic fan-mail that comes from young readers. She says, "I really want to be an annoying 12 year old forever." Marissa Meyer talked a little about her fan-fic and short story background and it was really interesting to find out that the initial idea for the Lunar chronicles was inspired by a short story that she wrote at a young age about a futuristic, science fiction version of "Puss in Boots." Jessica Brody got the initial idea for 52 Reasons when watching a meter reader write a ticket and thinking "Wouldn't it be cool to be a meter reader for, like, a day?" Beyond that, she thought carefully about how to turn this idea into a "fish out of water story" with a character who would change the most throughout the course of the story and present the most comedy. Elizabeth Fama wrote Monstrous Beauty as a dare from her YA-age kids and they worked the outline out together on morning runs! (How fun!)  Lish set out to write a story about the nice guy because while badasses are awesome, that's not really the kind of guy that most of us spend out high school lives with.

I could spend a long time telling you about all of their awesome answers to the audience questions that spanned everything from the hardest part of writing to marketing a current projects.  I will leave you with this: none of them think that "writer's block" is a real thing!  Their advice to all of those aspiring writers out there is that you have to push through it!  If you feel like you're stuck, then there's something that needs changed or cut.  Step back (or away), think about it, and then come back and keep going.  Writing is a job if you want to make money at it. My favorite quote (as an educator) was probably this: "Teacher's aren't allowed to get teaching block, and then sit at their desks all day because they just don't feel inspired today."  So writer friends, go forth and write!

Thanks to the absolutely fabulous people being the Fierce Reads tour I have an AMAZING giveaway for you today!  Take a look at the awesomeness that's up for grabs...

Prize Package:

  • Signed copies of: Enclave, Outpost, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Necromancing the Stone, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Cinder, Monstrous Beauty
  • Swag: "Spoiled Heiress" t-shirt and sunglasses, 52 Reasons bookmark, Unremembered sneak peak, Monstrous Beauty buttons, Cinder/Scarlet bookmark and stickers

So, here's the details: To win, you must be in the US and over the age of 13.  Other than that, it's easy! Just enter away using the Rafflecopter form below!

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21 September 2012

YA Book Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Release Date: 4 September 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! B&NAmazon

Goodreads description:
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
My Thoughts...
So much more than a "mermaid book," Monstrous Beauty captured my heart with all of the wonderful elements that Ms. Fama threw in. This was honestly a beautifully dark, wonderfully crafted ghost story with terrifying magical sea creatures woven in. To top it off the story offers history, genealogy, and cemeteries--all things that captured my heart in a personal way.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints from Syrenka, the mermaid living in 1872-3, and Hester, a modern young woman determined to avoid love and all that it entails for her family. Reading from the point of views of both women gives the reader a unique advantage over the modern main character as the mystery increases on both sides. Watching the stories converge in the ways that they eventually do is engaging and really drew me in as a reader.

Both Syrenka and Hester are interesting characters, but I connected a lot with Hester.  Her emotional reactions to the things going on around (and within) her as well as the way she delved into the mysteries she was exploring really resonated with me as a person.  We are a lot alike in ways and I found that she was simply a fun character for me to get to know.  Combined with fantastic writing and richly atmospheric storytelling, this is a story that I can see myself reading and enjoying again in the future.

You don't have to like mermaid books to enjoy Monstrous Beauty.  It's dark tale combines new romance, local history, intriguing mystery...ghosts, sea monsters (mermaids), and cemeteries.  it may sound like a lot of elements to throw into a single story (which is wonderfully a standalone) but it definitely works.  Fans of darker fairy tale-esque stories will thoroughly enjoy this story.

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20 September 2012

Cover Reveal: Abandon by Elana Johnson

After I finished Possession, there hadn't yet been news of a sequel and I was left devastated--crying and rocking back and forth in the corner.  THANKFULLY, there was a sequel and Surrender proved to me that I was truly in love with this series. But, when I finished Surrender, there was still no news about a continuation and I was devastated.  Sure, there's a lot to be said for ambiguous endings, but I WANTED MORE.  I NEEDED ANSWERS.  Thankfully, THANKFULLY, the third and final volume is indeed going to be published.  This was me when I saw that news:

So OF COURSE I wanted to participate in revealing her new cover courtesy of A Tale of Many Reviews affliate - AToMR Book Blog Tours!  Have I made you wait long enough yet? Maybe you want to see this beautiful gem now?  OKAY!

18 September 2012

YA Book Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Release Date: 3 July 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Goodreads description:
Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
My Thoughts...

30 August 2012

YA Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Release Date: 24 April 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.
My Thoughts...

29 August 2012

YA Book Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Release Date: 12 June 2012
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.

It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.

One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
My Thoughts...

28 August 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Release Date: 28 August 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.
My Thoughts...

27 August 2012

Hollowed Blog Tour: Character Interview with Briar

Today I am SUPER lucky to have the opportunity to share with you an interview that I had the pleasure of doing with none other than Briar, the leading lady in Kelley York's fabulous new vampire novel! 

Welcome to Reading in the Corner, Briar! I’m so excited to have you here today.
Hi. Hey. How's it going?

Great! Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a little bit about yourself (before “the event.”)
I like that. "The Event." Uh, let's see. I worked at a family bar, which is a job I totally never would've gotten if my roomie's brother didn't own the joint. I totally blow at interviews. I visited my parents a couple times a month and I kinda, sorta, maybe flunked out of community college. Which is something I hadn't gotten up the nerve to admit to Mom and Dad yet.

What do you remember about the night you and Sherry were attacked? Anything?
The memories were fuzzy at first. Now I can remember pretty much all of it. I remember thinking it was my fault we were there, and thinking the entire thing had to be some nightmare. I kept waiting to wake up from it.
I also remember it being really cold and wet and icky. But I guess you don't hear much about people being murdered on a bright, sunshiney day.

What was the biggest adjustment after you first changed?
Not being able to see my family. Someday, maybe I will. But I have some work to do before then so I don't scare my parents senseless. Having a life, no matter how stagnant it might be, then having it ripped out from under you is kind of a big thing. You lose your whole sense of self and have to rebuild it all.

What’s your favorite part of being a vampire, now that you’ve had a little time to adjust? Least favorite part?
There are some cool things about it. Our senses aren't, like, super-human, but they're kind of...tuned better than a human's, if that makes sense? I see and hear and feel the world with more clarity than I did before.
My least favorite part? The food. Ohmygod. Sometimes I get the worst cravings for something, like a huge cheeseburger, but when I eat it, it tastes like cardboard. So disappointing.
Yeah, THAT would not make me happy. I had the BEST bacon cheeseburger this past weekend...but I guess you don't really want to hear about that.

If you could go back and do one thing before becoming a vampire, what would it be?
If I were capable of changing something, I'd make sure Sherry survived. If changing something was out of the question, I'd at least make sure she knew how much I loved her, and how I still think about her every day.

And I gotta ask—do/can vampires drink coffee? I think I’d be lost without it. ;)
I was never much of a coffee drinker, to be honest, but I was a complete soda junkie. You can drink it—Cole sometimes does—but the caffeine effect is lost on us. It moves through our systems too quickly. Same goes for alcohol. You might feel it for a few minutes, but then it's gone.

This was awesome. Thanks for having me! 

Get your copy of Hollowed TODAY! It was a fabulous read and worth every penny!

All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn’t supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she’s turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah’s secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister…who died years ago.

(Didn’t she?)

The city’s body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she’d lost.

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16 August 2012

Swoon Thursday: Emerald Isle Blog Tour

You can join in the fun at YA Bound! Here's the rules (from their site):
It's that time again! We created a HOT meme, and if you're new to the game, here's how to join in the fun: From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! We want to know :-)

Fun right?! So, this week, my "Swoon Thursday" come from Kate Hinderer's Emerald Isle as part of her ongoing blog tour! (We had other things planned, but life gets in the way, you know? But this meme really fit PERFECTLY.)

My expression must have conveyed the message loud and clear because in the next moment he wrapped his wet hands into my damp hair and pulled my face towards his. He kissed me so I nearly forgot where we were and why we were there. He kissed me and I kissed him back without a sound except for the pounding of my heart resonating in my ears.
-p83 (eARC)

I've pretty much just started Emerald Isle, but so far, I'm really quite enjoying it!   Be sure to check out all of the other stops on the Emerald Isle blog tour!  Kate has some fabulous guest posts and reviews that you can check out! :) Get the blog tour schedule HERE!

Buy Emerald Isle for just $3.99!

Kate is a journalist by profession. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune special sections, The Milwaukee Business Journal, RelateMag, The SuperMelon, MercatorNet's Tiger Print blog, Sadie Magazine...

She started writing stories and novelettes in 7th grade. Her teachers thought she was copiously taking notes, but really she was penning stories about her classmates. That passion only increased in high school. The stories became longer and the passion for writing was deeply ingrained. As a junior she resurrected her school's student-run newspaper and opted to pursue a journalism career to harness her love for writing into a payable profession. Still the stories never stopped flowing.

Kate also writes a fashion and lifestyle blog called ModlyChic.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

14 August 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Andy Squared by Jennifer Lavoie

Release Date: 18 September 2012
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (Bella Distribution)
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
Seventeen-year-old twins, Andrew and Andrea Morris, have always been close. They share everything—from their friends to a room—and they both enjoy star positions on their high school’s soccer teams. All’s right with the twins...or is it?

When new student Ryder Coltrane moves from Texas to their small New York town, he spins Andrew’s world upside down. All of Andrew’s past relationship troubles begin to make sense and his true feelings start to click into place after Ryder comes out to him. His friendship with Ryder turns secretively romantic, but secrets, they soon find out, are hard to keep. Once rumors start to fly, so-called friends turn on them, and the boys’ relationship turns into a bomb about to explode. But Andrew never expected it would be his own twin, Andrea, holding a lighter to ignite it.
My Thoughts...

13 August 2012

YA Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Release Date: 31 July 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Get a copy! AmazonB&N

Goodreads description:
So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between themrefuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
My Thoughts...

10 August 2012

Friday Fling! Seducing Cinderella by Gina Maxwell


During Friday Fling , I share with you a "just for fun" romance book or novella that I read and really enjoyed.  It will generally be a "mini review" instead of a full review and I'll stray from my YA focus into the realm of adult romance (which, in case you're curious, is my not-so-guilty pleasure).  These are books that I think are fun, quick (sexy) reads that are definitely worth checking out!

Oh, I KNEW I would enjoy Entangled Publishing's new BRAZEN line. What I didn't know is that I would fall head-over-heels and be begging for more of them! (But I should have know...because how many EP books have I not thoroughly enjoyed?) Read on for my first (and definitely not last) read in the Brazen line!

Publisher: Brazen (Entangled Publishing)
Release Date: July 2012
Get it! Amazon B&N icon
Lucie Miller is a slightly disorganized physical therapist with a major crush on her fellow doctor--but he doesn't see her. When childhood friend (and childhood crush), Reid Andrews, shows up in her life, he offers her the strangest arrangement she could imagine--let him live with her and get full-time physical therapy and he'll teach her how to get the doctor of her 2.5 kids and a house dreams. She certainly can't say now. What neither of them expect is the sizzling connection that makes its way into their interactions...and into their hearts.

Lucie's disorganization and drive to really help her patients created an instant connection with me (because that's SO me...just not the doctor part). She's insecure and shy until Reid helps her break out of her shell. Reid--*fans self*--is a dreamy fighter with the soul of an artist, which of course seems too good to be true. Their relationship is great because they knew each other growing up so I liked that they could have the kind of instant relationship that allowed attraction to develop quickly. The steamy scenes were top notch and if they're any indication, I'm going to love reading more from Ms. Maxwell. (Fighting for Love, Book One, you say? Give me more!)

09 August 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release Date: 2 October 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Pre-order a copy! B&NAmazon

When Ananna of the Tanarau, the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the Pirate's Confederation, runs away from an arranged marriage, the offended parents hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

Ananna accepts the magical help of a mysterious woman to save herself from her assassin. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails, but Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him, binding them together. Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe in their desperate effort to lift the curse.
My Thoughts...

08 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers discuss the books that they are most anxiously waiting for! (And this fabulous button was designed by my dear blogger friend Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week I'm waiting on...

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
© 23 October 2012 by Little, Brown BFYR
Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better.

03 August 2012

Fab {Indie} Friday: Hollowed by Kelley York


Release Date: 15 August 2012
Publisher: Self-pub
Format: eBook
Source: Author (thanks, Kelley!!)

Goodreads description:
All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn’t supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she’s turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah’s secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister…who died years ago.

(Didn’t she?)

The city’s body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she’d lost.
My Thoughts...

30 July 2012

NetGalley Knockout Challenge!

I stumbled upon this great August reading challenge and it seemed perfect for the back-to-school month! I have a lot of really great digital review copies from NetGalley that I would like to get read and reviewed so...why not?

Here's the deal from the host's blog (Goldilox and the Three Weres):

Pledge to read those books from your Netgalley and Edelweiss egalleys during the month of August by entering your blog on the linky below!

The books you read do not have to be released in August. They can be already released, released in August, or released later than August.
So...I don't actually know how many books I will get read in August as I'm starting a new job (YAY!), but I'm totally willing to give it a go! (And some expire VERY soon!!) Here's my list of NetGalley books that will be on the challenge TBR list:

  1. Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Schultz
  2. The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coates
  3. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  4. The Girl in the Park by Mariah Frederick
  5. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
  6. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  7. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
  8. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
  9. Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
  10. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
  11. Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
  12. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
  13. The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
  14. Between You and Me by Marisa Calin
  15. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  16. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
  17. Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
  18. OMGqueer by multiple authors
  19. The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer
  20. Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
  21. Speechless by Hannah Harrington
  22. Inbetween by Tara Fuller
  23. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
  24. Silver by Talia Vance
  25. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  26. Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie
  27. Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan
  28. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
  29. Yesterday by C. K. Kelly Martin
  30. Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
  31. Skylark by Megan Spooner
  32. The Curiosities
  33. League of Strays by L.B. Schulman
  34. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronin-Mills
  35. The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
  36. Diverse Energies by multiple authors
  37. Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
  38. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
  39. The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
  40. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
Hahahaa...seeing that list all written out...OUCH.  They are in pub date order, so that is generally the order that I try to tackle them in, but this time I'm in pursuit of new books for my high schoolers so I'll probably start with the ones I think will most appeal to them. :)  My GOAL will be to read at least 15 of these in August. Lofty? Perhaps...

27 July 2012

Friday Fling! Take It Like a Vamp by Candace Havens


During Friday Fling , I share with you a "just for fun" romance book or novella that I read and really enjoyed.  It will generally be a "mini review" instead of a full review and I'll stray from my YA focus into the realm of adult romance (which, in case you're curious, is my not-so-guilty pleasure).  These are books that I think are fun, quick (sexy) reads that are definitely worth checking out!

At some point it's going to seem like "Friday Fling!" is just my soapbox to talk about my love of Entangled Publishing (and maybe that's true just a little bit), but they honestly put out really great romance reads. This week's feature was truly a gem of a read. The teaser on their website had me laughing so I knew I had to buy it! Check out this super fun read from Entangled's newest line--Covet!

Publisher: Covet (Entangled Publishing)
Release Date: July 2012
Get it! Amazon B&N icon
Nick and Casey are best friends. Just friends. Nothing but FRIENDS. At least that's what they each spend a significant time convincing themselves. When Nick finally takes a chance and invites Casey into his world as more than a friend, will she be able to handle the consequences? Better yet, will Nick learn to trust that this feisty woman is one tough chick?

I can't remember the last time that I laughed and smiled as much as I did reading Take It Like a Vamp. The main character, Casey, is awesomely fun to get to know. I loved her snark and her real, curvy body and her insecurities and her fierce loyalty and her strength of character.  This chick had it all and I seriously loved her.  Top that off with Nick--the loyal, hot, BFF next door guy--and you've got a friends-to-lovers romance that will knock your socks off. The sizzling chemistry is rounded off with a dash of danger, a fabulous cast of side characters (LOVED Linc and Mason), and a trip to the Greek Islands, creating a fabulous, fast-paced, laugh-out-loud romance novel.  I can't help but hope that Ms. Havens gives us more stories like this (can you say series potential?!). I do believe I'll be heading off in search of more of her books while I wait hopefully for another one like this. :)

25 July 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (67)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where book bloggers discuss the books that they are most anxiously waiting for! (And this fabulous button was designed by my dear blogger friend Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week I'm waiting on...

Rebel Heart by Moira Young
© 30 October 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV's Hollywood Crush blog called "better than "The Hunger Games.""It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba's world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh's freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road," a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of"danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

24 July 2012

YA Book Review: Temptation by Karen Hopkins

Release Date: 26 June 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
Your heart misleads you. That's what my friends and family say. But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.
My Thoughts...

23 July 2012

Heirs of Prophecy Blog Tour: Guest Post

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Michael A. Rothman to the blog as part of the Heirs of Prophecy tour!  Today I asked Michael to write on a topic that piqued my interest when reading about him and his writing on his website: In the Heirs of Prophecy series, what role does the family as a whole play and what's your take on family dynamics and depictions in literature of kids and young adults? 

Without further ado, welcome, Michael!!

 As I’ve mentioned in some previous blog posts, the rule of thumb for most fiction today is that your young protagonist(s) must have a hectic home life. Assume they are either an orphan, have family issues of all varieties, or are otherwise stressed by their day-to-day situation.

My books are written in opposition to such norms, and headline protagonists which are likable, fallible, but otherwise should be very relatable. Everyone knows a brother who is a pain in the butt who you would protect with your own life, or an over-protective mother, etc. I aim to prove that the action and strife need not come from the family, but through the situations and adventures they are put through.

In HEIRS OF PROPHECY I strive to bring the family as a whole "Down the Rabbit Hole" from the modern world into the world of Trimoria. Unlike many novels which insist on depicting the family as an element of strife, I put the reader in a situation that forces them to think, "Well – what if this really happened to me and my family, how would we react and how could we handle it?"

In this tale, I put the two young protagonists into a situation that immediately makes note that they will become the focus of attention. Attention that they might not necessarily care for. Unlike today’s world, where the parents can control many of the elements of their children’s lives, the parents are integral to the process of adapting to this new world.

As a parent, they must try to protect their children, yet they too are embroiled in a miasma of confusion as they must learn to adapt to their surroundings as well.

As it becomes clear that the children are meant for greater things in this world, the parents must maintain guardrails as best they can, while the kids themselves must explore and push their way through this new world.

A child’s world and an adult’s world is very different, and the tale covers elements of both, while ensuring the kids are brought forth as the “main” characters in the story.

I’d point to one review I got from another author when he read the book, and it was his opinion that the approach I was taking was quite different than the norm – and unlike the traditional advocacies of “kill the parents” for Fiction – having a more wholesome traditional tale that involves families (all the good and bad involved with such) was a refreshing change from the norm.

"There is a sweetness and light to this novel that often seems missing in modern fantasy. I think that a wise reader will recognize that this is something the world needs, and has been waiting for."- David Farland, New York Times Bestselling Fantasy Author

Thank you so much for sharing, Michael! I love that the family gets to take the journey "down the rabbit hole" instead of leaving behind the parents and never wondering what they're thinking or up to!

The Riverton family had been enjoying a simple summer vacation when, through a fluke of nature, they found themselves in a strange new land.

The Riverton brothers quickly realize that in this world, they have gained unusual powers. Powers that their parents fear will attract the attention of Azazel himself - the merciless wizard who brutally controls this world.

The two brothers soon learn that an ancient prophecy has finally been initiated by their arrival in Trimoria. As the heirs of this prophecy, they are destined to lead the armies of men, dwarves, elves, and even a misfit ogre against the prophesied demon horde.

Only one thing stands in their way:

The evil wizard who has learned of their presence, and has sent assassins to wipe them from existence.
The TOOLS OF PROPHECY is the second volume in an epic saga which describes a prophecy that has placed the Riverton brothers in the lead roles of a struggle to save their world from being overrun by unspeakable horrors. This destiny requires that they face off with the demons that nearly destroyed their world over five centuries ago.

In the first book, the population of wizards had been practically eradicated by the former tyrant. The Rivertons are now charged with creating an Academy of Magic, recruiting qualified students, and furthering their own training with secrets that have long been held by the reclusive elves.

Despite their youth, a mysterious spirit has engaged them in an epic struggle to gain mastery of their newfound skills, help raise and train two armies, and stay alive long enough for their final showdown with destiny.

The only things that stand in their way are the assassins hired to destroy them and the Demon Lord’s minion who holds a personal grudge and intends to witness the young boys’ deaths.

Meet Michael! 

I am an Army brat and the first person in my family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced my youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, my love of travel allowed me to explore many unimaginable locations. I participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books, the first of which you have just read.

Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and I never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in my mind, fantastic. I simply quibble with the label of "Fiction" that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.

I've learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.
- Mike Rothman

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Check out the rest of the tour stops as well!
Monday, July 16th - Mundie Kids
Tuesday, July 17th - Owl for YA
Wednesday, July 18th - Chapter by Chapter
Thursday, July 19th - Book and A Latte
Friday, July 20th - Sweeping Me
Monday, July 23rd - Reading in the Corner  (You're Here!)
Tuesday, July 24th - Soul Unsung 
Wednesday, July 25th - Proud Booknerd
Thursday, July 26th - Bitter Sweet Enchantement 
Monday, July 30th - My Reading Room 
Tuesday, July 31st - Book Brats 
Wednesday, August 1st - Paranormal Indulgenlence 
Thursday, August 2nd - Mandy Kay Reads
Friday, August 3rd - Snowdropdreams


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