29 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

"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...


Breathe by Sarah Crossan
© 2 October 2012 by Greenwillow
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

28 February 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Life is But a Dream by Brian James


Release Date: 27 March 2012
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Goodreads description:
Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.
My Thoughts...

Books set in psychiatric institutions fascinate me.  Their world is completely different from anything that we experience on a regular basis--the doctors, the regimens, the interactions.  It also takes a lot of careful consideration to craft a character living in a setting like this.  Brian James created a very interesting world here, but for some reason, something didn't 100% click for me with this one.

The main character, Sabrina, is locked up in a psychiatric facility and diagnosed as schizophrenic.  She's slowly progressing towards normal when Alex enters her life and turns everything upside down. She rather quickly spirals backwards into her delusions.

Sabrina is really a fascinating character to follow.  James really takes you straight into her head and determining the dreams and delusions from reality is next to impossible at times.  Seeing the world through Sabrina's eyes shows the reader both the beauty and the terror that can come with such a life.  It was really difficult for me, as a reader, to watch her stop taking the medications and for her delusions to beginning returning at full force.  I liked her so much as a character that I wanted her to recover and have a shot at a normal life.

Alex...well, as a love interest he was a bit of a disappointment to me at times.  I wanted Sabrina to have someone who loved her and her wacky way of thinking, feeling, and seeing things.  Alex seemed like that person...at least at first.  I don't think that he was ever able to grasp the severity of Sabrina's disease, and I didn't like how he convinced her that taking the medications and following the doctors' orders would take away her creativity and unique visions--i.e. everything that she feels makes her special and loved by him.  He redeemed himself quite a bit in the later parts of the story. 

I'm not exactly sure what makes this more of a three star than a four star book for me.  I definitely enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't the sort of book that I was racing to pick up each whenever I had time to read. The pacing is a bit slow and the world didn't pull me in as much as I was expecting.  The most exciting moments come rather late in the story, and while those moments were incredibly well-written, they were simply difficult to GET to because of the slower pacing at the beginning.  I wouldn't warn anyone away from this book if  they're interested, just be aware that it's not a fast-paced read.

27 February 2012

@EntangledPub Cover Reveal: Luminosity by @stephthomasbook

While I've recently fallen in love with Entangled Publishing's romance novels and novellas, I'm still super excited that they're releasing more YA this year!  They do really great work in everything they do (at least I've enjoyed everything I've read). :)


Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: November 2012
My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.


Add it to your "To Read" List on Goodreads!
Pre-order the paperback from Amazon

What do you think? 
Sound/look like one you'll add to your reading list?

25 February 2012

Saturday Shorts (1)


Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
© 25 October 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 
 Perry's not exactly excited when his parents decide that he has to take the foreign exchange student to the prom.  She's more than a little strange and hasn't made many attempts to really fit in.  However, prom is the least of Perry's concerns as the night progresses.  What starts as a short trip into the city becomes a wild adventure of epic proportions as Gobi jets around the city taking out her intended targets.  Oh, yeah, she's some kind of assassin.

Au Revoir is a fun, quick-paced read.  Perry and Gobi become quite the dynamic-duo in the course of the evening, and if you're anything like me, you'll find yourself enjoying them quite a bit.  The writing is fantastic and Schreiber has crafted this short novel perfectly.  The chapter titles are college admission questions and they're quite appropriate.

Between Sea & Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
© 25 October 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 

Esmerine and her sister, Dosinia, have always had a bit of curiously about the world above the sea, but Esmerine would never dream of abandoning her family and her calling as a siren.  When Dosinia disappears after talking about human acquaintances, Esmerine takes it upon herself to find out what's become of her.  Enlisting the help of her long-ago friend Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people, Esermine journeys on to the land in search of her sister and finds more than she bargained for.

Between the Sea and Sky was a fun, short read that really entrances the imagination.  The characters are easy to love (who doesn't love a pair as in love with books as many of us are?) and their journey is rocky.  There's no insta-love or love triangles to be found here but a rocky new beginning for long ago friends. The plotline and its message are lovely and will easily entice many a reader. 

24 February 2012

Friday Fling! Another new romance from @EntangledPub and @clarissayip!

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a  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 often stray from my YA focus into the realm of adult romance (which, in case you're curious, is my guilty pleasure).  These are books that I think are simply fun, quick reads that are definitely worth checking out!




Gosh, at this rate, Entangled Publishing books are going to take all of my birthday money! If you enjoy romance and you haven't check out their books, I suggest you do it post-haste. :)


Publisher: Ever Afters (Entangled Publishing)
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Get it! (for only $2.99!) Amazon | B&N
Lia McEvers moved back to her hometown of Grant after her ex-fiance broke her heart by cheating on her with her (ex-)best friend.  She's looking to get away from the hurt and settle quietly back into her life.  Her grandmother's obviously don't know that she's looking for a little solitude when they throw her back into the presence of Max, the man who broke her heart so many years ago, but she's never been able to stop thinking about. Max, after all these years, has stopped thinking about her either...

True Connections is a pleasure ride that explores the much-loved (by me) trope of enemies-turned-lovers and does it marvelously.  The connection between Lia and Max is sizzling and immediate.  Lia's caution is thrown to the wind in moments, but can she ever really put aside her fears?  Max doesn't want to admit that he's in love with her, but he hasn't stopped thinking about her since the day she left five years ago.  Their story will pull you in and keep you turning the pages until you've reaching the stunning conclusion. 

For those looking for a sexy romance, trust me--look no farther.

23 February 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Double by Jenny Valentine

Release Date: 21 February 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined.

After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it.
My Thoughts...

22 February 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

"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...

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
© 18 September 2012 by Harper Teen

NEVER LET ME GO meets HIS DARK MATERIALS in a beautiful, haunting YA debut, the first book in The Hybrid Trilogy.

Eva and Addie live in a world where everyone is born with two souls, but where only the dominant one is allowed to survive childhood. Fifteen years old, and closer even than twins, the girls are keeping Eva, the ‘second soul’, a secret. They know that it’s forbidden to be hybrid, but how could they ever be apart?

When a dramatic event reveals what really happens to hybrids if they are discovered, Eva and Addie face a dangerous fight for survival, neither wanting to be the one left behind…

21 February 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Meyers

Release Date: 14 February 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy!

Goodreads description:
Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

My Thoughts...

20 February 2012

@EntangledPub Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Since Entangled Publishing is quickly becoming a favorite new publisher of mine, I jumped at the chance to be involved in another of their cover reveals! Without further ado...

19 February 2012

In My Mailbox (25)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren where we can show some love to all the books that we got in the mail or otherwise!

Hello, my lovelies!!! I feel like it's been quite awhile since I did one of these...so I have a LOT to share...but I don't think I'll share quite everything. Just a few somethings...or as much as I have patience to add. ;-)


For Review:

Confession: Me and NetGalley probably need to take a "break." My queue is almost unmanageable and I seem to have a compulsive habit to request books and get overly excited despite my lengthy review queue and extensive school and work obligations.  But...for your viewing pleasure, here is the latest list of things that NG has brought my way. :)

Thank you to NetGalley & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! For some reason I thought this one wasn't on NG anymore and I've been dying to read it. I was super excited when it was still there and they accepted my request!

Thanks to NetGalley & Candlewick! I've been reading more contemporary stuff lately so these really caught my eye!

Thanks to NetGalley & ABRAMS/Amulet! Can I be honest and say that the cover change for this one was what solidified my decision to request it? Shallow as that may seem...

Thanks to NetGalley & Macmillan Children's Publishing Group! These weren't labeled as Teens & YA or Children's so I almost didn't find them!! I'm so excited that I did...and that I'm auto-approved with Macmillan. ;) <3

Thanks to NetGalley & Marshall Cavendish! I was super excited and surprised to see both of these titles on NG and I requested them right away! I've already finished The Other Life and loved it. Can't wait to get started with The Forgetting Curve, although I may give Momento Nora a quick re-read.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for passing this along! I've been really excited to read it ever since I had the opportunity to participate in the cover reveal. 

Bought:

Coupons and birthday gift cards/money galore!!
 These ebooks from Entangled Publishing were FABULOUS Valentine's/romance reads. I HIGHLY recommend that you check them out! (AND, they're inexpensive, quick reads! DO IT.)

Table for One (for only $0.99!) Amazon | B&N
On One Condition (for only $2.99!) Amazon | B&N



What's in YOUR mailbox? :)

18 February 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano



Release Date: 21 February 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Around the World ARC Tours


Pre-Order Yours!

Goodreads description:
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.
My Thoughts...

In the rivieting sequel to her 2011 debut, Wither, Lauren DeStefano once again had me mesmerized by her beautiful writing and storytelling. From the beginning of the book, I was absolutely hooked to the continuing story of Rhine and Gabriel and the world outside of Housemaster Vaughn's experiments.

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped from the glamorous yet dangerous world of Housemaster Vaughn and the others living in the mansion. However, they are immediately thrust into a situation that may prove even more dangerous than being under Vaughn's thumb. How will they survive the trials of the real world? And will they ever truly escape Vaughn's clutches? Rhine is the same determined young woman that we knew in Wither. Having escaped the mansion, she is more determined than ever to return to NYC and be reunited with her twin brother. One thing that I love about Rhine is her undying devotion and fierce determination. This is countered by the realistic and heart-wrenching portrayal of her relationship with Gabriel and her lingering memories of Linden. She's torn between the two in what is, in my opinion, a REALISTIC love triangle. Gabriel is her freedom, her CHOICE, embodied in a person--a sweet, caring person. Linden represents her imprisonment, but the truth is that he absolutely loved and trusted her and had no idea what his father was doing and how Rhine came to be with him. I've always been just a little bit "Team Linden" so I understand her struggle to forget the sweet memories that she had shared with him.

Fever introduces us to quite a number of new characters, each of which I thought were really interesting. "Madame" drove me crazy and Lilac made me fall in love with her. Maddie and Silas intrigued me. I don't want to tell you too much because I think you need to discover these characters all on your own, but suffice it to say that the characters were definitely a factor in my love for DeStefano's second novel. And I can't forget Gabriel! Gabriel is obviously along for the wide ride of an adventure with Rhine.  There are many points when he is really the one suffering the most. Despite the page time that Gabriel got, I still felt like I didn't know him as well as I should/wanted to.

This book also gives a few more glimpses into the world that Rhine lives in, which I really appreciated. We get a glimpse of the President and his wives and we get a better sense of the society's struggle between pro-science and pro-naturalism and just how fervently each side believe in their battle.  I felt like I understood a bit better why things are the way they are, if that makes sense.  Some of my reservations from Wither didn't seem to bother me in Fever as I was allowed deeper glimpses into the society.

In some ways, Fever does feel a little bit like a bridge between Wither and book 3, but in the end, this book left me BEGGING for book three (one of the reasons that sometimes it's so hard to read advance copies)! DeStefano definitely knows how to pull her readers in and leave them hanging. If you thought Wither ended on a cliffhanger, Fever's ending will blow your mind. The beautiful writing pulls you into the world and makes you fall in love (and hate) with the characters, makes you cheer and cry and yell, and when it's over your heart is still racing and you NEED more. It's going to be a long wait for book #3, so be sure to have the first two books on hand to read a couple of times before then!

17 February 2012

Friday Fling!: New @EntangledPub Books from @DianeAlberts & @Ros_Clarke


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 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.  These are books that I think are simply fun, quick reads that are definitely worth checking out!



If you've been around the blog much, you'll notice that I had kind of "retired" this feature.  I was going to replace it with "Fab {Indie} Friday," but my schedule got so hectic that NEITHER ended up making it onto the blog! However, I've been really enjoying reading some romances for fun lately so I'm *hoping* to revive this little feature (maybe biweekly) with a slight twist that it will feature romance (adult and YA) reading that I do. :-)  Also, largely, I wanted a good way to showcase these two books...

(The images should take you to Goodreads--I highly suggest you add both of these!)


Publisher: Ever Afters (Entangled Publishing)
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Get it! (for only $2.99!) Amazon | B&N
Johanna, the reserved, slightly OCD Kindergarten teacher, is shocked when she wakes up on Valentine's Day with a man in her bed...and a gorgeous British man at that.  Viscount Damon Hayes is just as shocked to find that Johanna doesn't even know who he is! When Damon finds out that he must marry on short notice and Johanna is up for bidding at a charity date-night auction, the pieces fall in place for a proposal that she never sees coming...and a shot at love that neither expected.

Both of the characters in this one are absolutely fabulous.  Johanna is definitely a force to be reckoned with. She's fierce and guarded and loyal.  Damon is most definitely a swoon-worthy male lead that I would grab up in a second.  The two of them together make a fabulously sexy couple and I could not WAIT for Damon to break through Johanna's barriers.  This is a romance novella that you'll start and finish is a single setting because the tension, romance, and absolute sexiness won't let you put the book down!

Publisher: Flirt (Entangled Publishing)
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Get it! (for only $0.99!) Amazon | B&N
Food critic Claudia Thomas finds herself suddenly dateless on Valentine's Day with reservations at an exclusive restaurant (for work, of course).  When head chef Ward Nicholls sees that she is dining alone, he decides to seduce her with a tantalizing and seductive menu.  But when Claudia's true jounalistic intentions are discovered, Ward feels betrayed and kicks her out.  But neither can forget their brief, intense encounter...

I flew through this novella! It's sweet and sexy and pretty much everything I was looking for in a romantic novella.  I would have loved to spend more time with these two characters as I felt like I was just getting to know them. Claudia and Ward are both fabulous and sympathetic characters.  Each has a bit of baggage that we get the briefest glimpse of.  The food plays perfectly into the story and makes you dream of a food encounter such as this. You'll fly through the (far too few) pages of this novel and revel in their sensual encounters.

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