Monday, November 29, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Book: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Release: November 30th, 2010
Other: Novel's website 
Pages: 369
Source: Publicist & later bought hardcover
YA Book Queen's Summary: 
The seemingly perfect Society takes care of it's people. No one suffers, no one has too much or too little, and nothing is ever left to chance.

After eagerly awaiting to see who the Society matches her with, Cassia Reyes is relieved to see that it's one of her best friends, Xander. Except later on, when viewing what should be a microcard all about Xander, she sees another face where Xander's should be. Ky Markham's face.

Ky, who is so unlike Xander, is not the kind of person Cassia should be with, or even notice. Yet the more she spends time with him, the more she realizes that everything she thought she knew just might be wrong. The closer they get, the more Cassia pushes the Societies limits and rules. She'll have to decide how far she'd go for true love and the ability to decide for herself, even if it means defying every rule the Society has....  
Review: "I won't go gentle. I'll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him." (Condie 320)

Matched is a dystopian novel I'll definitely be remembering for quite some time. Narrated in the first person present tense by Cassia, her story begins at the Matching Banquet. Her personality slowly shines throughout the chapters, and the uniqueness of the "perfected" Society is revealed with wonderful pacing. Condie managed to let other characters grow as well, and I don't think there was a single character that didn't interest and intrigue me. 

The writing in Matched is beautiful. At times, it felt enchanting, thoughtful and lyrical. Condie's words drew me into another world that felt real, and the story that resides inside such a stunning (and fitting) cover is bound to attract readers.

Matched essentially comes down to two things: love and choice. And yes, you absolutely should read this novel, especially if you enjoy thoughtful novels with a very believable romance. 

Highlights: Cassia's voice is completely engaging that I could spend weeks rereading this novel. Rarely do I read a novel where there is a love triangle that makes me struggle with deciding who the protagonist should end up with (just like in Andrea Cremer's debut, Nightshade). Both guys are truly different and they make sense with Cassia - that's the best thing I can ever say about a love triangle. This novel pulled at my heartstrings, and kept me eager for more with every word. 

Lowlights: There are just a few moments where the pacing slows, but I think that's where the magic of this story lies. It slows, keeping you captivated with every word, and picks up again. 



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pretty Little Liars: Happy Thanksgiving, Liars

I was surprised to find yet another treat from "A" this week, and it's definitely just as sweet as the last

Surprise Package!! =)
I flipped over the postcard to see a very mysterious note from A....

And lifted the packaging off to find...

An Apple Pie!! With A's all over it! 
But I didn't stop there, because obviously, there was still a secret to find out. So I held up the postcard to the light (rubbing the black strip works too, but it was too difficult to get a picture quick enough!) and discovered that underneath the black strip was a website:

The link led me straight to a sneak peek for the next season!! Watch the video below or click here to see it for yourself! =)

I so cannot wait for January 3rd!!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it!


Very Brief Break....

Yes, I have totally been absent in the blogosphere (and my scheduled posts finally ran out, as I'm sure you can all tell!). It's been a busy past couple of months due to different circumstances, and it's finally caught up with me.

However, YA Book Queen should be back up and running normally by Monday, and I'll have a post going up sometime in the next few hours too. I'll start catching up on commenting and reading all my favorite blogs this weekend (not to mention all the emails in my account).

As a side note, anyone going shopping for Black Friday tomorrow? I'm definitely not, it's waaaaaay too scary to go shopping with all those people fighting/shoving/et cetera for the same things. But I hope those of you who do go get some great deals :)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

What's the 2011 Debut Author Challenge?
  • Goal: Read at least 12 debut Young Adult or Middle Grade novels that are published in 2011
  • Time frame: The Challenge runs from January 1st, 2011 to December 31st, 2011.
  • Who can participate: Anyone! You don't need a blog to join, you can post your reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, et cetera. 
  • More info: This challenge is hosted by The Story Siren, so check out her blog to sign up, see a list of debut novels, or see a list of FAQ's about the challenge. 
Bold: Own or borrowed/Read and Reviewed (will link to reviews)
Bold Italics: Read and needs review
Italics: Own or borrowed/To Read and Review
Normal: Want to read

1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
2. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
3. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
4. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
5. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
6. Clarity by Kim Harrington
7. Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
8. Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
9. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
10. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
11. Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
12. Moonglass by Jessica Kirby
13. Divergent by Veronica Roth
14. Possession by Elana Johnson
15. Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
16. Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
17. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
18. Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
19. Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. by Medeia Sharif
20. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
21. Dead Rules by Randy Russel 
22. Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
23. The Shadows Cast By Stars by Catherine Knutsson
24. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
25. Frost by Marianna Baer
26. Anna Dress in Blood by Kendare Blake
27. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
28. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 
29. Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter
30. Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney 
31. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
32. Hereafter by Tara Hudson
33. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
34. Legend by Marie Lu
35. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Total Reviewed: 14
Total Read: 23
To be read (books I have): 2

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (time two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: Luminous
Author: Dawn Metcalf
Release: July 7th, 2011
When sixteen-year-old Consuela discovers she can remove her skin, revealing a lustrous mother-of-pearl skeleton, she slips into a parallel world known as the Flow, a place inhabited by archetypal teens with extraordinary abilities. Crafting skins out of anything – air, water, feathers, fire – she is compelled to save ordinary people from dying before their time. Yet now someone is murdering them, one by one, and Consuela finds herself the focus of an intricate plot to end the Flow forever when all she really wants is to get back home, alive.
Um, does "awesome" explain this one? I love the sound of it, so very unique. 

Book: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Release: April 26th, 2011
She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back. 

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die. 

That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible. 

Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her. 

What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly Heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. 

But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most. 

YAY! A new book by MC! I adore Meg Cabot's books, so I know this one will rock. =)

What are you waiting on?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pros & Cons: Swagbucks

Search & Win

  • Free to use
  • Swag Codes for more Swagbucks
  • Exchange Swagbucks for whatever prizes you'd like (like Amazon giftcards, yay!)
  • Referrals
  • Usually win a decent amount everyday (I get around 20-45 a day)
  • If you don't download the toolbar (like me), it's easy to forget to use it
  • Search engine isn't as extensive as's is
  • Takes a week or more to redeem Amazon gift cards
  • Tries to rip you off regarding some prices for giftcards ($5 Amazon giftcard costs 450 swagbucks. $25 giftcard for Amazon costs 3,150 swagbucks = WTF??? Anyone else notice that you could use your swagbucks to buy five $5 cards and have 900 swagbucks left over, which means you could even get two more $5 cards, totaling to $35? Yeah, Swagbucks, I may suck at calculus, but I definitely know how to do simple math)
Search & Win
Final Thoughts:
It kinda rocks. 

I use Swagbucks first when I need to look things up, earn some swagbucks, and then jump to a better search engine if I still need more information (like for school assignments). I look up everything, even if I already have it bookmarked. I was a bit peeved at the wait for the Amazon giftcard codes (about 7-15 days), but pleased once I received them. 

It's definitely great too, because I've been saving up Amazon giftcards for giveaways here on the blog (I'm planning something spectacular for December or January!)

In the end, I'd recommend Swagbucks for anyone who wants some Amazon, iTunes, Paypal giftcards or whatever else they have in their store. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (time two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Book: Steel
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Release: March 15th 2011
Goodreads Summary:
When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever? 

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.
LOVE this cover + summary!!! That sword is awesome, and I love the intensity on her face,
Book: Demonglass (sequel to Hex Hall, both novels pictured above)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release: March 1 2011
Goodreads summary: 
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. 

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. 

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. 

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
I adored Hex Hall, so I'm super excited for this one! The cover rocks too, I love how it goes great with HH. 

What are you waiting on?