Thursday, March 31, 2011

Win an ARC of The Liar Society

Winner will receive my ARC of The Liar Society, plus a few bookmarks! Perhaps even an extra surprise...who knows! ;)

Enter the form below to enter:

Check out my review of TLS and my interview with the authors if you need more convincing to enter! ;)

And feel free to share your answer to my "favorite detective" question in the comments!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (Times Two!)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Release: November 15th, 2011
Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
This just sounds completely awesome, and it'll be interesting to see Kimberly write something different. 

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Release: September 2011
A modern-day thriller about Rory, an American high-school student who enrolls at a London boarding school for her junior year. Soon after her arrival, a series of murders begins to take place across the city—on the exact dates and in the exact style of Jack the Ripper. Rory’s ties to the killer bring her in contact with a secret paranormal branch of the British police, as they attempt to stop the mysterious killer.
I was sold at "modern-day thriller" - I love thrillers. You can't ever go wrong with Maureen's books. 

What are you waiting on this week?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)
Rachel Hawkins 
March 1st, 2011
368 pages (hardcover)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publicist
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?
Hawkins weaves her magic once again in Demonglass, which doesn't fail to shine brightly and stand out in comparison to the first novel - if anything, it may be even better than the first book.

Sophie is as hilarious and endearing as ever, even when she's freaking out about her chaotic powers (among other issues in her life). But hey, at least she gets to hang out in London with her best friend Jenna while she waits to make her final decision regarding the Removal. A few new characters make an appearance, although we the reader don't get to know too much about them - except for the fact that they aren't too different from Sophie in certain aspects. Cal's more present in this story too, and I loved that he was around more - he is officially awesome. Besides, who needs Archer when you've got Cal?

But life can't just be easy for Sophie. The Eye is out to get her, at any cost. Not to mention  that she's discovering some very intriguing secrets...and the revelations will shock and surprise.  If you love magic, mysteries, and endings that leave you breathless, get busy oHex Hall, because you don't want to miss out on Demonglass. After reading Demonglass, I'm tempted to hunt down Hawkins and demand the third book immediately (but then she'd probably call the there goes that plan). 

Highlights: Unlike a good amount of sequels, Demonglass doesn't get caught in a "sequel slump" -- where the book just doesn't compare or live up to the previous novel -- Demonglass had that same spark it's predecessor had, and Sophie is still very much her sassy and humorous self. She doesn't make ridiculously stupid decisions, like some sequel heroines do. The humor is there, the mystery and romance lingering in every captured my attention fully and completely, and the ending definitely left me excited for the third novel. Hawkins managed to do something else only a great author can do - she made me care about the characters. By the time I reached the end, I was panicking and worrying for some of them. These characters are just so wonderful, I can't get enough of them. 

Lowlights: But, I won't lie, there were some moments of "come on and get going already" in Demonglass. Not enough to bother me too much, though. 

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Release: April 4th, 2011
Pages: 240 (paperback)
Source: Author/Publisher
At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life as easily as snapping her perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.

For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. With zero friends and nothing close to a boyfriend, April is so unpopular, kids don't know she exists. That is, until Britney notices her. One lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.

But Britney's friendship comes with a price tag.

How much is April willing to pay?
Review: With a determined, believable protagonist, plenty of not-so-nice girls and an amusing storylineThe Lipstick Laws is fun, flirty, and surprisingly full of heart. 

April Bowers is more than just a social outcast/serial bra stuffer/teenage frizzy haired girl -- she's a realistic teen going through her sophomore year in high school. Her character transforms steadily, both good and bad at times. Even when she's busy being BFF's with Britney, she isn't totally ignoring some of her "friends" faults. Her sense of humor kept me giggling between the turning pages, and there are definitely quite a few laugh out loud moments that surprised me. 

I loved the actual "Lipstick Laws" because they were very amusing (you think high school is hard? Try going through high school while following the Lipstick Laws - now that's difficult). Although it's the Lipstick Lawbreaker's that steal the show, with their antics and schemes! A group of teens bent on serving up some revenge? Even I can't resist that kind of storyline. ;)

Highlights: Holder wrote her debut novel so that it has a lot of heart. It's just one of those stories that's endearing and fun to read. Her protagonist April is so believable too, she's full of insecurities and yet still tugging at every ounce of confidence she has when she needs to fake it. And Britney, that girl may be fierce and very in charge of her clique, but she's definitely not perfect. 

A quick, light story that's full of wicked fun vengeance against the mean girls and subtle humor - what could be better?

Lowlights: The story didn't pick up the pace until around 4 or 5 chapters in, so it dragged for a little while here and there. I kind of wanted to shake some sense into April a few times too, but it's obvious these moments of her personality were just a part of her coming-of-age process (it's just frustrating though, it made her less likable at times). 


Note: This is one of those stories that would appeal more to the younger set of YA readers, but I still found it enjoyable :)

*This review is a part of The Lipstick Laws tour, hosted by The Teen {Book} Scene. For a full schedule of the tour, check here

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In My Mailbox 49

For Review:
One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen (signed)
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Possession by Elana Johnson

Bought with Buzz Bucks on Random Buzzers:
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Bought (printed books):
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Bought w/ Amazon Giftcard (Kindle eBooks):
Steel by Carrie Vaughn
White Cat by Holly Black
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Storm Born by Richelle Mead
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Thanks to Mara, Random Buzzers, the Amazon Vine Program, Elana Johnson and Simon & Schuster!

What did you get this week? 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview: Lindsey Leavitt

Today I have Lindsey Leavitt here to answer some questions! 

Lindsey's the author of Princess for Hire and it's upcoming sequel The Royal Treatment (PFH #2), as well as the recently released stand-alone title, Sean Griswold's Head.

Quick! Describe Sean Griswold's Head in 7 words or less!
Quirky, sweet look at family drama.
Nice one! What was the inspiration behind this story?
I'm awful at this question, to be honest. I don't think there's ever one thing that inspires a story. It's this mix of memories and observations and themes and random thoughts. I suppose I wanted to write a story of an ordinary girl experiencing a time of extraordinary emotions in her life. Which is most stories, but hey. That's conflict.
What do you absolutely need in order to write a novel (example: caffeine, music, fluffy slippers, et cetera)?
A computer. Words. And when things are desperate, diet Pepsi.
Can't go wrong with diet Pepsi, it solves every problem....If you could spend a day as any character from any story (movie or book), who would you choose and why?
Hermione Granger, but after all that magic/Voldermort drama happened. Maybe around the time Mrs. Weasley was planning my wedding. That would be interesting.

Anything else you'd like to add? 
Um, I like your shoes? Where did you get them? Did they have them in a size 8? 

Lol, I guess I was asking for that last answer ;)

 Thanks so much for answering my pesky questions, Lindsey! Be sure to check out her website for more info on Lindsey and her novels. 

And special thanks to Kate from Bloomsbury Children's Books for setting it up.