Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (Times Two!)

Hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Release: April 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....
Yes, I still need to read Desires of the Dead, but I'm purposely waiting until closer to spring so that way I'll have less of a wait for this book. I. Am. Excited. 

Release: September 8th, 2011
Publisher: Flux
A devastated Earth’s last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space, and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers—political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth’s stratosphere—and the corrupt Surface government. 

Jesse Fisher, a Skyship brat, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess. Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn’t know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls.
I don't really know what to say, except for this could be a really good book. Plus, how cool is that cover?

What are you waiting on?


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Release: September 13, 2011
Pages: 400 (hardcover)
Publisher: Doubleday
Source: Amazon Vine
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and more at Goodreads.
Review:  A magical tale where the stakes are high and the consequences even higher, The Night Circus is truly made of dreams and wonderment. 

The third person narrative switches mainly between Celia, the daughter of Prospero the Enchanter; Marco, a young man who was picked up in an orphanage by a mysterious grey man; and Bailey, a young boy awaiting the Cirque des Rêves arrival to his town once again as he struggles to decide his future...Two schools of thought regarding magic, two students in a battle creating the most extravagant magic possible, and only one of them will win in the end. 

As the story moves from childhood to adulthood, brief excerpts from experiencing the Cirque des Rêves will tantalize you. By the time this magical circus truly begins in the story, you won't be able to tear yourself away from the enchanting qualities it holds as well as the build up to the surprising conclusion. Each different tent displays creative and unique attractions (I loved the cloud-like one). The circus was, without a doubt, one of my favorite parts. The plot moves slowly, and time is taken to appreciate the details with plenty of description. Readers who love descriptive stories will enjoy this for how easy to visualize it is (and readers who do not like too much description may want to pass this one by).

Highlights: I could have read this book for weeks. I would have gladly read double the page count. Morgenstern's story is enchanting and she has written a wondrously magical circus that I wish I could visit. I also never quite knew where everything was leading to right away, which is enjoyable for a reader like me. I absolutely adored Poppet, Widget and Bailey's characters (along with their stories).

Lowlights: At times, the magic overtook the novel, and the more "meaningful" moments between characters just didn't impress in comparison. Imaginatively, this story rocked, but it lacked emotionally. I didn't know the main characters, Celia and Marco, well enough to enjoy them or believe their "love" for each other - I couldn't see the connection. Another issue is that the date jumps around too much to keep things straight, and the ending was also a bit unclear regarding what happened with Celia & Marco.

Note: There's really only one "romance" scene (nothing too descriptive), and because of that, this story has YA crossover potential for older YA readers. 



Friday, June 24, 2011

Freebies and Contest Links


*SYNC is offering up two free audiobook downloads - one YA title and one Summer Classic - each week from 6/23/11 to 8/17/11!

This week you go to SYNC's website and download Shiver and Romeo & Juliet for free! (I'm listening to Shiver now - Jenna Lamia and David Ledoux capture Grace and Sam perfectly!). 

*Thanks to I Heart Monster for posting about this freebie! :)


1.  I'm hosting a contest to win The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (US and Canada). The Kirks over at Teens Read and Write are hosting a contest as well, so enter both for better chances to win - be sure to check out all of their other contests too! 

2.  Melissa Walker is giving away 5 ARC's of her upcoming novel, Small Town Sinners - check out her blog for details on how to enter! 

3.  Lori from Pure Imagination is having a I Have Too Many Books International Giveaway, as well as another US only one.

4.  Jenn from Books at Midnight having quite a few giveaways: a copy of Fairy Bad Day (such a cute book!); The Carrier of the Mark swag;  a finished copy of Dead Rules; a signed ARC of Infinite Days; and a copy of Spellbound!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Release: May 3rd, 2011
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Amazon Vine
"I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both." 

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface. 

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.
Review: Moonglass is a lot more than a summer book - it's a spectacular and heartfelt story. 

From the first page in, Anna's voice grabbed me. As the chapters went by, it was easy to see that Anna's not like other YA heroines, but she was still relatable and likable. The ocean has always been a part of Anna's life, and it was also what led to her mother's death. Moving to Crystal Cove, the place where her parents met years ago, she starts uncovering secrets about her parents - and especially her mother - that she never could have believed... 

Set in Crystal Cove (and yes, Kirby's descriptions of it do make it sound like a gorgeous, stunning place to live), Moonglass is flush with wonderful descriptions of the beach, cottages and summer life...It makes this book the perfect summer read. Kirby's prose is reminiscent of Sarah Dessen's work, with easy to enjoy characters and a nice flow to the writing. In the end, I felt it was worthwhile to read this story. Filled with  a dash of humor and touching, heartwarming moments, Moonglass is worthy of being put on your To-Be-Read list.

Highlights: Kirby introduces a more confident protagonist with Anna, which is a bit of a rarity in YA lit. Despite her extra-flirtatious attitude, she was still human and had flaws and doubts. I enjoyed how her other supporting characters were flawed as well - no one in this story was perfect. While there is a romantic element, it never felt too important to story (which I loved. This book was about Anna and her family, plain and simple).

Lowlights: It was far, far too short and not enough for me to give it a full rating. I was honestly surprised by how quickly it ended, because the story didn't feel complete to me. I need more of these characters(like Tyler, Ashley, and my favorite character - the Crystal Crawler), and more development with them. *fingers crossed Kirby writes a sequel*



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (Times Two!)

Hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
Release: March, 2012
Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.

As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?

Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
I am curious! So sad that it comes out in March, though...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (special edition!)
Release: August 2nd, 2011
Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe.

I wonder whether the procedure will hurt.

I want to get it over with.

It’s hard to be patient.

It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet.

Still, I worry.

They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness.

The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
This one had me at the "Special Edition" circle on the cover. I really enjoyed Delirium, so I'm looking forward to this edition (a sample chapter of Pandemonium inside? I need this edition!!). Although it still appears to be a hardcover, and not the that's weird. 

What are you waiting on?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

I have one copy of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente to give away, thanks to Tara from Zeitghost Media!

"Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn?t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.  

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful."
Open to US and Canadian residents only.
Entrants 13 years or older.
Ends June 27th, at Midnight.
To enter, please fill out the form below:


Help pick a question to ask Alyssa Diaz from The Nine Lives of Chloe King!

Alyssa Diaz
For successfully completing The Nine Paths to Chloe King, the Mai are giving me the opportunity to submit a question to Alyssa Diaz (who plays Jasmine in The Nine Lives of Chloe King). Alyssa will then make a video response to the question! 

But honestly, I'm horrible at coming up with awesome questions. I've got a couple in mind, but nothing solid, and I want to make sure that my readers get the question they want. So that is where you (yes, I'm looking at you) come in! What question would you like to see Alyssa Diaz answer? What are you dying to know about the show/cast?

Leave your questions in the comments!
Deadline is up - I've randomly chosen one of the questions from those that were in the comments and sent via email.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Blog Tour Interview w/ Amanda Ashby

Quick! Describe Fairy Bad Day in 7 words or less! 
Cute boys, tough girls, skittles and swords 

Where did the idea for Fairy Bad Day come from? 
I sent my agent a proposal for a book called Fairy Bad Day about a girl who was a fairy. Anyway, my agent (who is very wise and clever) hated the first chapter but loved the title so we brainstormed a new premise and in the end she suddenly came up with the idea of a fairy slayer who was the laughing stock of her slaying academy. The funny thing was as soon as she said it, I remembered that I’d actually half written another book that had some evil killer fairies in it so from that small start, the whole book suddenly fell into my head! 

Okay, scenario time: You see a fairy. It sees you. It walks (flies?) over to you – what do you do next? 
Well there are two types of fairies. If saw a little one, first I would swear and mutter because seriously, who wants to be a fairy slayer? Then I would grab my slaying kit and search for the hairspray and Skittles so I could lure them over and then I could attempt to kill them.  

However, if I saw the big kind, then I would grab my sword and try and remember everything that Caleb has taught me (Caleb is a real life friend who works at the library with me and as well as having a cool pink mohawk, he is a total sword expert and every week in-between issuing books, he helps explain the best way to kill paranormal creatures! Every writer should know a Caleb!!!)

If you could switch places with any character for one day (book, movie, tv show), who would it be and why? 
It would be Temperance Brennan from Bones not just because she is totally brilliant but because she gets to work opposite David Boreanaz all day long and I love him just a little bit too much for a grown up married woman!!!!! 

What are you working on right now, writing-wise?
I’m actually in-between books right now! I’ve written three middle grade books and one YA book in the last year and a half and now I’m waiting on the edits, which I think are going to come in all at once! I’ve also just sent off a new YA proposal to my agent so once I know if she likes it, I can start work on that! 

Thanks for the fun interview, Amanda! And now, the giveaway information:

This tour is also a scavenger hunt. Be sure to visit each of the stops on the blog tour and collect the bolded letter at the bottom of the post. On June 25 you will have the opportunity to enter the word you created from the mixed up letters on Amanda's blog ( to win a fun prize pack. The pack includes a signed copy of Fairy Bad Day, some candy, and cute cell phone charms. 
The letter for this stop is S


Thanks to Amanda and The {Teen} Book Scene for the interview! :)