Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (73)

WOW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine
CJ Redwine
August 28th, 2012
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. 

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. 

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
I like how the girl's outfit fades into another scene - it looks great! The summary seems interesting too. *adds to wishlist*

What are you waiting on? 


Image & Summary from Goodreads

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trailers: Bitterblue + Shadow and Bone

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
May 1st, 2012
It's a cool trailer (I like how it ties all the books together), 
but it tells me nothing about the story. 

*sighs dramatically*

At least the release date is getting closer!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
June 5th, 2012
This trailer is very cool (great epic music, too). I love how it brings elements from the map / cover / story to life. 

Seen any other cool book trailers?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (72)

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo
June 5th, 2012
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
The moment I saw the map on Leigh's blog, I knew I was sold.
I love maps in books, and I adore the cover for S&B, too. Fortunately, the summary for this book also sounds very intriguing!

What are you waiting on?


Cover + Summary from Goodreads 
Map from Leigh Bardugo's Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read list

TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1.  Insurgent by Veronica Roth - I'm pretty much counting the days until this one releases, and when it does, it's first on my TBR list.

2.  Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - Same as above.

3.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Confession: I have never read a Neil Gaiman book. I feel like it's time that I fix that.

4.   Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson - I've left this one sitting on my shelf for a long time. This spring, it will be read.

5.  The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy - This one seems like an interesting book. Plus, it has a Printz honor, so it must be great.

6.  Blackbringer (Dreamdark #1) by Laini Taylor - I loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone and enjoyed Lips Touch Three Times, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too!

7.  Partials by Dan Wells - This is definitely on my TBR list, on my Kindle, and waiting patiently for me to have the time to read.

8.  The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder - Amazing reviews for this one! Hopefully the story lives up to them.

9.  Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins - Anyone remember that cliffhanger from Demonglass? Yeah. That was intense. I'm so curious how this one will turn out.

10.  Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally - Can't go wrong with a contemporary novel :)

What's one book on your spring TBR list?


Images from Goodreads

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood


Born Wicked 
Jessica Spotswood
Released: February 7th, 2012
Pages: 330 (hardcover)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Unsolicited - Publisher
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave. 

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. 

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood -- not even from each other.
The three Cahill sisters are witches, and only one mistake away from revealing themselves as such to society and the Brotherhood. Cate, our narrator, tries to keep her sisters safe and out of the public eye, but it can be tricky when her younger siblings seem to enjoy flaunting their magic for fun. Spotswood's writing excels with the Cahill sisters and their relationships with one another, and with the mysteries in the story. Each scene springs to life, and intriguing characters make this story all the more fascinating. Born Wicked is a wonderful debut with a surprising conclusion that will undoubtedly leave readers breathless and curious about the sequel. 

Highlights: One very intriguing twist at the end. The world Cate lives in seemed wonderfully developed alternate setting. Many characters (the Cahill sisters, Finn, Elena, Sachi, and Rory) in this story were intriguing enough to keep me invested in the story. The tension in the story - romantic tension, fearful tension - also made it difficult to stop reading. 

Lowlights: Slow start. Almost entirely predictable1, and the romance seemed a bit rushed (but I did like the guy, so it didn't bother me too much). 


1 I tend to unravel how a book will end very early on. So, other people might find certain aspects more surprising than I did. 


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository 

Image + Summary from Goodreads

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Shannon Messenger
October 2nd, 2012
Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She's a Telepath--someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It's a talent she's never known how to explain. 

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there's a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known. 

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie's memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for. 
I've been reading Shannon Messenger's blog for a long time now, so I'm very curious about her debut! It sounds like it'll be such a great story - and how awesome is that cover?

What are you waiting on? 

Image & Summary from Goodreads

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten MG + YA Fantasy Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
1.  Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - HP is amazing, I can't even explain it in such a way that will make sense. Simply put, if you haven't started these books, you should check them out. They only get better as they go on!

2.  The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan - Three words: Humor, adventure, FUN.

3.  Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor - Wonderfully written and utterly captivating, this is a book that cannot be missed.

4.  Graceling by Kristin Cashore - Tough heroine, cool fight scenes, long journeys, secrets, and shady rulers. It's awesome.

5.  Fire by Kristin Cashore - She's part monster with awesome red hair, 'nuf said.

6.  Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev - A fantastical and magical theater where all of Shakespeare's plays come to life. So naturally, there are also trouble-making fairies (who rock).

7.  The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson - Despite the slow start, this one truly became amazing by the end. I can't wait for the sequel!

8.  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Okay, so this is like "light" fantasy. BUT it has Horses - deadly water horses. Races. Love. Fantastic characters.

9.  The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton - Dangerous faeries, a stolen ring, awesome characters, and an amazing setting. An incredibly wonderful historical fantasy.

10.  Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins - Cool covers, humor, magic, boys, boarding school, secrets, life and death! Seriously though, these books have great humor and very intriguing mysteries.

What's one of your favorite MG or YA Fantasy novels?


Images from Goodreads

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever 
Sarah Dessen
Released: May 2004
Pages: 374 (paperback(
Publisher: Speak
Source: Own
a long, hot summer...

That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?
"What would you do, if you could do anything?"1

Out of all of Dessen's novels to date, my copy of The Truth about Forever is the one bearing the marks of a well-loved book that has been reread time and time again. Macy begins the story as the girl-who-tries-to-be-perfect, a coping mechanism after Macy loses her father. Yet, as the story goes on and Macy becomes closer to the Wish Catering crew, that perfect façade fades. In its place, Macy begins to shine as a lively girl with a great personality that has to come to terms with her life, who she is, and what she wants. 

Each character is alive: Delia, a chaotic, kind, pregnant mother who's in charge of the crew; artistic and modest Wes; apocalypse-obsessed Bert; fashionable and straight-forward Kristy; monotone Monica; and finally Macy as the newest addition. The more time you spend flipping through the pages, the more you grow to love them all and the subtle knowledge they impart onto Macy as she breaks through her shell. One chaotic catering crew, one broken family needing repair, one girl's chance to find happiness, one shot at love, and only one summer to figure it all out in The Truth about Forever

Highlights: Dessen excels when it comes to writing realistic characters and situations - there's a sense of honesty to her characters. The games "Truth" and "Gotcha" provided some of my favorite moments of the novel. And Wes2 was, of course, the best. Honestly, I could go on for days about why this novel is amazing. If you haven't read it, check it out. It's worth it. 

Lowlights: There's no sequel? Glimpses of these characters in other Dessen books is not enough for me!

Allusions: Lorna the weather girl from That Summer; the lovely beach town of Colby & a reference to Last Chance café from Keeping the Moon; and likely more that I forgot to jot down. 


1 pg. 370 - This scene gets me every time. *sighs happily*
2 The boy that originated the term "swoonworthy". *swoons*


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository

Image + Summary from Goodreads

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (74)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren
Gifted (hardcovers)
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Purchased (hardcovers)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Purchased (Kindle)
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
Hana by Lauren Oliver
Airhead by Meg Cabot

I finally caved and got a copy of Mara Dyer - hopefully the hype is right! (Also, TPoM is officially the pinkest book I own)

What did you get this week?


Images from Goodreads

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mini-Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer
Released: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 387 (hardcover)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
POV: 3rd person, alternating 
Source: Netgalley
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future...see more at Goodreads.
Cinder is a cyborg, the best mechanic in New Beijing, and unafraid to get her hands dirty. She's an endearing character, especially when it comes to her genuine love for those who she cares about. The narration switches mostly between Cinder and Prince Kai, giving a well-rounded view the events taking place as the intimidating Queen Levana of the Lunars visits....and things get pretty complex once she shows up. As the story begins to delve into political conspiracies and the illness sweeping New Beijing, it only becomes more intriguing. Meyer has a way with words that keeps you turning the pages, eager for more. Building off of the bare bones of Cinderella's story, Meyer shapes Cinder into something unique and spectacular. 

Highlights: Despite being inspired by Cinderella, Meyer takes smart creative liberties that work very well. A few moments, especially with the Lunar queen, had me hooked as the suspense built. One the largest highlights involved the characters - Iko (an android), Peony, and Queen Levana. Even the fact that not all the characters were safe1 from harm was an interesting aspect that I respect. 

Lowlights: Some aspects of the plot were extremely predictable2, and not just the Cinderella aspects. The story also had a slow beginning. And the ending was a bit unsatisfying - too many loose ends, even if this is a series.   


1 (Slightly spoilerish -- highlight at your own risk): Iko!!! NO!!!! Why, Marissa Meyer, why??? 
2 Personal bias. I hate obvious twists.    

Curious about Cinder?
Listen to the first 7 minutes of the audiobook version of Cinder


Image + Summary from Goodreads

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (70)

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine
What's Left of Me
by Kat Zhang
September 18th, 2012
Source for Summary
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
Cool cover, it's different & catches my eye. 
The summary is very fascinating, too.

What are you waiting on? 


Image from Goodreads

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Favorite YA Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1.  Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo - I'm loving this cover. I'm loving the map, too. Makes me even more excited for the release!

2.   The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Not YA, but I'll let it slide because of the coolness of that cover. 

3.  The Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King - I love the simplicity. Has anyone read it? Is it good?

4.  Matched by Ally Condie - It. Is. So. Beautifully. Beautiful. And symbolic. I would totally put a poster of this cover on my wall. 

5.  Through to You by Emily Hainsworth - Eerie, lovely colors, nice fading font. Definitely poster-worthy. 

6.  Ice & Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst - I figured this could be a two for one since they're both written by the same author. And aren't they both gorgeous and striking? Absolutely stunning. 

7.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens - I think I have a soft spot for illustrated covers. This is not YA (again), but regardless, it looks so fun, adventurous, and kind of fairytale-like. I love it when covers tell a story :)

8.  So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev - I still haven't caught up with these books, but the covers are all just lovely and fantastical. 

9.  Ten by Gretchen McNeil - I usually hate big in-your-face font, but this cover totally works. Super creepy vibe. I totally wouldn't want to go to that island. 

10.  The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen - I know, I know. It's your typical "girl in a pretty dress" cover, but these dresses are really pretty. Although, they're probably a nightmare to walk around in ;)

11. The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab - I couldn't resist not sneaking this in. The dark, muted shades make it so haunting. I usually dislike up-close covers, but I love this one. 

So hard to narrow it down, I love too many covers.

What's your favorite YA book cover?


Images from Goodreads

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

The Faerie Ring
Kiki Hamilton
Released: September 27th, 2011
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Publisher: Tor Teen
POV: 3rd, alternating
Source: Publisher 
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince more at Goodreads
"Na síochána, aontaímid: For the sake of peace, we agree."1

Tiki has the fastest hands in London. She makes life on the streets as bearable as possible by taking risks - if that means stealing from a dangerous drunken man or picking pockets, then so be it. But, when Tiki steals the Queen's ring from Buckingham Palace, the London she thought she knew turns upside down. Faeries are real. They're deadly, they want the ring, and they think Tiki knows exactly where to find it....

In some stories, fey are sweet. In Hamilton's The Faerie Ring, fey are deadly and intimidating. Anytime they make their presence known, feelings of curiosity and uneasiness arise regarding them. However, it's Tiki and her ragtag group of friends that make this story spectacular, not to mention some humorous moments. Tiki's caring and strong personality made her so easy to root for. While the plot may move in different directions, the story manages to be continuously intriguing and challenging to set aside. Everything about The Faerie Ring is enchanting, and it is a story well worth checking out2

Highlights: Hamilton made me care about Tiki (a fellow fan of books!) and the other characters. The map was a great addition, and the shifting perspective was nicely done. Whenever I thought I had everything figured out, another surprise surfaced and pulled me back into the story. The historical setting was easily visualized and character relationships seemed authentic. Also, Rieker was awesome. 

Lowlights: A bit too clean and quick of an ending. The plot seemed to wander a bit. 


1 pg. 31 
2 Seriously, just check it out. It's a great book!


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / The Book Depository

Image + Summary from Goodreads

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox (73)

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren
For Review - Kindle book
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Purchased - Kindle book
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan1
Born at Midnight by CC Hunter
Partials by Dan Wells2

1 Yes, I am a total newbie to this series. The first book was fun, so I can't wait to see where this one goes...
2 After reading reviews like the ones on The Book Swarm and I Swim For Oceans, I figured Partials was worth buying. Sounds like such an amazing story!

What did you get this week?


Images from Goodreads

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini-Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand
Released: January 4th, 2011
Pages: 435 (hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Honestly, I hate most angel books because I usually end up being disappointed by the time I finish reading.  However, Unearthly was a welcome surprise. From the start, I enjoyed how family-orientated this story is, and the fact that Clara's mother was in-the-know regarding the angel aspects (usually more knowledgeable than our MC). As a narrator, Clara's voice was filled with plenty of fun, fresh humor that made her easy to relate with and root for. While this story didn't "WOW" me the way it did with many other readers, it was great enough to make me curious about the sequel, Hallowed.  
Highlights: Certain side characters were nicely written - like Tucker, with his quick jokes and chivalrous manners. Hand's writing has a flowing quality to it, where you promise yourself you'll read only one more chapter, and somehow end up incapable of setting the novel aside. Unearthly is exciting, surprising, and entirely enjoyable. 

Lowlights: I wish Clara's family had been in the story more. I was left with quite a lot of questions at the end. Clara's slightly stalkerish tendencies around Christian came across as somewhat creepy1. I realize she wanted to protect him, but come on - back off a little.


1 I was thrilled when she stopped obsessing over him. Christian did not interest me at all.2
2 Can you tell I'm a Tucker fan? :)


Image + Summary from Goodreads