Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (100): CONTROL + RUSH

Lydia Kang
December 26th, 2013

"After the violent death of her father, 17 year-old Zelia loses her younger sister, Dylia, during an abduction at a foster care agency. It turns out her sister Dylia isn’t just pretty and sweet – she’s illegal. In the year 2150, DNA must be pure by law, and anyone with enhanced genes face death. Zelia’s only allies are the freak-show inhabitants of her new, underground foster home. Along with the unexpected love of a very strange boy, she will need her flaws and their illicit traits to save the only family she has left."
I know I featured this a few weeks ago, but I couldn't resist featuring it again once it received that awesome new cover (plus a longer summary)! This book sounds like it's going to rock. 

June 11th, 2013
"So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn."
Love the sound of this book! Is it June, yet?

What novels are you waiting on?


Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: The THRONE OF GLASS Novellas by Sarah J. Maas

The THRONE OF GLASS novellas by Sarah J. Maas

"Keep talking like that...and I might give you 
a reason to wear a mask." 1

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD is the beginning of four prequel novellas to THRONE OF GLASS, and it's definitely one wild ride. Sixteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is young, beautiful, stubborn, dauntless, and easily not the sort of person you'd want to fight. In this first novella, Maas gives us a quick introduction into the type of character Celaena is -- and the lengths she's willing to go to when it comes to fighting for what she believes. Overall, a great beginning to the novellas. 

"There was nothing left in the world 
except sand and wind." 2

THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT marks a turning point for the young assassin. As punishment for her actions in the first novella, Celaena is sent into the Red Desert to train with the Silent Assassins, or more specificially their leader, the Mute Master. But getting his attention isn't as easy as she anticipated, and she's stuck training with other assassins in the meantime. Celaena goes through so much development in this novel as she forms friendships and finds a little more compassion inside of herself. Regarding characters and settings, Maas's writing is excellent.

"My name is a snippet of half-
remembered song." 3

THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD is easily the lesser novella of the four, if only because the story isn't quite as engaging and Celaena is much more bratty and selfish. But fortunately, Sam Cortland makes up for any and all flaws in this novella. Sam and Celaena's bickering yet caring relationship is fun to watch unfold, especially as things between them get a bit more complicated as their lives become exceedingly dangerous.

"My name is Celaena Sardothien
...and I will not be afraid." 4

THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE is utterly heartbreaking. The stakes are higher than ever for Celaena, and there is more on the line than only her life. It's romantic, sad, and so very bittersweet once the final chapter concludes. Celaena is not the same assassin that she used to be, and the journey she goes through in this novella is a terribly sad one. I wish I could say more, but I'd be spoiling the entire story. Betrayal, romance,'s hard not to love these novellas, and the conclusion of this novella left me eager to reread THRONE OF GLASS in hopes that it will resonate with me more now that I know more about Celaena's past.

Highlights: I love how, for all of Celaena's ferocity, she has a good heart and good instincts. She's an intriguing character. And Sam is just fantastic. Characters, as a whole, are wonderfully written and perfectly unique to themselves. Maas knows how create tension, both romantic and life-or-death tension. Maas described each setting so vividly, as well as Celaena's actions during a fight. Packed with action, romance, character development, and so much more, the THRONE OF GLASS novellas don't disappoint. 

Lowlights: I feel like the story could have been stronger in the third novella. I also wish Celaena wouldn't have been as foolish as she was, to open her eyes and see certain people for what they really are. A few of the twists were incredibly easy to spot.

Source: I purchased each novella from Amazon for my Kindle (and am grateful they were only 99 cents each - such a fabulous deal!)

Final Ratings

1 location 316, TAatPL
2 location 15, TAatD
3 location 870, TAatU
4 location 1301, TAatE

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (99): THE WARD and THE UPRISING

April 30th, 2013
"Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface."
This book? It sounds amazing. Loving the cover, too.

"In this dystopian sequel to The Forsaken, Alenna has survived the brutality of life on the wheel—and now she’s going back for more.

Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive."

I loved the surprising plot twists in THE FORSAKEN, so I'm very curious to see what Lisa M Stasse does with the sequel! 

What are you waiting on?


Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: February 5th, 2013
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Genre: YA sci-fi / fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
POV: 3rd, alternating
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publicist
"Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner."
All of the main characters from CINDER are back and ready for some dangerous adventures in SCARLET. Cinder and Kai are both struggling in their new, opposing roles as they try to become the leaders they need to become. And then there's Scarlet, a new character with a firecracker personality who isn't giving up on locating her missing grandmother, even if the lousy local police have decided it's a closed case. With a little initiative, she teams up with Wolf, a mysterious street fighter with a strange numbered tattoo who knows exactly where her grandmother is. Add in Captain Thorne, Cinder's new flirtatious and endearingly ridiculous accomplice, and you've got yourself a story that will make you laugh, gasp, and leave you eager for so much more.

I enjoyed CINDER, and remember thinking that this series had a lot of potential. So, I expected the sequel to be similar to the first book. Needless to say, I was blown away by the character development in old and new characters, the exciting bursts of action, the breathtaking twists, and the overall excitement that is present in every single page of this story. If CINDER was a good story, then SCARLET is a superb sequel that is fun to read from the first page to the last. Anyone who is debating on whether or not to continue with this series after reading the first novel (or debating on whether or not to start this series) should absolutely give this series a chance, because SCARLET is magnificent.

Highlights: I usually dislike alternating 3rd person POV's (this book had mainly 3, but went up to about 5), but Meyer made it work. Meyer's large cast of characters are likable, different, and sometimes a bit complicated. The story was more exciting this time around. There is so much more happening in this book, to the point where I felt satisfied at the end but still curious about the next novel. I love how fresh Meyer makes familiar fairytales, and I'm eager to see what she'll do in her next two novels. 

Lowlights: The romance formed between two characters is very quick (at least the couple even references the quickness). 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (98) (times two!)

WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

July 2nd, 2013
"Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about."
I feel like I've read a story similar to the synopsis before, but nonetheless, I am interested in this book! I'm a fan of contemporary novels, so this one is definitely on my wishlist. 

October 1st 2013
"Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together.

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger.

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever.

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more."

I thought the first KEEPER book was a fun story filled with fabulous characters, so I can't wait to see what happens next for all of them! 

What are you waiting on?


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Queen's Library (23) (Or last three months of books received & purchased)

The Queen's Library
I went on hiatus in October, so all of the books listed below are from late October, November, December, and early January! 

For Review (last three months)
SLATED by Teri Terry (unsolicited ARC)
FURIOUS by Jill Wolfson (requested ARC)
EASY by Tammara Webber (accepted review pitch)
THE FARM by Emily McKay (unsolicited paperback)
PAPER VALENTINE by Brenna Yovanoff (unsolicited ARC)
THE TRAGEDY PAPER by Elizabeth LaBan (Netgalley ARC)
THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay (Netgalley ARC)

Won from Audrey, Bailey, and Jessica
SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington
THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker (autographed!)
SWEET EVIL + autographed bookplate and bookmark

Bought w/ Buzz Bucks on RandomBuzzers

Purchased (Kindle books)
LEGEND by Marie Lu
INSIGNIA by SJ Kincaid 
SANCTUM by Sarah Fine
CORALINE by Neil Gaiman
SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks
THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks
THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting
THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting
STORM by Brigid Kemmerer
THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer
DREAMLAND by Sarah Dessen
THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa
BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young
THE PIPER'S SON by Melina Marchetta
STEALING PARKER by Miranda Kenneally
LIES THAT BIND by Lisa and Laura Roecker
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller (still $1.99!)
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

(I got almost every single one of these books on sale, most between $0.99-$3.99! Gotta love sales and Kindle Daily Deals!)

Christmas Gifts 
INSURGENT by Veronica Roth
THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

Audible and Kindle Freebies
ORIGINS: THE FIRE by Debra Driza

Borrowed from Library
BLOODLINES by Richelle Mead (enjoyed it, but VA is better!)

And I believe that is everything from the last three months! Many thanks to the bloggers I won books from, as well as publicists and publishers for the review books, I'm very grateful for everything!  

YA Book Queen Recommends

Inspiration for TQL

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Published: January 8th, 2013
Series: Just One Day #1
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
POV: 1st, present tense
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (unsolicited)
"A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines."
As much as I enjoyed Forman's IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT, both were only 4-star stories for me. They were enjoyable, emotional, and extremely intense – but something kept me from loving them. Whatever I was missing from those two novels, JUST ONE DAY has it. Allyson Healey's journey begins after a chance encounter with Willem, who offers to take her Paris for an incredible, chaotic day of adventure. But the next day, he's gone, she's alone, and so begins the next adventure as Allyson attends college, takes a Shakespeare class, figures out who she is and where she's going next in this bittersweet coming of age story. 

It may be a story you've heard before: Girl meets boy, instant and intense connection, one memorable and romantic adventure that ends far too quickly and messily. But, Forman knows her characters intricately, and it shows because the characters – with their quirky and endearing qualities – are the ones who lift the story up and make it fly. JUST ONE DAY is the most perfectly imperfect story of love, loss, friendship, chance, change, random acts of kindness1, independence, misunderstandings, and bravery. I wish I could do this novel some justice by giving it a remarkable review that inspires someone to pick this book up, but I guess I'll have to settle for simply saying this: do not let this story pass you by.

Highlights: Forman features imperfect characters and situations. Allyson isn't perfect or a cookie-cutter heroine, but flawed and evolving. Forman expertly writes emotion, making you grin at the flirty banter, blush at the more romantic moments, and even stirs sympathy deep within your core as Allyson finds herself in her lowest moment. The characters2 and locations3 are wonderfully written. I especially love the helpfulness and kindness of the some of the side characters. Life and friendships are not easy and don't always work out as you reach adulthood, so I appreciate Forman for portraying Allyson's life (every up and down) as realistically as possible. 

Lowlights: Waiting for the sequel? Yes, that's a definite lowlight. I need JUST ONE YEAR and I need it now. *glares at calendar*

1 Seriously, there were some moments where I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, just because of the kindness random characters showed to Allyson and other characters. I like to hope that there are plenty of people like that in the world. 
2 Dee! I adore Dee. And Willem, too. 
3 Paris! I want to go there so badly. It sounds lovely. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mini-Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil
September 18, 2012
POV: 3rd, limited
Pages: 294
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it. 

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying, and with a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry isn't scheduled to return for three days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?"
It's the party everyone would kill to be at...and one that may kill you if you attend. Thrilling, horrifying, and strangely entertaining, TEN is a highly suspenseful murder mystery that is nearly impossible to set aside for even a second. The third person narration follows Meg, a sarcastic teenage writer who was dragged along to an exclusive party by her codependent BFF, Minnie. While I never felt a deep connection with Meg, I was rooting for her to survive from the beginning and was eagerly trying to unravel the clues right alongside her. Simply put, TEN is the type of story that will keep you up late at night reading, anxiously turning the pages and warily eyeing every shadowy corner in your home1

Highlights: I was both correct and incorrect about the killer's identity, so I found that to be a pleasant surprise. There is plenty of diversity among the characters, and I like that McNeil didn't follow the typical horror movie pattern entirely. All in all, TEN is one thrilling mystery. 

Lowlights: Neither the characters nor the romance are deep or complex, but that didn't bother me (I feel like this story is meant to be a quick, exciting read rather than deep or emotional). It takes a few chapters for things to get going. A few of the murders seemed a bit convenient (the killer had to get really lucky a few times in order for the right person to fall into the correct trap). 

1 Probably not a good idea to read this one at night, like I did. I don't scary easily, but even I had a hard time falling asleep after reading this one (especially since my house makes creepy creaking noises at night - which so didn't help the situation). *cuddles with flashlight*

What's your favorite horror story? 


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (97) (times two!)

WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Kerry Drewery
February 28th, 2013
"A powerful and moving stand-alone novel for anyone who loved A GATHERING LIGHT or BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY, in which a teenage girl struggles against the odds for survival in a North Korean prison camp...From the author of A Brighter Fear. Yoora is a teenage girl living in North Korea, dreaming of the lights of foreign cities while eking out a miserable existence in a rural northern village. But then she makes a mistake: she falls in love. With someone far removed from her social class. Someone dangerous to know. When tongues start to wag, her father is executed and she is taken to a prison camp in the mountains. There, escape seems even further from her grasp. But Yoora is about to learn an important lesson: love can surprise you, and it can come in many forms..."
This one intrigued me with BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY reference, because that was one touching story. Hopefully this one will live up to that comparison!

December 19th, 2013
"In 2150, when genetic manipulation has been outlawed, seventeen-year-old Zelia must rescue her kidnapped sister with the help of a band of outcasts with mutated genes."
So little summary, but still very interesting. I'll be looking forward to a more detailed description.

What are you waiting on?