Friday, June 28, 2013

Let's Talk: Books I Read Because Of Another Blogger's Totally Awesome Review

LET'S TALK is a weekly discussion meme created and hosted by the lovely Melissa from I Swim For Oceans! Every Friday, there is a new discussion topic for bloggers to discuss. If you want to know more about this feature, then go check out I Swim For Oceans for more information! 

What books, if any, have you read only because a blogger's review convinced you to? Did it live up?

Fabulous topic! Below are four books that blogger reviews convinced me to read (after I originally - and stupidly - convinced myself not to check them out):

Blogger: Melissa at I Swim For Oceans
Melissa's review was only one I had in the back of my mind when I stumbled across a copy of MARA DYER, and the fact that she loved it Hodkin's novel so much is what gave me the push I needed to purchase it. I was incredibly excited for MARA DYER prior to the release date, but then the hype scared me off early on (and books with a lot of positive reviews can go either way with me). Thank goodness that I read Melissa's review and remembered it all of those months later, because MARA DYER was incredible!

Blogger: Christina from Confessions of a Book Addict
I was very, very skeptical when it came to this book. I loved Sepetys's debut, but I doubted her latest novel could live up to that story. But, after reading Christina's fantastic review, I knew I needed to start reading my ARC right away. And, Christina was right -- the characters were fantastic and the setting was wonderfully written. Such a great book!

Blogger: Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict
I've actually purchased a lot of books after reading Aylee's reviews (like CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE - I just need to hurry up and read them). While she and I think differently regarding some novels, I've noticed that we do seem to enjoy similar stories for the most part, so I tend to take her positive reviews very seriously. And, no surprise, she was right about SHADES OF EARTH! 

Blogger: Can't remember - Multiple bloggers! 
All of the insanely positive blogger reviews for TFIOS convinced me to check it out of the library. It was, unsurprisingly, an amazing book that I had to purchase right away. I feel like an idiot for waiting so long to read this book, but I'm grateful to all the bloggers who reviewed TFIOS - I might have ignored TFIOS without those glowing reviews!

I could name a few more, but then we'd be here all day! ;)

Let's Talk image from I Swim For Oceans

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (112): TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

April 22nd, 2014 from Simon & Schuster BYR

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters…

Love the cover & concept! I'm a fan of Han's Summer trilogy, so I'm excited for this book! The poor main character, though - so embarrassing! 

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

After a lot thinking (and scrolling through my Goodreads account), these are the top ten books I've read so far in 2013 (not all were published in 2013, just FYI):

1.  SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo (my review)
2.  OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys (my review)
3.  SCARLET by Marissa Meyer (my review)
4.  SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis
5.  A GAME OF THRONES George RR. Martin
6.  THE MOON AND MORE by Sarah Dessen
7.  THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
8.  THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks
9.  UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa Walker
10.  EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

I think SIEGE AND STORM, SCARLET, TFIOS, and OUT OF THE EASY are my favorites of 2013 - so far, anyway! ;)

What's in your top ten?

Monday, June 24, 2013


Author: Susan Dennard
Published: July 24th, 2012
Series: Something Strange and Deadly #1
Genre: YA paranormal historical
Publisher: HarperTeen
POV: 1st, past tense
Pages: 388
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won from author
Rating: 4 out of 5
"The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance." 

Out of all YA novels that were released back in the year 2012, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY was extremely high on my will-beg-for-this-book wishlist. I may not be a huge zombie fan, but something about this story called to me and drew my curiosity. Fortunately, Susan Dennard's writing and story didn't disappoint. Eleanor Fitt is a determined, take-charge kind of gal, which immediately made it so much easier to enjoy her narration. From the beginning, this story sets off in an excited rush that never seems to dissipate – instead, it builds and grows until the story reaches its conclusion. Filled with fun, flirting, explosions, adventure, action, a lovely historical setting, a healthy dose of steampunk, and some creepy zombies (aim for the knees!), Dennard skillfully weaves it all together and creates SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY – or, one fantastic story.

Highlights: I'm still surprised by one aspect of Eleanor's conclusion1. The setting is wonderfully depicted. I really felt like I was stepping into another time, and I commend Dennard for writing the setting so wonderfully and realistically. Eleanor's spunk and determination is admirable, she's a protagonist worthy of rooting for. The romance was nicely done, even if I was initially concerned that Dennard would include a love triangle since it seemed to appear that things were going that way for a bit. But, it soon became very obvious that only one intriguing young man captured Eleanor's attention. Also, the Spirit-Hunters = Awesome.

Lowlights: The villain of the story was incredibly easy to guess, right from the beginning. WAY too easy. Please give me a challenge next time, Dennard! Eleanor's mom was a bit frustrating, too. I wish the Spirit-Hunters had been in the story a bit more so I could learn more about them, but I assume there will be more of them in A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY.

1. Spoiler! She loses a hand. Some authors like to give their protagonist a magical cure where they survives with only minor injuries, so I'm grateful that Dennard didn't take the easy way out by making sure her heroine healed perfectly.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Queen's Library (36)


(A + B) JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
(B)  BLESS ME, ULTIMA by Rudolfo Anaya
(D)  ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein (!!!)
(B)  THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (my review)

(A) Purchased paperback.
(B) Free audiobook from Sync. 
(C) Requested review copy from publicist.
(D) Requested from Netgalley.

YA Book Queen's 
Weekly Recommendation

The feature is inspired by Pop Culture Junkie's This Week In Books, The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, and Mailbox Monday. The Queen's Library is a way for me to feature books that I add to my bookshelves and a place to post my weekly recommendations. This is not a new meme, but merely an adjusted feature that is better suited to my blog and needs.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Google Reader's Almost Gone: Alternative Ways To Follow YA Book Queen & Other Blogs!

Google Reader is unfortunately going to disappear for good soon, so I've decided that it was time to bring up a few options for those of you who would like to continue following this blog. Here are some ways to keep up with what's happening on YA Book Queen (and with other blogs, too):

Follow on Bloglovin

A. You can follow YA Book Queen on Bloglovin. I'm starting to adore bloglovin since it makes it very easy to keep up with my favorite websites. Plus, there's an app for iPad users! 

B.  Alternatively, you can also subscribe to YA Book Queen's feed using another reader.

C.  Or, you can even subscribe to receive blog posts via email

D.  I also usually tweet links to my blog posts. 

E.  Similarly, I try to post links on YA Book Queen's Facebook page

All of these options are linked on the top of my right sidebar (the orange social media icons). 

Feedly is fantastic, too, for those of you who want to keep following multiple blogs. I've been using this for the last few months, and I think it's fabulous! Feedly has plenty of differently colored themes, a few ways to customize how you view the blogs you follow (I prefer the magazine view), it let's you organize blogs into different categories, makes it incredibly simple to add blogs to follow, and it's easy to navigate. There's also an iPad app. All in all, it's a great alternative to Google Reader!

Bewitched Bookworms made a post a few months ago that lists plenty of other great alternatives to Google Reader, so check it out!  

More New YA Cover Reveals

I know I posted some new YA covers earlier in the week, but it appears that this is an epic week of cover reveals, so here are a few more! 


(revealed on Publishing Crawl) (revealed on Epic Reads)


(revealed on Mundie Moms) (revealed on YABC)

So many fabulous covers! Have you spotted any great new YA covers?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Highlights & Lowlights: Sequels

Lowlight: I cannot remember anything that happened. Who are you people? What is going on? When did they start dating? So and so died?! This is definitely a biased issue, but I hate it when I can't remember those small (or big) details from book one. It'd be nice if every sequel came with a quick one-page recap. This is one of the reasons why I was glad that Veronica Roth created the "But I Read DIVERGENT a Year Ago" guide - very helpful. 

Highlight: More time with old and new characters! More of the awesome characters that I love? This is, undeniably, one of my favorite parts about series. There's nothing quite like curling up with a sequel and getting the chance to see all of your favorite characters again. Plus, then there are the newbies! Scarlet. Thorne. Sturmhond. And so, so many more. I love new awesome characters.

Lowlight: New love interest or love triangle. Very few writers can actually pull off a well-written love triangle/square/whatever, so I rarely find a love triangle to be fun or interesting. They can be especially annoying when, after all of that struggle to get together in book one, the MC finds a new love interest to swoon over. No thanks. 

Highlight: New and intriguing revelations. I love it when a sequel reveals new secrets, especially when it ties into the first novel. Because then I can be all "WHY DIDN'T I NOTICE THAT IN THE FIRST BOOK? OMG!"

Lowlight: The novel ends on a cliffhanger. And I want to cry, because that is just cruel. This is one of the many reasons why I'm a fan of JK Rowling's HP series - she wrapped up each novel's story arc, perhaps with one or two lingering questions, but never left her reader's with a big cliffhanger.

Highlight: Character development. Elisa and Alina, I'm looking at both of you. There's nothing better than watching a character grow, change, and evolve over multiple novels. 

Lowlight: Nothing happens. And I mean nothing. Just random and meaningless wanderings. Throughout the entire story, nothing significant occurs because it's a filler book. Who wants to read a book where the only obvious goal is to get to the third novel? What a waste of time. 

Highlight: More amazing settings. Like Hogwarts. I want to live at Hogwarts. Plus, sequels give readers a chance to view different settings. SIEGE AND STORM begins in a completely different area than the first story left off, and INSURGENT introduces readers to different factions and their homes. It's interesting to read about different settings, especially for fantasy or futuristic novels. 

Lowlight: The MC or Love Interest change from awesome to annoying. Which is always a shame. Character development works both ways, and sometimes, they develop in all of the wrong ways. I loved Four in DIVERGENT, but I really wanted to slap him (and Tris) by the time I was done reading INSURGENT. It drives me crazy whenever characters I loved in the first novel start acting like idiots in the sequel. 

Highlight: New perspectives. I loved BITTERBLUE, a sequel / companion novel to GRACELING, so much because it gave me insight into a different character and part of that world. The title character in SCARLET was a fantastic addition the cast of main characters, even though I was wary at first. 

What do you love and hate about sequels? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Love! Both are eye-catching in their own ways. 

Spiral staircase! Loving the look for both covers! And the red pops!

I like both - NOECHY has a charming yet very creepy vibe. 

Not sure about PR, but I adore AVALON's cover! 

(Old cover on left, new cover on right) The new version is going to make one creepy hardcover. I loved the original, but the new version is even more eerie and interesting.

Have you spotted any cool new covers? 

Waiting on Wednesday (111): AVALON

AVALON by Mindee Arnett (January 21st, 2014 from Balzer & Bray)

"Jeth Seagrave is the leader of the Malleus Shades, the galaxy’s most accomplished and elusive band of teenage mercenaries. Working for feared crime boss Hammer Defoe, Jeth and his crew have made their name stealing unsecured metadrives – the complex piece of technology that makes faster-than-light-speed travel possible. The ITA–the far-reaching organization that produces and polices metatechnology–has been on Jeth’s tale for years, and is looking for any chance to take down Hammer’s black market metatech trade.

But Jeth doesn’t care about any of this. All he wants to do is earn enough money to purchase his parents’ ship, Avalon, from Hammer. His parents, former ITA scientists, were executed for treason years back, and Jeth, his sister Lizzie, and their uncle Milton fell into debt to Hammer. Finally, Jeth has found himself just one job away from freedom. This job, however, is going to give Jeth much, much more than he bargained for – and when he finds himself in possession of information that both Hammer and the ITA will kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s dreamed of for so long."
Teenage mercenaries? Sci-fi? Male protagonist? YES. I want this book so much, it sounds epic!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Books At The Top Of My Summer TBR List

1.   STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney
2.   THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson
3.   THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon

6.   IN HONOR by Jessi Kirby
7.   SLICE OF CHERRY by Dia Reeves
8.   FROI OF THE EXILES by Melina Marchetta
9.   THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

Now, I just have to decide what to read first. That will be challenging....if you want to participate in this meme, visit The Broke and The Bookish for more information!

What's at the top of your summer TBR list?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau

Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Published: June 4th, 2013
Series: The Testing #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 336
POV: 1st person
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 out of 5
"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust."

Only the best and brightest are selected for the Testing. Cia's father was selected as a teen, but no one from the Five Lakes colony has been deemed worthy for quite some time. But then Cia and three classmates are chosen, and are swept off to Tosu city for the Testing. As Cia struggles to pass and survive the Tests – mental, physical, alone and as a team – she also battles with her feelings toward her friends, and the warning her father gave her before Cia left home. In the Testing, sabotage is fair game, and no one can be trusted....

Gritty and even a bit disturbing at times, THE TESTING introduces a world that is attempting to rebuild itself by using only the best of the best as its leaders. But, the selection process is pure hell. Seemingly normal in the beginning, the tests quickly take on a sinister aspect and become downright deadly as the Testing narrows down the pool of candidates. While there is a small and realistic budding romantic subplot, THE TESTING's biggest strength is its eerie and disquieting world, along with Cia's no-nonsense, highly observant narration. THE TESTING is a fascinating story, and I'm eager to see what happens next in the sequel. 

Highlights: Everything begins innocently enough, before Charbonneu slowly reveals the deadly nature of the Testing. Despite the futuristic setting, Cia's narration keeps this story grounded in reality. She's a smart girl, and it's nice to have a heroine who is willing to think for herself, instead of relying on other characters to do everything for her. I'm always fascinated by novel's that delve into the crazy things people will do in order to win or survive, so I found that aspect intriguing. 

Lowlights: Parallels to THE HUNGER GAMES (strange and dangerous humanoid mutant creatures) and BATTLE ROYALE (kids killing other kids in order to win and survive in an arena of some sort, which is also an HG parallel), but that didn't really bother me. I'm mostly concerned about why – why do the officials allow so many candidates to die? Even ones who are exceptionally brilliant, but were fooled by more malevolent characters? Do they really want sneaky, evil people to control their families futures? While Cia speculates on this, the answers provided are not satisfactory or even logical - realistically, it's counterproductive to let your nation's best and brightest die. I'd also like to know more about the world. Hopefully the sequel will provide more answers. 

Received a digital advanced review copy from publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Queen's Library (35)

(A)  MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
(C)  ALTERED by Gennifer Albin
(B)  VIRAL NATION by Shaunta Grimes
(A)  CREWEL by Gennifer Albin (my review)
(D)  ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terril
(E)  THE MOON AND MORE by Sarah Dessen
(D)  THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon (!)

(A) Purchased for Kindle. I see a Kindle book deal, and I pounce.
(B) Unsolicited paperback for review from publisher.
(C) Requested review copy from publicist.
(D) Requested from Netgalley.
(E) Purchased hardcover.

Many thanks to Disney Hyperion, Bloomsbury, Netgalley, Penguin Group USA, Ksenia and Macmillan for the review books! This was such a great week (mostly because King Snarkles of Epic Reads agreed to be my #LitPet). Hope everyone else had a fabulous week!

YA Book Queen's 
Weekly Recommendation

The feature is inspired by Pop Culture Junkie's This Week In Books, The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, and Mailbox Monday. The Queen's Library is a way for me to feature books that I add to my bookshelves and a place to post my weekly recommendations. This is not a new meme, but merely an adjusted feature that is better suited to my blog and needs.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free Audiobooks & More Kindle Book Deals

From May 30th to August 21st, SYNC (and some fabulous publishers) will once again be giving YA lovers the opportunity to download one YA audiobook and one classic audiobook each week! That's 24 free audiobooks for the entire summer! This week, you can download these two audiobooks for free:

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (!!!)
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all-family money, good looks, devoted friends-but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

BLESS ME, ULTIMA by Rudolfo Anaya

With hundreds of thousands of copies in print, Bless Me, Ultima has been called the most widely read Mexican-American novel in the English language. Richly evocative, it has earned its place among the classics of modern literature, even drawing favorable comparisons to Herman Melville’s legendary Moby Dick. As Tony follows his own path toward adulthood, he relies on the wisdom of Ultima—a magical healer—to forge his unique identity.

I posted a list of Kindle deals yesterday, but a few more popped up between then and now. Check them out below! 

$2.99 to $3.99
BETA by Rachel Cohn
STUNG by Bethany Wiggins
BETRAYAL by Lee Nichols
SURRENDER by Lee Nichols
GLITCH by Heather Anastasiu
SWEETLY by Jackson Pearce
HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins
POSSESSION by Elana Johnson
FALSE MEMORY by Dan Krokos
GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt
ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway
IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters (just bought this one - couldn't resist!)

Redesigned Covers

There have been a lot of cover redesigns lately - old covers on the left, new ones on the right!

Wow. I have words, but none are nice....

I love the old cover more, it's so striking. 

Noooo! I'm glad I purchased the hardcover, because that pink/purple hue is not working for me. The original wins for me, because that warm, dusty light brown color rocks (and suits the story).

You can't beat that awesome tattoo. Cool font on the new cover.

I love the new cover, especially the mirrored effect! So stunning!

I like how the girl is a bit more fierce in the original cover, but the new one is good too. 

Both seem a bit quirky and fun!

I love the original cover. Creepy hand!

Such different vibes....I adore the old cover's smart design! .

Have you spotted any recent cover redesigns? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kindle Book Deals

$1.99 or less
TANGLED by Carolyn Mackler
THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen*
LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter
MIND GAMES by Kiersten White
PEACHES by Jodi Lynn Anderson
FORBIDDEN BOY by Hailey Abbott
THE FAME GAME by Lauren Conrad
WITHERING TIGHTS by Louise Rennison
WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley
STEALING PARKER by Miranda Keanneally

$2.99 or less
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
PARTIALS by Dan Wells*
CLARITY by Kim Harrington*
ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons
THE CARRIE DIARIES by Candace Bushnell
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater*
THE FAIREST BEAUTY by Melanie Dickerson
REVENGE OF THE WITCH by Joseph Delaney
THE HEALER'S APPRENTICE by Melanie Dickerson
THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER by Melanie Dickerson

$3.99 or less
CREWEL by Gennifer Albin
TORCHED by Andrea Lynn Colt*
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson

$4.99 or less
ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo
ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
HOW TO DITCH YOUR FAIRY by Justine Larbalestier

Between $5 and $6.99
CINDER by Marissa Meyer*
UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand*
OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks
DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth*
SHADOWLAND by Meg Cabot*
GRACELING by Kristin Cashore*
CHAINS by Laurie Halse Anderson
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo*
BRIGHTLY WOVEN by Alexandra Bracken
FALL FOR ANYTHING by Courtney Summers
THE TWIN'S DAUGHER by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

* An awesome book!

All deals are current as of 5:00PM on 5/12/13 (so snag the ones you want while they're still cheap).