Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

For those of you who celebrate Halloween, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday! 

And I hope you are better at spooky nail art than I am...
(That's what I get for rushing and using a toothpick to draw)

Have a great day / night!!  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (123): FORGET ME

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

FORGET ME by K.A. Harrington (AKA, Kim Harrington)
August 14th, 2014
Two names. One face. A dangerous secret exposed.

Morgan never minded her boyfriend Flynn’s dark and private nature. She found it mysterious and alluring. But now he’s dead, and she can’t move forward. On the three-month anniversary of Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to the social media site FriendShare to get some closure, but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as Evan Murphy. She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Same eyes, nose, jawline. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets, Morgan questions everything she thought she knew about her town, her boyfriend, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies. K. A. Harrington’s superb plotting and breakneck pacing will keep readers turning each tension-filled page in a race to the stunning conclusion.

That cover is wonderfully eerie, and I'm liking the summary too. I loved Harrington's CLARITY, so I'm excited to see what she does with this story! Sounds like it will be a great mystery!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

1.  TEN: This cover gives me goosebumps. I wouldn't want to hang out on that island.

2.   ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD : Hello, creepy-dead-Anna. Nice to see you?

3.   THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST (HC and PB): HC is very creepy, while the PB is slightly eerie.

4.   SLICE OF CHERRY: I love how delightfully twisted and eerie this cover is. That's one tea party I do not want to be invited to.

5.   ASYLUM : Very horror-movie worthy.

6.   THE FURY: Okay, this cover is genuinely scary. *hides*

7.   THIS IS NOT A TEST: Slightly normal with an eerie, blood-spattered twist.

8.   ASHES: I don't like the way this cover looks at me...


10.   THE REPLACEMENT: EERIE. That sums it up.

BONUS! DEVILISH (original cover): If you tell me that the girl on the cover doesn't kind of freak you out, I will wonder if you are human. Creepy smile? Creepy eyes? A cupcake of EVIL?! Okay, the cupcake isn't really that evil, but you do wonder when you see her holding it like that.

What are some of your favorite scary book covers?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Highlights / Lowlights: UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody

Author: Jessica Brody
Published: March 5th, 2013
Genre: YA, mystery, sci-fi
Series: Unremembered #1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux BYR
POV: 1st person
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Publicist
Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf.
"The only thing worse than forgetting her past... is remembering it.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?"

Highlights: The pacing in UNREMEMBERED is fast, making it incredibly easy to fly through this story in only a matter of hours. Seraphina's foster family is fabulous - especially Cody, who was such a genuine, amusing, and likable young boy.  Seraphina was interesting enough as a protagonist to capture my attention, and I found her oddities and secret past to be completely fascinating. An edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced story, UNREMEMBERED is one mystery readers will love to unravel and piece back together.

Lowlights: Many of the twists are easily predicted (a few, fortunately, were not easy to predict but were a bit underwhelming). The romance fell flat, and I had a hard time believing in it. While I enjoyed the straight-forward writing, there's really nothing overly special about the writing style.

Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf (Low 4 out of 5). UNREMEMBERED is very good and extremely engaging, but it's more of a borrow-at-the-library kind of book. I enjoyed it enough that I may want to reread it again in the future, but I do have some issues with the story that I cannot ignore. Yet, if this story calls out to you, I'd recommend checking it out! The action and surprising reveals make it worth a read. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Study Session: The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

As an English major, I spend most of my time reading classic works of literature and analyzing them. Sometimes, I even have to reread them. So, I thought it may be useful to make blog posts with summaries and some light analysis, that way I (and anyone else) can easily remember what happened and some interesting ideas (which can create a starting point for an essay). 
This post was written in less than an hour, based on my private notes, so please forgive any factual or grammatical errors! The analysis is very light, but it is a good starting point for discussion. Please do not plagiarize - if you use my work, cite it.  

SUMMARY: The Merchant of Venice

Antonio, a merchant, is in a miserable state to begin with, though the reason is unknown. His good friend Bassanio asks Antonio for financial help, so he can impress a fair creature named Portia. Portia, of Belmont, is caught in the midst of a game of sorts, devised by her deceased father, that will choose her future husband. Three caskets (one silver, one gold, and one lead) are displayed, and suitors who wish to try their luck must choose the one holding Portia's picture inside. But, should they choose incorrectly, they must never marry. Portia is, understandably, annoyed by this, though her maid (Nerissa) has little sympathy. 

In Venice, Antonio gives Bassanio permission to seek a loan using Antonio's good name. Bassanio quickly finds Shylock, a Jew and moneylender, who has been treated very poorly by Antonio in the past. Yet, Shylock agrees to lend Bassanio three thousand ducats for three months, interest-free. But, should Antonio find himself unable to pay Shylock back in time, Shylock will be entitled to a pound of Antonio's flesh

Side plot: Jessica, Shylock's daughter, is in love with Lorenzo (yet another buddy of Antonio's - he seems to be a popular guy). The two plot and quickly run away with each other, with Jessica sneaking out of her father's home dressed as a man and taking a casket full of her father's ducats and jewels. Lorenzo's friends comment on how she is "a gentle and no Jew," because nothing says you're a great person quite like stealing from your father (II.vii.53). The two run off together (and even trade a ring for a monkey), and eventually end up at Belmont

In Belmont, the Prince of Morocco tries his luck and chooses the gold casket - which is, unfortunately (or fortunately), wrong. The Prince of Arragon, similarly, chooses incorrectly by picking the silver casket. 

Back in Venice, Antonio is out of luck. It seems his ships may or may not have wrecked, and he definitely does not have the money to pay back Shylock. Furthermore, Shylock is in a fit of rage after his daughter Jessica runs off with the (Christian) Lorenzo (he seems more bothered by the loss of wealth, but I'm sure deep inside he is also upset over the loss of his daughter). He resolves to take Antonio's pound of flesh, no matter what. 

Bassanio finally appears in Belmont, and everyone is quite pleased to see him. Portia wishes he would stay awhile, and delay his choice. Yet, Bassanio decides to jump right into it, chooses the lead casket, and wins Portia's love (and finances). Portia gives him a ring, which he swears he will wear until he dies. Bassanio's buddy Gratiano decides that he is quite taken with Nerissa, and the two wed as well. But wait! Bassanio receives a letter from Antonio, notifying Bassanio that Antonio wishes to see him one last time before he dies (because let's face it, losing a pound of flesh is probably going to kill him). Portia sends Bassanio off to Venice with double the ducats in order to save Antonio. 

Portia and Nerissa decide to dress as men and try to help save Antonio. When they arrive at court, they find that the men seem to be hoping that Shylock will change his mind and are doing little to actually save Antonio (seriously, it's kind of pathetic - you'd think there would be at least one decent lawyer). Portia-in-disguise steps in and begins examining the situation. She urges Shylock to accept the money that Bassanio as brought (which he rejects), and quickly discovers that the bond asks for a pound of flesh, but not a single drop of blood. If Shylock spills even a drop, his "lands and goods / Are by the laws of Venice confiscate / Unto the state of Venice" (IV.i.323-325). Shylock decides to ask for the money instead, but is rejected. Half is wealth is offered to Antonio (who rejects it in favor of giving it to Jessica and Lorenzo upon Shylock's death) and half to the state. As payment for a job well done, Portia-in-disguise asks Bassanio for his ring. Reluctantly, he parts with it (and Nerissa manages to get Gratiano to part with his too). 

Back in Belmont, Jessica and Lorenzo are in charge (because known thieves are absolutely the kind of people you would want to take care of your house while you're out saving lives) and somewhat quarreling with each other when Portia and Nerissa arrive. Soon after, the men arrive and Portia picks a fight with Bassanio, who has given his ring away. Yet, the couples reunite, Antonio's ships have made it safely back (a little late, but better late then never), and all is resolved. 


The Sympathetic Devil: Shylock

      While Shylock dwells on the wealth, his lost “diamond….two thousand ducats in that , and other precious, precious jewels” (Shakespeare 95), it is obvious during Shylock’s interactions with Tubal that Jessica’s actions have caused him anguish, and not only because of the fortune he has lost. With Jessica’s disappearance, Shylock loses everything in one swift blow – his daughter, his wealth, his happiness. Jessica’s trading of items such as her mother’s ring for a monkey serves as a betrayal that utterly changes Shylock, because the ring is more than a jewel to him. Instead, it is a connection to a woman he has lost in unknown circumstances, a token of his love for Jessica’s mother, and for Jessica. That she so carelessly discards it does nothing short of rip out Shylock’s heart. Her actions leave Shylock with nothing left of value and nothing to lose. Precisely because of his daughter’s actions, Shylock's only remaining hope is to succeed in gaining a pound of flesh from Antonio and thirst for vengeance against those Christians who had turned his daughter against him. Jessica, essentially, leads her father into becoming the plays antagonist.

The Runaway Daughter: Jessica

      Many new readers may argue Jessica is of little importance, but there is more to her character than one might initially believe. Though Shakespeare never shows Lorenzo and Jessica telling Portia about their escape from Venice while onstage, Portia’s idea to disguise both herself and Nerissa comes to pass directly after conversing with the two lovers about Antonio’s predicament (III.iv). It may be insinuated that they told Portia, and being quick of wit, Portia saw an opportunity to use Jessica’s method of escape as a way for her to help Antonio. This idea of cross dressing proves to be one of the more important aspects of the play, because without it, Antonio would have likely lost in court – and lost his life. So, while Jessica’s actions set Shylock on the path to vengeance, her actions simultaneously inspire another path to salvation for Antonio, as well as allowing Portia’s witty intelligence to become of use within the play. 

The Casket Game: Portia's hints

      Though Portial is forbidden to share hints with Bassanio, one will notice that Portia subtly hints to him that the lead casket is the winning choice. She periodically uses words that rhyme with "lead" during her conversation with Bassanio. Additionally, the final words in the first three lines of the song bear a closer look. The words "bred," "head," and "nourishèd" all also rhyme with "lead," subtly bringing the word to Bassanio's mind (III.ii.65-67). Additionally, the song itself warns that love based on looks will die, warning against making decisions based solely on looks. Moreover, the song mentions a bell, which is likely to be created from lead than from silver or gold. With further reading, one would likely find more subtle hints by Portia. 


* The nature of evil within the play. Who is evil? Are the heroes actually heroes, or are they villains because of the way they treat other characters? Is Shylock truly villainous, or a victim (see his famous speech in III.i)?
* The couples (Portia and Bassanio, Nerissa and Gratiano, Jessica and Lorenzo, Lancelot and the unnamed Moor), and what they reveal about one another? Foils?
* Antonio and Bassanio. While some critics believe otherwise, many critics do believe that Antonio is in love with Bassanio. Does Bassanio know this / love him back? Or his he manipulating Antonio for his own gain?
* The various symbols (Rings, Caskets, etc) and themes (Revenge, Love, etc) of the story.

Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Print. 

YABookQueen [Johnson, Lea]. "Study Session: The Merchant of Venice." YA Book Queen. 27 Oct. 2013. Web. Day Month. Year {insert the date you accessed this page}. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Classic & YA Spooky Story Pairings

Sponsored Link: I use Grammarly to check for plagiarism because it's only cool to recycle waste, not words. 

In honor of the upcoming holidays, I decided to throw some chilling literary classics together with a few eerily entertaining YA novels! 
BEOWULF + SWEET VENOM: Monsters, heroes, humor, and battles, these two stories are definitely exciting reads! 

THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO + CARRIE + FURY + ENVY: This is more than a pair, but they work so well together. Drama, the supernatural, chills, and revenge, these stories will pull you in with ease and leave you with chills by the time you've finished. 

BLEAK HOUSE  + THE DIVINERS: Featuring a large cast of characters and plenty of small eerie moments (or large eerie moments, if you're reading THE DIVINERS), these two were meant for each other. If you want a slightly eerie classic, you'll enjoy Dickens's novel. If you're looking to be terrified, up late at night, you'll want Bray's latest work. 

JANE EYRE  + JANE: Dive into the past with JANE EYRE and discover the mystery surrounding the gothic Thornfield manor. Or, try JANE, a retelling with fresh ideas while still maintaining the bare bones of the original story. Either way, it is easy to fall in love with these subtly spooky tales! 

SHERLOCK HOLMES + THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER + TEN: You're probably wondering how these stories interrelate, and I'm sure it's a bit of a stretch. But, all three stories portray excellent mysteries and a delightfully eerie atmosphere. Start light with SHERLOCK HOLMES, move into psychological terror with MARA DYER, and try to survive on an island tormented by an unknown murder in TEN.

THE TELL-TALE HEART + NEVERMORE: I think any Poe tale would fit nicely with Kelly Creagh's creative NEVERMORE, which was inspired by Poe's works. Dark, eerie, and captivating, both will keep you up late at night.

DOCTOR FAUSTUS + DEVILISH: Never sell your soul to a devil, because you might not like what you receive in return. From darkly ominous (DOCTOR FAUSTUS) to delightfully diabolical (DEVILISH), you'll be entertained from start to finish.

INFERNO + BLEEDING VIOLET: Descend into a strange world, because in both of these texts, you're definitely in for something strange. From journeys through the circles of hell, to the odd town of Portero, it's easy to become hooked on these stories! 

Which spooky YA and literary classic stories would you pair together? I was tempted to throw in DRACULA, but never having read it (I know, shame on me), I was not quite sure which novel it fit the best with...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (122): FIENDISH

WoW is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Brenna Yovanoff
June 26th, 2014
Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten. Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover why her childhood was taken from her. But the truth gets muddled in her attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend and the hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

This sounds so strange and fascinating! I really enjoyed Yovanoff's novel PAPER VALENTINE, so I'm definitely excited for this story. Love the eerie cover!

What novel are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Unusual Character Names

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

1.  Chaol Westfall (THRONE OF GLASS): I love his name, and I adore his character.

2.  Karou (DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE): Her name? Awesome and unique.

3.  Severus Snape (HARRY POTTER): Snape, Snape, Severus Snape (Dumbledore!). Sorry. So, anyway, I find his name to be delightfully perfect for him. I probably could have included a dozen other HP character names on this list.

4.  Alina Starkov (SHADOW AND BONE): It has a nice ring to it.

5.  Celaena Sardothien (THRONE OF GLASS): The first time I read her name, I raised an eyebrow, but it quickly grew on me.

6.  Finnikin (FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK): I love how strange yet normal this name is.

7.  Fire (FIRE): Who knew the word "fire" could make such a great name?

8.  Puck (THE SCORPIO RACES): My inner Shakespeare nerd approves. It's such a delightfully odd name.

9.  Poppet and Widget (THE NIGHT CIRCUS): BEST NAMES EVER. Or, maybe I love their names only because I love their characters... *thinks*

10.  Beatrice "Tris" Prior (DIVERGENT): I like both - her actual (normal) name and her (unusual) nickname.

What are some of your favorite character names?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Highlights / Lowlights: HOW TO LOVE by Katie Cotugno

Author: Katie Cotugno
Published: October 1st, 2013
Series: N/A
Genre: YA/NA contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
POV: 1st person, present and past tense
Pages: 389
Format: Printed ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice..

Highlights: Reena is an older protagonist who is far from perfect, constantly making mistakes but still managing to grow and learn from them. I enjoyed the Before / After points-of-view, because it was fascinating to see the old and present Reena. Reena and Sawyer's romance is a bit strange - at times, I loved them together. But, at other moments, I couldn't help but to see all the problems they create by enabling one another in their bad habits. As a whole, while I had issues with the romance, I still found it to be captivating. I like the emphasis on family and friendship, even if both were a bit rocky at times. The writing style itself was nice and descriptive, flowing from one word to the next. This is an easy book to get caught up in for a few hours, and the changes Reena goes through make this is a worthwhile read. HOW TO LOVE is an excellent story about family, friends, love, and second chances.

Lowlights: Sawyer. He did grow on me a little by the end, but I still felt like he hadn't proved himself or fixed any of his past mistakes. Even Reena was a bit frustrating at times, too. But, none of this stopped me from enjoying the story. 

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle ShelfHOW TO LOVE is a great story that is worth owning, and has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed this story very much, despite a few small issues I had with the romance / couple. I would absolutely recommend HOW TO LOVE to other readers.

Thursday, October 17, 2013



Original MoS Hardcover

STRANGE AND EVER AFTER: I love the covers for this trilogy! Great titles, too. 
MAID OF SECRETS (paperback): I like the redesign a bit more. 


Original Hardcover

STARGLASS (paperback): I liked the original, but the brighter blues and greens on the redesign have won me over. I love the new font, too! 
STARBREAK: I really like this one, too.  


FIENDISH: Eerie! Creepy house, random definitely stands out! 
THE TAKING: Not too much going on, but the title looks great. 

Original covers for this trilogy

DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES (WAKE / FADE / GONE omnibus): The older covers are better and stand out more, in my opinion. But I haven't read these books, so maybe the new cover works. 

ON THE FENCE: A bit typical, isn't it? The book sounds great, though. 
ONLY EVERYTHING: This one is a bit strange...I'm curious to see what the novel is about. 

First Cover Design

THE INVENTOR'S SECRET: I like this design so much more than the heart! It's fantastic!

Have you spotted any fabulous covers lately? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Published: May 6th, 2008
Genre: Sci-fi; Romance; Adult
Series: The Host #1 (?)
Publisher: Little Brown
POV: 1st person
Pages: 619
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf
"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love."

I reread this book in preparation for the film adaptation1, and I was a bundle of nerves upon beginning the first few pages. I remember, in 2008, eagerly dropping by the bookstore to pick this novel up a few days after it released. I flew through those 619 pages, was sucked into another world, and enjoyed every second of it. I remember being so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, considering my so-and-so feelings toward the TWILIGHT series. I was so worried I would despise this novel now that I'm older, but I fortunately still found THE HOST to be thoroughly gripping and enjoyable.

Envision our world. Now imagine that we have been invaded, our bodies taken over by an alien species that is unnervingly kind and concerned about one another. Wanderer, our narrator, is one of these aliens. She's been given Melanie Stryder's body, but Melanie isn't giving up without a fight. The internal conflict between these two women could be challenging to portray, but Meyer makes it work. Meyer focuses only on a few select settings, but writes them so vividly with her descriptions that you cannot help but to envision them clearly. THE HOST gives readers a glimpse into humanity, raising questions regarding what it means to be human and what it means to be good or evil. The plot itself is nothing new for sci-fi fans, but I definitely believe this novel goes above and beyond Meyer's other works. 

Highlights: Meyer writes the love triangle/square work2 perfectly. The setting is also nicely depicted, but it is the characters that take this story to another level. They are imperfect people: some angry and impulsive, while others are thoughtful and slower to act. More surprisingly, Meyer made me change my mind about them repeatedly. Characters I hated in the beginning eventually become ones I sympathized with (or even liked) by the end, and that's an impressive feat. 

Lowlights: This novel is slow moving, and it takes some time to get into the story. This is a very character-focused story, so if you don't like Wanderer, you probably won't like the novel. 

Note: This is an adult novel, but it has high crossover potential. I think the only aspects that make this book "adult" are the 21-year-old protagonist (Melanie's body is that age, Wanderer is older but sounds as if she is Melanie's age) and the intense, physical violence portrayed throughout the novel. Even the steamier scenes are tame in comparison to some that I've read in YA novels.

Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf. I loved THE HOST,  so it is going on the top shelves in the royal library where everyone can see it. I'd highly recommend THE HOST, but only to people who are willing to read a slower-paced novel that focuses heavily on characters. 

1 Which I never found time to watch in theaters, thanks to a crazy-busy college semester. I did finally rent the film, though. I have many thoughts - both good and bad! 
2 Don't freak out, it's not your typical love triangle/square. Upon rereading, it is obvious how the romance aspect will work out in the end. The only person with actual conflicting feelings for more than one person is Wanderer. To view my spoiler-ish comments, visit my Goodreads review.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Queen's Library (39): July, August, September, and October Books

The below books are from July, August, September, and part of October!! 

LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger (from publicist/publisher)
CRESS by Marissa Meyer (from publicist / publisher)!!!!!!!!!!
SEKRET by Lindsay Smith (from publicist/publisher)
NIL by Lynne Matsen (from publicist / publisher)
HOW TO LOVE by Katie Cotugno (from Amazon Vine)
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell (from Amazon Vine)
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robyn Schneider (from Amazon Vine)
EXILE by Shannon Messenger (from publicist - Not Pictured)
CHASING SHADOWS by Swati Avasthi (from Amazon Vine - Not Pictured)
THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas (from Amazon Vine - Not Pictured)

FOR REVIEW (eARCs - Not Pictured)
CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst (from Netgalley / publicist)
WHITE SPACE by Ilsa J. Bick (from Edelweiss)
THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain (from Edelweiss)
THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater (from Netgalley)
INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi (from Edelweiss)
AVALON by Mindee Arnett (from Edelweiss)
PANIC by Lauren Oliver (from Edelweiss)
CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge (from Edelweiss)

ENSHADOWED by Kelly Creagh
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
VALKYRIE RISING by Ingrid Paulson (freebie)
THE WORLD OF DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (freebie)

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (snagged the $3.95 daily deal)

FURY by Elizabeth Miles
ENVY by Elizabeth Miles (autographed)

WHEN YOU WERE HERE by Daisy Whitney (autographed and personalized)

Whew! So, that's all the books I've gotten during the past few months! Thanks to Netgalley, Edelweiss, Amazon Vine, Random House, Simon & Schuster + Emma, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Macmillan + Ksenia, Paper Lantern Lit, Erica and anyone else I've forgotten to thank!

And a quick note: Sorry I've been a missing lately. My classes this fall are keeping me busy, but I should start having a bit more time to spend in the blogosphere soon!

My 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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (121): #SCANDAL

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: Sarah Ockler
Release: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...

I was sold at "Sarah Ockler," because her books are fabulous. Her novels always end up being more touching and meaningful than you initially expect them to be. This book is definitely on my wishlist!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: TORCHED by Andrea Lynn Colt

Author: Andrea Lynn Colt
Published: September 2012
Series: None
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: self-published
Pages: 370
POV: 1st person
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf
"Cheerleader Rose Whitfield's senior year goes up in smoke when she's framed for arson.

Sure that the culprit is her neighbor Paxton, with whom she's been feuding since middle school, she sets out to clear her name and take Paxton down hard--not necessarily in that order."

Rose Whitfield has it all: the perfect boyfriend, a popular BFF, the captain spot on the cheerleading squad and the top GPA at her high school. But, with a little fuel for the fire and the strike of a match, Rose's perfect life goes up in (actual) flames. Framed for arson, Rose quickly learns who her allies are when the people who should stand behind her – her boyfriend, best friend, and even her parents – don't seem to believe she's innocent. With only one person to rely on, and the absolute last person she ever expected to believe her, Rose digs for the truth. But thanks to her history of pranks that sometimes go awry, Rose discovers that she might have made more enemies during the last few years than she could have ever guessed.

A humorous and surprise-filled debut novel, TORCHED is an enjoyable mystery that will keep you glued to the pages from start to finish. Colt writes with plenty of humor, giving Rose an amusing voice that feels fresh and authentic. While the romantic aspect of the story is easy to see coming, it's an endearing inclusion that rounds out this mystery novel very nicely. Speaking of mystery, Colt keeps the suspense alive and burning throughout most of the novel – giving small hints here and there, but saving the reveal until much closer to the conclusion. Even when I originally guessed the culprit, Colt made me doubt my choice left me changing my mind repeatedly. If you're looking for a fun story with a dash of romance and plenty of mystery, I would highly suggest checking out TORCHED

Highlights: Colt's writing is fun, fresh, and very easy to enjoy. Rose's transformation and effort to be a better person was gradual and realistic. The romance was sweet and genuine. Each character was authentic in their own right. Honestly, as a whole, this book went above and beyond my admittedly low expectations. I usually equate low novel prices to low quality writing, but TORCHED is the exception. Also, I love that Rose named her car Cloudmonster. 

Lowlights: Rose spends a lot of time focusing on the (obviously) wrong person for a little more than a 100 pages, which I found a bit frustrating. OH! And Rose's parents. My gosh. What is wrong with them?!

Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf. TORCHED is a fantastic story worth owning, and it has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed this story very much, despite a few small issues, and would recommend TORCHED to other readers, especially if you're a fan of mystery, humor, and romance. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: DON'T LOOK BACK

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release: April 15, 2014
Preorder on Amazon and B&N
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Author Bio (Author Website / Twitter / Facebook): 
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

That cover is a bit eerie! What do you think of it?