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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [28]: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Expected Publication Date: May 15th, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count: 398 pages
Preorder: Amazon
In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat – where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It’s a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men – the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.
Why I Can't Wait: I've always been a huge fan of books about the Tudors and anything that has to do with Henry VIII, so seeing a YA book about the Tudors is like my dream come true!!! I am SO excited for this one!!! If you have it and want to let me borrow it I will love you FOREVER :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [27]: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's Teaser is from... Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins!
"There was an intensity in the way he played, like he was unleashing his passion into the music and nothing else mattered. He was feeling it, lost in it, and he was good. A ligh sheen of sweat shone on his arms and face, dampening and darkening the hair at his temples. Never before had I felt such instant physical attraction." (Pg. 11)
*This quote is from an uncorrected ARC. Quotations in the finished copy may change*

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells
Expected Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 472 pages
Format: E-ARC
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon
*I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are mine*
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question--one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.
When I first read the synopsis for this book I was so excited I couldn't contain myself. Sadly, I have really mixed feelings about it now. The beginning was really slow, I didn't feel like much was happening, or a lot of stuff was happening but it was overly described which just served to bore me. Enough was happening to keep me interested, and about 250 pages in things finally started to pick up! The ending was a complete cliff-hanger and now I'm just dying for the next one!

Kira is a great protagonist; she's strong, independent, smart, and sassy. I really liked how she took initiative to basically save the human race, despite the fact that she's only 16. She never took "no" for an answer, which definitely reminded me of me :). Her friends are all really fantastic people who completely support her no matter what kind of crazy thing she wants to do next. Although her boyfriend, Marcus, tries to tell her what to do a lot, he has good intentions and he was definitely a sweet-heart. I do wish there was a little more romance between the two, since I'm a big YA romance junkie, but at least there wasn't some stupid love-triangle.

The writing is really in depth, and there is a lot of thorough world-building going on, but sometimes I felt like it was too much. I tended to skip over a lot of paragraphs, simply because I was getting bored with whatever was happening. The story is also really medical, since Kira is trying to find a cure for RM, and I had a hard time following what was happening with that most of the time. Science and I do not mix, so it was hard for me to focus on all the medical jargon and testing and what not. The story really picks up in the last 200 pages though and a lot of stuff starts happening and things are revealed and people DIE! By then, I was screaming and reading furiously and I just had to know what was going to happen!!!

Overall, I liked Partials enough to continue reading and eventually I was really into it. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get into the story, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The ending is definitely an incredible cliff-hanger and I can't wait to find out what Dan Wells has up his sleeve for the next book! Fans of dystopian and sci fi will like this one, but if you need romance in your novels you won't really find it here!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In My Mailbox [28]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!

No video for me this week! I've been so swamped with school, I'm actually writing a paper RIGHT NOW, and I just didn't have time to film and edit anything! I didn't get many books this week anyways :)


For Review:
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Big thanks to HarlequinTEEN and Tashya :D)
The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski (Thanks to J.A!)

Bought:
Shine by Lauren Myracle (I bought this awhile ago, Lauren was at Hicklebee's doing a signing, and so I ordered a copy to be signed! Finally picked it up!)

What awesome stuff did you get this week?? Make sure to leave a link!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why Unicorns Are Better Than Zombies!


Why Unicorns Are Better Than Zombies by ME!
Unicorns are way better than Zombies. Zombies drool. Literally, their jaws are falling off and they just drool everywhere. That's just gross. They're falling apart! Their limbs just fall off willy nilly which is so gross on so many levels. Sure, they're scary, but why would you wanna be around a group of flesh eating monsters when you could hang out with an amazing and gorgeous Unicorn? Also, Unicorns can heal ANYTHING. That's just so awesome! They could cure cancer! Or AIDS! Who wouldn't want an amazing and glorious animal like that around, curing people and being beautiful?? Also, the Unicorn could probably stab the zombie through the heart which would CURE IT! The Unicorns can CURE ZOMBIES! That's just epic on so many levels. I'm sure there are a million other reasons why Unicorns are better than zombies, but I'm going to let some friends give you their reasons :)

Why Unicorns Are Better Than Zombies by Jodi Meadows, age mumblemumble
Unicorns are clearly superior to zombies. Looks aside (another area in which unicorns excel), unicorns are fast, graceful, and come with a weapon on their forehead. They can decapitate a zombie within seconds.

Unicorns are killing machines.

Even should a zombie get a lucky bite, unicorns are 100% life force. They will be unaffected by a zombie's bite. There's really no contest.

Why Unicorns are Better Than Zombies by Cary Cummings
For as long as I can remember I've loved Unicorns and their mysterious nature. They're constantly glorified in songs, poems, and literature. Yet, no matter how much they're talked about, no one can really harness the true beauty and magic of a Unicorn. Legends span the globe regarding what a Unicorn may or may not be, but I grew up listening to stories of their astounding beauty, graceful poise and fierceness. All of those things make me Team Unicorn, cause' the Unicorn can't be touched, ridiculed, or captured. However, it can exist in the spirit of your own imagination, and be a hero in every way!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for ANY unicorn book of your choice! ENTER HERE

Why do you think Unicorns are better than zombies??

New Releases: February 27th - March 3rd

Here are some upcoming release that I'm really looking forward to!




What are you looking forward to the most??

Friday, February 24, 2012

TGIF [1] - Required Reading

TGIF at GReads - This feature is for Fridays to re-cap the week's posts & to propose a question for GReads! followers.

So, in all honesty I got kind of bored with Follow Friday, so I wanted to try something new (yay!!) Here's to TGIF!

Required Reading: Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

I think is probably the series that first got me into reading, and it's also possibly the reason why I absolutely love series so much :) I was reading these books way before Harry Potter and there's just something so exciting and magical about them.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I absolutely LOVE this book more than anything I have ever read. Seriously. I've written papers on the educational value of this book. No lies. I think this book should be incorporated into any and all curriculums, not just in middle school, but in elementary school, and maybe even high school. The type of literary knowledge this book holds is priceless, and I think kids of all ages (even college students!!!) can benefit from it in so many ways!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

March Review Copy Cleanup!!!


So I've been debating on whether or not I wanted to participate in yet another challenge, since my school schedule is so hectic! (And packed with required reading BOO!) And I just haven't been able to do as much reading lately as I like, but most of my review copies are either finished copies, or they're not published until later in the year so March is going to be a good time for me to get ahead (and catch up on Netgalleys)! Therefore, I'm going to try to read at least 10 review copies!
Here are the books I want to read:
  1. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (Finished Copy)
  2. Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Finished Copy)
  3. The Rivals by Daisy Whitney (Finished Copy)
  4. Above by Leah Bobet (ARC)
  5. Beyond by T.P. Boje (Finished Copy)
  6. Serenity by T.P. Boje (Finished Copy)
  7. Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday (ARC)
  8. Slide by Jill Hathaway (E-ARC)
  9. Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (E-ARC)
  10. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett (E-ARC)
Are you doing this challenge too? If so, what are you reading??

Blog Tour: Emily's House - Guest Post with Natalie Wright

Emily's House by Natalie Wright
Fourteen-year-old Emily Adams is flunking math - and life. But Emily has a secret, one that she has kept even from her best friends. Soon the ancient legacy coursing through her veins will force her secret to be revealed. Dormant for over a thousand years, an evil has arisen and this time, it will destroy anyone - or anything - that stands in its way.

Three teens embark on a dangerous journey and risk everything. For Emily, the fate of her friends - and her world - lies in her hands.

In a place where anything is possible, will Emily finds the skills - and courage -she needs to save the world from darkness?

Emily's House is a tale that blends Celtic mysticism, spirituality and ancient secrets with science and modern technology. Travel with Emily as she unlocks the secrets of her Celtic ancestors on a mystical journey to the inner house and beyond.

Inspiration for Emily's House

Thank you Anna for asking me to do a guest post for your blog. One of Anna’s suggestions was to talk about my inspiration for novel Emily’s House. There is a story behind the story, so here it is!

My inspiration for Emily’s House is a bit strange. It was like a real-life brush with a fantasy world.

You see, I wasn’t actively writing when I received the initial catalyst for the story. In fact, at first I didn’t recognize it as an inspiration to write. Here’s what happened.

It was the year 2007. I was trying to lose the baby weight and had started hypnotherapy after hearing about it on the Today show. There was no swinging pocket watch or hypnotic suggestion to bark like a dog when I heard a certain word. It was more like a guided meditation. And while I didn’t lose any weight (turns out, you don’t burn calories by sitting in a chair in a relaxed state!), I always left feeling refreshed and inspired.

My last hypnosis session ended with a vision: there was a gold ring hovering over a rolling field of green. I didn’t know what it meant and I didn’t know why I had seen it. But the vision of that gold ring stayed with me.

I just had to find out what that object was! So I started searching the net. After weeks of trying to piece together what I’d seen, I came across a photograph of a gold object called a “torc”. It was a pre-Christian Celtic item of jewelry, often worn around the neck by warriors and the upper classes. But sometimes it was worn around the upper arm and the early Celts called bracelets worn on the arm – you guessed it – a “ring”. Eureka!

What in my mind I had called a “ring” was not something worn on the finger, but worn on the upper arm.

I had found out what the object was, but it didn’t stop there. I became fascinated with ancient Celtic myth, lore, and spirituality. And the more I read, the more a story began to form.

Then I came across references to an order of women who lived in Ireland in a sacred grove. They protected the sacred flame of their Goddess, Brighid (pronounced Bree-id). I became fascinated with the fact that for over a thousand years, they protected a flame that had never been extinguished! And it was an order of all women with legends that men who entered the grove mysteriously vanished or met a terrible end. Fun fodder for story making.

Before long my active imagination had created a whole story inspired by the women of the Sacred Grove. The story within a story in Emily’s House, the story of Saorla and Cathair, was inspired by the vision of the golden torc.

But I didn’t want to write a story set only in ancient times. I kept picturing a modern woman and I saw a science fiction part to it all. Originally I planned the story to be an adult story. But it never seemed to work with an adult protagonist. One day I had another eureka moment and envisioned the heroine as a teenager and her name just popped into my mind: Emily Adams.

After that flash of inspiration, I was off and running. A quest is thrust upon an unlikely hero – a modern girl – more interested in just fitting in and getting through than saving the world. An ancient evil, dormant for over a thousand years – the nemesis of her ancestor – “he’s back!” Adventure, travel, other worlds and time travel – it’s all in there!

And it was all inspired by a brief vision of a simple gold object, hovering over lovely Irish hills of green. The torc.

About Natalie!

Natalie Wright spent her formative years growing up on a farm in Ohio. It was a fertile environment for an active imagination and an inquisitive mind. She is, however, a city girl at heart and enjoys traveling and experiencing oceans and cities worldwide. Natalie now finds inspiration in the desert environment of her home in Tucson, Arizona where she lives with her husband, daughter and her dog Molly.



www.NatalieWrightsYA.blogspot.com
www.NatalieWright.net
www.facebook.com/NatalieWright.Author
www.twitter.com/NatalieWright_
www.YouTube.com/user/WritesKidsBooks

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [27]: For Darkness Shows the Stars

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Expected Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 398 pages
Preorder: Amazon
Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.
Why I Can't Wait: Soooo this book just sounds AWESOME! I really like reading about the idea of caste systems and stuff like that, and I love me some Jane Austen so I'm definitely excited to read something inspired by her writing! Also, that cover is GORGEOUS!!!

What are you waiting on this week?? Be sure to leave links to your post!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [26] Above by Leah Bobet

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from... Above by Leah Bobet!!
"I hit the ground hard, back and ankles and the back of my head, everything gone bright white for one second too long. The brand bounces out of my hand, and when my eyes clear up, the last thing in the whole Tale of my life I see is an outstretched arm, five delicate carver-long fingers, a pair of shadow-eyes, terrible and sparking and sad - " (Page 41).
*This quote is from an uncorrected proof. Quotes in the finished copy may change.*
So, I'm actually NOT reading this book yet, but I really wanted to tease myself :) How'd I do?? Actually.. I kept reading a bit.. THIS ONE IS GOING TO ROCK MY SOCKS OFF!! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Scary School by Derek the Ghost
Publication Date: June 21st, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 237 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
You think your school's scary?

Get a load of these teachers:

"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"

Plus

Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch

And

The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost

Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky
 Scary School was a fun and quick read, but despite the fact that I enjoy some Middle Grade novels this one just didn’t do it for me. The book is made up of a bunch of short stories about the different people/monsters that are at the school, plus there are fun illustrations involved, which were my favorite part.

The characters were all fun, the principal is a T-Rex, one teacher is a Dragon, another teacher is a Vampire, one student is a Werewolf, etc. I did like how all of the characters had something to do with each other and if they were talked about in one chapter we got to learn more about them in another.

The story itself was ok, I had some issues with the writing. A lot of the time, the author would write things like, “But we’ll talk about that later...” and then the topic would never come up again. In most cases, I was left wondering about that situation. Or he would write, “That’ll come up in the next book…” but I wanted to know about it right then! That definitely bugged me. Otherwise, the book was pretty fun and entertaining.

Overall, Scary School managed to entertain me for an afternoon, but I wouldn’t recommend it to others unless you enjoy reading anthologies or Middle Grade books. I would probably give this to a 5th or 6th grader, especially if they’re a reluctant reader, because of all the pictures and the quick speedy read. Sadly, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked to.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox [27] The one with STRUCK and ABOVE!!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!





For Review
Big thank you to Scholastic!!
Above by Leah Bobet

Big thank you to Macmillan!!
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Swapped
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock (Traded with Giselle from Xpresso Reads!)

Library Haul!
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Wings, Spells, Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Releases: February 20th - February 24th

Here are some New Releases for the week of February 20th!


What are you looking forward to the most??

Interview: Veronica Rossi and Under the Never Sky Giveaway!!

I am so so so excited to have Veronica Rossi on the blog for an interview today!!! Under the Never Sky is by FAR my favorite read of 2012 so far, and Veronica is just an AMAZING person!!! You can check out my 5 STAR REVIEW HERE!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Purchase: Amazon
Veronica's Website
Follow Veronica on Twitter 
Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

1. Under the Never Sky is your debut novel, can you tell us a little about it?
Sure! It's a post-apocalyptic story, and also a romance. The story is about Aria, a teenager from a very modern society, technologically integrated society. When she's thrown out of her home into the outer wasteland, she meets Perry, who comes from a very harsh, primitive world that's the complete opposite of hers. They embark on a quest in which they must overcome their differences in order to survive.

2. Under the Never Sky definitely falls into "dystopian" genre, which is my favorite and has become incredibly popular lately. What are some of your favorite dystopian books? What do you find the most fascinating about them? What inspired you to write a dystopian novel?
If you'll allow me to include a post-apocalyptic title in the mix, I'd say my favorites are THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy, THE HUNGER GAMES Trilogy, by Susanne Collins, and THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. There are so many great ones, though! It's so hard to narrow down. I love this genre because it's entertaining, but it also inspires thought. We're able to think about the consequences of our current actions through these stories. To me, that makes the reading experience rich and satisfying, which is why I chose to write in the genre!

3. Who was the hardest character for you to write, and who was your favorite character to write?
Cinder was the toughest character because I went back and forth on his age. Once I figured that out, he clicked into place. It's too difficult to choose a favorite character to write, but I will say that Roar is always fun!

4. If you couldn't be an author, what other career would you like to have?
I'd love to produce movies. I'm such a sucker for the creative process, and for stories. I think it would be amazing to see the production of a movie through.

5. What authors have inspired you the most?
I was just talking about this today! Again, so many, but Kristin Cashore and MT Anderson are two of my favorites. They're very different in style, but I find both utterly brilliant. (BITTERBLUE! Sorry I had to!!!)

Thanks so much for having me, Anna!

Giveaway Deets:
- US ONLY
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- I am not responsible for lost or stolen items
- Please do not leave your email in the comments section
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cover Reveal: Gravity by Melissa West

GRAVITY by Melissa West (October 2012)

Pre-order: Amazon
Add to Your TBR: Goodreads
In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don't. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last
person she expected hovering above her bed - arrogant Jackson Locke, the
most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind
of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help
him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her
question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts,
she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more
than her attention. She¹s a military legacy who¹s been trained by her
father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can
know - especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the
information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping
silent will start a war.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [26]: Unraveling

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Expected Publication Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 445 pages
Pre-order: Amazon
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Why I Can't Wait: Seriously, this book just sounds AWESOME! Don't you think?! I mean, she's killed, then she comes back to life, then someone else is killed, then THE END OF THE WORLD??? Seriously, WTF is going on? I don't know, but I want to know that's forsure!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [25]: Partials

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from... Partials by Dan Wells!
"The youngest human being on the planet, as far as anyone knew, would be fourteen years old in a month. It was possible that there were other survivors on other continents, but no one had ever been able to make contact with them, and over time the refugees on Long Island had come to believe that they were alone. That their youngest was the world's youngest. His name was Saladin" (13).
*This quote is from an uncorrected ARC. Any quotations may differ from the finished copy*

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Perception by Kim Harrington

Perception by Kim Harrington
Expected Publication Date: March 1st, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Page Count: 288 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
*I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own*
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Clarity (the first book in this series) this book may contain spoilers!!
When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.
I have to start off this review saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of Clarity. Yes, I enjoyed it, it was cute, there was enough going on to keep me interested, but there were some flaws! That being said, Perception far surpassed my expectations!!!! I absolutely LOVED this book so much more than I thought I would!! There was so much action, romance, mystery, everything wrapped into one!! I finished it in about a day, and I stayed up late finishing it, and then stayed up even later thinking about it! Perception is one of those rare sequels that blows the first book out of the water!

Clarity Fern is back, but now she’s a super star at school! Her days of being picked on are over, she’s got a hot new love interest, and new friends! I seriously loved Clare so much more in Perception than I did in Clarity but I can tell you now that she’s definitely grown. She’s still trying to pick between Gabriel (swoon!) the new love interest, and Justin (BARF CHEATER!) who is her skeezy cheating ex-boyfriend that ended up saving her life in Clarity. As you can tell, I’m team Gabriel all the way! There is even a new character that’s totally a mystery!!

I think the writing in Perception is definitely a set up from Clarity. The story is super fast paced and exhilarating. Harrington had me guessing who Clare’s admirer was until, literally, the last pages! There are also a few major revelations thrown in that really surprised me! Perception is definitely one of the best murder mysteries I’ve read, especially since there’s so much going on and so much I couldn’t figure out!

If you haven’t read Clarity yet you need to just so you can read Perception!! This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it, and I was so satisfied in the end I stayed up late tweeting about it! I definitely recommend this book to lovers of mysteries, murders, romance, and thrilling stories!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox [26]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!



For Review
Thank you so much to Little Brown:
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney

Gifted
Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday (Thank you Michelle from The Passionate Bookworm!!)
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Thank you to Sasha from Sash and Em!!)
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney (Thanks again to Sasha!!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Releases: February 13 - February 17

Another week of New Releases! What are you going to be buying this week??

Zombies vs. Unicorns: Guest Post With Giselle!!!

Today I have the fabulous Giselle from Xpresso Reads on the blog! She's going to tell us a bit about why she thinks Zombies are so much better than Unicorns. Even though they're not. :) 





Why Zombies are Better than Unicorns

If we're talking pretty, I admit, unicorns are up there with the angels and princesses, while the zombies are down the chart with dead fish and spiders (hate those things). But, in the scale of awesomeness, zombies top the chart with unstoppable hoards, gut-wrenching gore and - especially in the case of 28 Days Later zombies - not as dumb as you think!

Unicorns stay in their little castle and eat unifood, play with their unifriends. Who cares, right? Ooh a Unicorn Apocalypse - umm what does that entail exactly? Unicorns coming together to try and hit us with their horns? Or maybe they will use their healing power to turn our zombies back to life? Maybe. But isn't it the unicorn horns that keeps the magic? So say, a zombie attacks and breaks it off, the unicorn becomes a plain old horsie. Would horses win against zombies in a zombipocalypse? Not likely. They can run, and they can probably fight off a few here and there. But what's so scary about zombies and make them unstoppable: they never stop coming. The whole world population turned zombies, against a few horses, eventually the horsie will get tired of running and will have to succumb.

That's when the zombie turns a unicorn into a zombicorn. Which is, in my opinion, epic!

Are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Expected Publication Date: March 6th, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Page Count: 531
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?
Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

I first featured Illuminate in my WoW a while ago. I was first drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover and the mysterious synopsis. It isn’t even until you’re halfway through the book that you really figure out what’s going on with Haven. I absolutely fell in love with this story and the characters, and I can’t wait to see what happens next! The only issue I really have is that the book is so long that it made it difficult for me to sit down and really immerse myself in it.

The characters are all really fantastic, especially Haven! I loved her character and I really connected with her! She’s incredibly bookish, keeps to herself, but she doesn’t mess around. When it comes down to it she has a lot of confidence in herself and her abilities and she has such a back bone! Her two counterparts, Lance and Dante were great also! I loved Lance, he’s so shy and cute, and Dante is such a loud mouth! He made me crack up! There is a love triangle of a sort, involving the gorgeous Lucian, who turns out to be not so gorgeous. Either way, everyone is incredibly well written!

The story itself is really intriguing, I never really knew what was going to happen next, and the mystery of what’s happening in the hotel is never fully revealed until the end. Agresti has a gorgeous writing style, everything is very elegant and her descriptions are fantastic! Typically, I’m not a fan of long descriptive paragraphs, but these really grabbed me! The only complaint I have is that the book is so long! I had a bit of a hard time getting through it in a good amount of time, but sometimes I need to read long books.

Illuminate is a fantastic read, and I definitely recommend it to lovers of mystery, romance and intrigue! If you have a good amount of time available to sit down and read this masterpiece then you definitely need to! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one and find out what’s going to happen with Haven next!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [25]: Something Strange and Deadly

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Expected Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 400 pages
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.

Why I Can't Wait: As always, I'm really drawn to this cover. It's so gorgeous, and look! No red dress!!! :D Also, it kind of sounds like Dearly Departed, with the zombie armies and stuff, and I LOVED that book!!! What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [24]: The Selection

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from... The Selection by Kiera Cass!
"Aspen was a six. Sixes were servants and only a step up from sevens in that they were better educated and trained for indoor work. Aspen was smarter than anyone I knew and devestatingly handsome, but it was atypical for a woman to marry down. (15)"

*This quote is from an uncorrected ARC. Any quotations may differ from the finished copy*

Monday, February 6, 2012

Zombies vs. Unicorns: My Favorite Unicorn Videos!!!


Welcome to my first post in the Zombies vs. Unicorns month!! Here, I'm featuring all my favorite unicorn videos :) 








What are some unicorn videos you love?!

Month of Love at HarperTeen and Epic Reads!!


I don't know if you "like" Epic Reads on Facebook  or you follow them on Twitter but for the month of February Epic Reads is hosting some AWESOME stuff!!! On their Facebook page they're hosting giveaways, polls, showing book trailers, and crazy awesome stuff! In fact, I literally just entered to win a copy of A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies! New stuff is going up daily so check it out HERE

Also, on their Facebook page, is a fun Crush Calculator game :D

I took the quiz and I ended up being paired with Love and Leftovers!

There's a lot of stuff going on for the month of February, so don't miss out!!

[Giveaway!!] Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Swag!

So, for Christmas I actually got TWO copies of Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, so I'm hosting a fun giveaway to share my extra copy! Jennifer has also generously agreed to send some swag to the winner, so there's that to look forward to as well!!

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
The Giveaway
- US ONLY (I'm shipping this book and Jennifer is shipping the swag, sorry International followers!)
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- Giveaway will run from February 6th to February 14th! (Happy Valentine's Day!)
- Use the Rafflecopter form for entries
- I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items!

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Disclaimer

According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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