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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - The one with lots of SIGNED things!!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!


Review
My Scandalous Viscount by Gaelen Foley
Be My Enemy by Ian McDonald (PYR!)

Borrowed
Shadowlands by Kate Brian (Thank you Nancy!!!)

Purchased (all signed!)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Entice by Jessica Shirvington
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, September 28, 2012

NYMBC Book Signing - Gretchen McNeil, Michelle Gagnon, and Jessica Shirvington!


Last week I went to a book signing with the AMAZING Gretchen McNeil, Jessica Shirvington, and Michelle Gagnon at Not Your Mother's Book Club. As always, it was a lot of fun and the authors were all super nice and fun!

They were nice enough to let me film them, so now I can share this with you! It's a video of their entire presentation as well as the Q&A! Enjoy :) 


Me with Gretchen McNeil!!
Me with Jessica Shirvington!!
Me with Michelle Gagnon!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Memoir - Fandom of the Convention

For one of my English classes this semester we have to write a short memoir. It's a creative writing class and it's completely outside my comfort zone so I'm struggling with adapting my writing to something so forgiving. I decided I would go ahead and post my memoir for you, and let you tell me what you think. It isn't due for a few weeks so I'd love to hear whatever feedback you have to offer! Anything is helpful :)
Fandom of the Convention
I was unkindly awakened by the sound of my phone's unforgiving alarm, screeching and buzzing on the table beside me. The plushness of a mattress much softer than my own reminded me I wasn't at home. The memories of the previous day's eight hour car drive that consisted of junk food and pop songs slowly trickled through my thoughts as I rolled over and slid my fingers clumsily over my phone's screen to silence the alarm. I groaned softly into my pillow before throwing my blankets unceremoniously off myself and performing my morning bathroom routine. As I groggily stumbled through the hotel room to the single window I heard Katherine stir in her nest of blankets and pillows. I pulled the curtains apart with a sudden excitement that had been hiding just below the surface.
It was the day I had been counting down to for almost six months; the day that would mark one of the larger milestones of my life. I was making the pilgrimage that so many had tread before me, marking their paths with Doctor Who shirts, posters of their favorite comic book heroes, autographs from celebrities known for making being a nerd cool. My turn had come to stand in the hour-long lines to catch a quick glimpse of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan discussing their favorite time-traveling moments; to hear my favorite authors speak about their upcoming novels; to walk the crowded floor of the convention center and pick up item after item of geeked out goodies.
I took two steps from the window to Katherine's bed before I leapt into the air and, landing with an “Umph,” that shook the bed like a small earthquake, I whispered, “It's here. Today is finally here!” I shook her violently, with the same gusto I used when I was a child to shake my parents on Christmas morning. “Wake up!” I yelled. “It's time to get ready! We have to leave in 45 minutes so we can get a good spot in line!” “What time is it?” Katherine grumbled without looking up. “It's 6:15. We have to go! Come on! We have to find parking and everything!” Katherine glared at me from beneath her fortress of pillows with a look that dared me to shake her again. I crossed my arms and warned, “I'll give you 10 more minutes, but you knew what you were signing up for.”
I dug through my drawers for what seemed like hours, searching for the perfect outfit and finally deciding on a pink shirt with a criss-cross pattern on the back and a pair of jeans. I pulled out my shiny black Pumas that had barely seen any wear throughout their life and suddenly realized, “I forgot to bring socks!! Katherine, did you bring socks?” “Of course I brought socks. You told me to bring my ugly running shoes. Looks like you didn't plan for everything,” Katherine spat angrily. “Look, I know it's early, but it'll be worth it. Can I borrow a pair of socks?” I pleaded. There was a long pause while Katherine sat up in her bed. “Sure. I brought an extra pair, they're in my bag.” She unsteadily got to her feet and stumbled into the bathroom to complete the same morning ritual I had just accomplished ten minutes earlier.
I gave Katherine some space to wake up while I slid on her socks and tightened the laced on my Pumas. I had never worn them for anything other than running, but I knew I'd need something more comfortable than my Toms since I was going to be standing on my feet all day. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided that being in humid San Diego would mean a ponytail hairstyle was a must. I also figured that I might see some celebrities that day so I should try my best to look as presentable as one can at six in the morning.
By the time I was finishing with my makeup, Katherine was dragging herself out the bathroom and attempting to tame her hair. “You should wear your Hunger Games t-shirt.” I told her. “I didn't bring it. It needed to be washed and I didn't manage to do laundry before I packed.” I could tell she was disappointed so I offered to let her wear mine. “It's okay,” she said wistfully, “I'll just wear something else. Maybe I'll pick something up today and change at the convention center.” I thought that was an awesome idea and agreed I might do the same.
We had both finished getting ready and I checked the clock. 6:45 and we were right on schedule. I packed up my backpack with snacks and water, knowing that even though Katherine denied wanting anything then she would want something later. We pulled on our sweatshirts and made our way down to the car in the parking lot. We drove in silence towards the center of downtown in hopes of finding a parking spot somewhere close. Of course, with our luck and poor planning, we could only find parking in a lot about a half a mile away that charged $40 for the whole day. “Are you sure we should park here for the day?” I asked Katherine. “I don't know, you're the one who wanted to park around here. What do you think we should do?” she asked disdainfully. “I guess we could just park here for the day and split the cost? That's only $20 a person. Tomorrow we can find something cheaper. We'll talk to people inside and see what they recommend.” “Sure, whatever,” Katherine muttered. “Let's just go. I'm getting cold just standing around.”
As we finished paying for our parking pass a man dressed in a leather knight's outfit sauntered up. “Awh man,” he groaned, “Forty dollars for the whole day? That's ridiculous. I guess it's better than having to leave the con mid-day to refill your meter or something, right?” He nodded to us. Upon deciding the time saved by paying a decent amount to park was worth it, the man slid his credit card into the parking meter. “Have a good time today, ladies!” He waved good bye, but all Katherine and I could do was stare at each other in disbelief. At this point, Katherine and I were semi-woken up, but the reality of the day still hadn't hit us. This stranger, with his leather pants and plastic sword, illuminated the authenticity of where we were for a brief moment. The air seemed to stir, and despite the vast emptiness of the parking lot in front of us, a glimmer of excitement crept its way into my limbs, stiff from lack of sleep and the long drive the day before. We were almost there.
The convention center was still a good mile away from where we had parked and with our small backpacks slung over out backs we made our way to our destination. We cut through back alleys and down side streets, whispering to each other as we came across more and more of our peers, all dressed in costumes ranging from the obscene to the absurd. I could feel the buzz of excitement, the anticipation dripping off of people the closer we came. My legs felt sore from all the movement after remaining sedentary for such a long time, but I couldn't stop now. I felt my heart pounding in my chest; I could feel the crush of people around me, rushing towards the same place, eager to stand in line waiting for our turn to enter like nerds waiting in line for Comic-Con.
Katherine and I finally reached the end of the serpent-like line, winding its way around the convention center, over the pier and finally ending right behind Starbucks. I breathed a sigh of relief at the free moment to sit and take in everything around me. Families with children dressed in miniature versions of their own costumes sat on benches. Groups of friends, dressed as their favorite Anime characters, played cards on the wet grass. Katherine and I quietly talked about our plan for the day, or more accurately I talked while she nodded in agreement. I had mapped out our entire weekend in hopes that we wouldn't miss anything. Katherine moved unsteadily from foot to foot as if the excitement inside was only a step away form bursting out.
After an excruciatingly long hour of fidgeting and standing around awkwardly, the line began to move. I could feel my heart leap around inside my chest, as if screaming at the top of its tiny lungs, “We are almost there! We are almost there!” The line moved at a snail's pace as we back-tracked our way to the front, following the same path we had used to get to the end. The moment came when we were at the beginning, standing just outside the doors that would lead us to an alternate reality where nothing would be as it seemed. Within those walls, you could be whoever you wanted to be. You didn't have to worry about being too weird, or too passionate. As the man with the blue shirt and name tag directed us through the doors I turned to Katherine, a grin on my face and my eyes wide with excitement, and said, “We have arrived!”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Reached by Ally Condie

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

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
Expected Publication Date: November 13th, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count:
Add to Goodreads
Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the "New York Times" bestselling Matched Trilogy After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising--and each other--Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 "New York Times" bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.
Why I Can't Wait: Well, I loved Matched, and Crossed was good, but I need to know what's going to happen! Who will Cassia choose? What will happen with the rebels?? Will Ky live? Will Xander be found out?! WHAT IS GOING ON?! Must know all the things!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Expected Publication Date: October 2nd
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 304 pages
Add to Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible. While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
Teaser
"I am thinking of an apple when the streetcar hits and my leg severs and my ribs crumble and my arm is no longer an arm but something unrecognizable, wet and red." - ARC page 1

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quick Blogging Break

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you all know that I'll be taking a break from blogging this weekend (Thursday - Sunday) so that I can catch up on reading and some homework that I have going on. I haven't read a book in like 2 weeks now and I feel like blogging has become more of a commitment than I can keep up with. I'm going to take the weekend to commit to homework and reading so I can catch up on my life and just take a break.

I also haven't been sleeping well, and I think the stress of school and work is getting to me. I need to take some time for myself for a few days, just to recuperate. Don't worry though, I'll be back in no time, hopefully with some posts scheduled and some reviews :) If you hadn't noticed, I haven't written a review in about a week, and it's because I haven't read any books!!

Thanks for being so understanding, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [55] - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

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


The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Expected Publication Date: January 19th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Page Count: 368 pages
The Madman's Daughter
London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor’s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Why I Can't Wait: Dude... animals that SPEAK. How crazy is that? An island full of crazy animals? A love triangle that MIGHT actually work? Crazy crazy crazy?! Yeah, this one is going to be awesome :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [52] - The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley
Expected Publication Date: November 6th, 2012
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Page Count: 280 pages
The Lazarus Machine (Tweed & Nightingale Adventures,# 1)

An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.

It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living.

But all is not well...

A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as they take over the underworld. as the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers.

Professor Moriarty.

When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.
 My Teaser
"Tonight, seventeen-year old Sebastian Tweed was going to be the voice of a fifty-year old woman. More specifically, he was going to be the voice of a Mrs. henrietta Shaw - missing and presumed dead for over a year now." - ARC page 9

Bahahahahhaah what?! You guys, you have no idea how stoked I am for this book!!!!! I can't wait to dive into it :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves [19] - The one with lots of Cities!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!

This week at Literary Exploration




Not only did I receive two awesome packages from HarperCollins for their Halloween promotion, I went to Educator's Night at Hicklebee's and bought some books and snagged some ARCs from their giveaway piles. As always, I had an awesome time and got to meet some really great authors and fellow educators. 

Review:
All thanks to HarperCollins for their special Halloween books!!!
Coraline by Niel Gaiman
The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade
Always October by Bruce Coville
Monsters on the March (Scary School #2) by Derek the Ghost
Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin
Invisible Inkling by Harry Bliss and Emily Jenkins
It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood
Mia: Time to Trick or Treat by Robin Farley

Purchased:
Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen (signed)
The Bugaboo Review by Sue Sommer (signed)
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett (signed)

Gifted:
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Switched by Amanda Hocking

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Silver by Talia Vance & Giveaway!



About the Author:
Talia Vance is a practicing litigation attorney living in Northern California with her real life love interest, two-point-five kids, and a needy Saint Bernard named Huckleberry. Talia has been writing since she could talk, making up stories for every doll, stuffed animal and action figure she could get her hands on. She grew up hoping to write the great American novel, but her life ran more along the lines of tortured romance and fast paced thrillers, so that's what she writes.
TwitterWebsite | Goodreads




Interview

Convince us to read your book Twitter style: in 140 characters or
less.
Silver is the story of a girl who accidentally binds her soul to her mortal enemy. Trouble, magic and forbidden romance ensue.

What kind of research did you have to do for Silver?
I researched a lot of Celtic myths, including stories involving Pagan gods, magic and superstition. I also had to research a few scientific theories, some math, basic genetics and breeding techniques.

Do you believe in love at first sight? What about soul mates?
I definitely believe in true love. And, while I believe in attraction at first sight, I think love is something that develops as you get to know a person. I think there are certain people that we just click with from the beginning, and then as we get to know them, that chemistry only grows stronger. But, I think those relationships are rare, which is why when you find them, they should be cultivated and treasured.
I believe in soul mates because I found mine. Before then, I had a more pragmatic and practical outlook on love. Love changes everything.

Who/what inspired you to become a writer?
I have written since before I could write. Every stuffed animal I owned had its own backstory, and I would spend hours making up stories for them. I wrote puppet shows and plays in elementary school and just never stopped.

If writing hadn't worked out, what other profession would you have
wanted to do?

That’s an easy one. I would have been an attorney. In fact, I am one. Although I wanted to write books for as long as I can remember, I didn’t actually finish a novel until recently. In the meantime, I went to law school and became a litigation attorney. I love the legal profession because it involves writing and storytelling. Plus, I get to trot out my inner drama queen every once and a while.

Do you believe in magic?
Yes. Love is magic.

What is your favorite mythological retelling?
I really enjoyed Everneath by Brodi Ashton which is based on the Persephone myth, and Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini was a fun and romantic read that combines a lot of Greek myths.

Do you have any pieces of jewelry that hold a special meaning to you?
I have a carbon fiber watch that my husband bought for me. He never buys me jewelry, but he saw this and thought it looked like something I would love. And I do. I can’t wear it without thinking of him.
I also have a string of pearls that belonged to my grandmother. They are modest but lovely. It’s the only thing of hers that I have. I wore them to my prom and my wedding.

Silver by Talia Vance
Publication Date: September 8th, 2012
Publisher: Flux
Page Count: 374 pages
Silver (Bandia, #1)
"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

The Giveaway
Talia's offering up 3 signed finished copies of Silver and Jaime made a Charm Bracelet like Brianna's in the story to go along with the grand prize.

Discussion: How I manage blogging, school, work, and life.


I had a fellow blogger friend tell me on Twitter the other day how impressed they were with my ability to maintain a great blog while going to college and working. It was slightly humorous to me, because just last week I was freaking out about not having anything to post and wondering when I would get my reading done or my commenting done or my posting done or my homework done, pretty much in that order >_< Blogging is hard work and when you throw the responsibilities of blogging on top of the rest of your life it can make everything a lot harder. I'm in my final year of college so everything at this point is incredibly important, but I'm finally getting the hang of dealing with the work load that college offers while still having my own fun.

How I deal with school.
Over the years I've become a lot more organized with my homework and assignments which has enabled me to get things done without stressing over them. At the beginning of the semester I take all my syllabi, my wall calendar, and my planner and I write down ALL of my assignments for the next 4 months. I color code them too. At this point you're probably going, "Woah, Anna, that is just too much planning and organization to even think about before school actually starts." And, before I started doing it, I would have thought so too! But the thing is, it makes life so much easier. After I'm done filling in my calendars and planners I move on to that month's assignments. For all essays, exams, midterms, and presentations I write out their due date, assignment, and class on a sticky note and put them up on my desk. This way, every time I sit at my desk I can see that in two weeks I have an essay due in a certain class. Things like that. This doesn't mean I do anything in advance, however. Also, over the weekend I try to get most of the upcoming week's reading and such done so I don't have to worry about it during the week.

How I maintain my blog.
Here's the thing, I don't let my blog dictate what I do. Yes, I try to keep up with blog tours, reviews, memes, and things like that, but if something gets in my way I don't stress over it to the point where I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I try to do things in advance, but sometimes life gets in the way and you just have to deal with it. I don't have class until noon every day so I try to wake up around 8am and that gives me about 2 hours of interruption free blogging time. So, yes, I schedule in my blogging time as well. This is the time I comment, plan, post, etc. The more things I can schedule ahead of time the better. 

How I keep from getting burnt out.
As many times as I've wanted to quit it all and throw the blog out the window, I can't. My blog is my baby. I've worked hard to get where I am in the blogging world and I can't just throw it all away. I love my blogging friends, and the opportunities I've been given because of blogging have been amazing. But every now and then I still get stressed out about blogging. It's not my number one priority in life and it shouldn't be. I need to keep up with school, maintain my real life friendships, and keep myself working. But, sometimes life gets stressful and I need to put everything on the back burner, so these are some of the things I occupy myself with when I'm getting to stressed:
  • Watch TV: Since we have a DVR in my house I record a million things throughout the week. When I'm feeling stressed I just plop myself down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and turn on The Office or Doctor Who.
  • Go for a walk: Whether I'm by myself or with a friend, walking around my neighborhood has always been a great de-stresser for me. If I have a big essay due I'll usually try to figure things out in my head while I'm walking and the combo between fresh air and exercise gets my brain working over time. 
  • Spend time with friends: It's important to remember that we have friends. Like, I'm not even kidding. I'm always so busy with work and school that most of my free time gets spent with my boyfriend (if I have any free time). It's important to remember that there are other people who are there for us and it's always great to get someone else's perspective on something that's going on in your life.
  • Read a book: I know what you're thinking. You're like, "Anna, I am trying to get AWAY from the stresses of blogging!" But I don't mean a book you plan on reviewing. I mean a book you want to read just for you. I think my brain works in different ways depending on what I'm planning on doing with each book. If it's a review book I'm constantly trying to figure out what I liked and what I didn't. If it's for school I'm trying to analyze every sentence and every theme in order to interpret the messages beneath the surface. But if I'm picking up a book just for me I don't feel those pressures. I can just read and enjoy. 
  • Play some video games!: This one is somewhat older and newer for me. I used to be a huge gamer, but college sort of destroyed all my gaming fun, so I've started to unpack my dusty Game Boy and PSP and get in the groove of gaming again. I love playing video games and they're a great way to sort of pass the time while having fun and giving your brain and your body a break. If you don't have a gaming system there are a lot of great ways you can still play! Android phones have an app called GBC A.D. that lets you download .ROM files onto your phone and use it like a Game Boy Color. Also, Big Fish Games has a ton of games you can download free trials for and play for like an hour on your computer. I used to spend HOURS playing these.
Give yourself a break.
Just remember that you blog for you and if you start to get burnt out on it, take a break. If I'm swamped with school work or I just don't feel like doing anything then I just won't post. I'll take a week off. Everything will still be there when I get back. Sometimes a week off from blogging will help you realize how important it really is to you. Or maybe you'll realize you've burnt yourself out on blogging and you'll decide it's time to call it quits. Either way, stepping away from that responsibility can be an eye opener. Just don't take it so seriously. It's not the end of the world if you can't read a book before release. I have a shelf of books that are already out and I've yet to read and review. Do I care? Of course. But there's nothing I can do about it. I'm doing my best with what I've got and that's all I can do.

What are some ways you maintain your blog with your busy schedule?

*****

Do you like these discussion posts? If so, ask your own questions! I'll answer anything and everything to the best of my ability!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Expected Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Page Count: 390 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Nicole from The Reader's Antidote
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
I'll be honest with you, of all of Maggie Stiefvater's books, Raven Boys is by far my favorite. While I loved Shiver, Linger was just okay and Forever was a DNF for me, and I still haven't read Scorpio Races. That being said, my decision to read Raven Boys was a bit hesitant at first. I'm so glad I didn't let any prior judgments get in the way of my choice. I devoured Raven Boys. The characters have a depth to them that makes them real and the writing style is as gorgeous as always. Raven Boys is a magical story that you won't be able to fully grasp until the very end, when all the pieces come together and you're pushed off a cliff. The only poor choice I made in reading this one was waiting so long to pick it up. Whether you're a fan of Stiefvater's other works or not, your'e going to want to get your hands on Raven Boys ASAP!

The characters are all beautifully developed. Blue is a little bit weird, having grown up as the only "normal" one in a house full of psychics. Despite her peculiar upbringing she knows who she is and she's proud of where she's come from. The raven boys (Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah) all have their own unique identities and stories that make them who they are. Stiefvater did an amazing job at slowly revealing the life experiences that have shaped these characters and made them who they are. I was able to connect with all of them on so many levels, and my heart just broke for them. And despite how different they may seem on the outside, they're all very similar, and somewhat damaged, on the inside. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with all the boys and their decisions affected me just as deeply as they affected each other.

As always, Stiefvater's writing is as beautiful and poetic as always. Her writing style paints a vivid image of the world she's built and as a reader I was able to immerse myself so fully into the story that I began to believe it was real. When something haunting happened, my body would get the all-over-chills and I would have to make sure all my windows were closed and my door was locked. The story itself was incredibly original and unlike anything I've read before. I love the mixture of the paranormal with the mythological as well as a bit of historical fiction thrown in. I honestly had no way of guessing what was going to happen next and I gave up trying and just let myself frown in the story. I admit, I was confused, horrified, frightened, anxious, and heartbroken on more than one occasion while reading Raven Boys, but I love that Stiefvater was able to pull so many emotions out of me!

If you're one of the few people who hasn't already added Raven Boys to your TBR yet, make sure you get on that NOW. Raven Boys will turn your world upside down in the best of ways. you will fell all of the feelings and fall deeply in love with the amazing characters. It's hard to find a book that is so refreshingly original as well as soul satisfyingly brilliant. I'm not a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan, but I can say if she wrote more books like this I would read every last one of them and become a full fledged uber fan. I highly recommend that anyone and every one pick up Raven Boys the second it hits shelves!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blog Tour: Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey & Giveaway!


Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey
Publication Date:
Publisher: Createspace
Page Count: 318 pages
Shark Bait
Previously homeschooled Camie Ramsey is being shoved into the shark-infested waters of public high school, where even helium filled, penguin bespeckled arm floaties likely won’t help keep her inexperienced, fifteen-year old head above water in that rip current of hormones and emotions.

Camie’s worldly wisdom might be severely lacking (i.e., the closest she’s come to being kissed was sitting too close to the TV whilst Jake Ryan leaned in to give Samantha that fateful 16th birthday kiss), but she does understand her only hope for survival is if she’s thrown some kind of “social” life preserver before she sinks like a freaking rock. However, what will her fate be when she endeavors to flag down the only lifeguard on duty, the enormously popular and ridiculously beautiful Tristan Daniels? The most sought after and virtually most unattainable guy in school who not only makes Camie’s heart flatline on a recurring basis, he’s also the one guy who seemingly doesn’t know she exists.

Feeling like an inept piece of chum that could ultimately be swallowed by Jaws, can Camie get Tristan to rescue her from floundering in the treacherous deep, or is she destined to be Shark Bait?
Excerpt from Shark Bait:
"Cancer sucks. And you know what? It can kiss my almost sixteen-year-old ass.Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t swear. It’s just not who I am or how I’ve been raised. I haven’t been sheltered or anything like that, I’m just really awesome at self-censoring. See, I’m the good girl. You know, prays before she eats, gets good grades, keeps her room clean, does what she’s told, is always polite…that kind of stuff. Yeah, I know. That’s me, Cameron Ramsey, AKA: Miss “Goody Two Shoes.” I swear Adam Ant wrote that song back in the ‘80s specifically about me even though I wasn’t a twinkle in my dad’s eyes yet. Recently though, I’ve come to understand that, now and then, there are some situations in life that really do deserve a choice expletive." 


About the Author:
Jenn Cooksey is a Southern California girl born and bred, and proudly boasts being a member of Grossmont High School's alumni.
She currently resides in the 7th Ring of Hell (aka; Arizona) with her husband (whom she married on a dare while in Las Vegas), their three daughters, and more pets than she has the patience to count.
Aside from her husband and one cat, everyone living under the Cooksey's roof is female. She's sure her husband will be not only be awarded sainthood when he kicks the bucket, but that Jesus will welcome him into heaven with a beer and a congratulatory high-five.
She also believes that Bacon should be capitalized. Always.
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Giveaway Deets:
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your shot at an e-copy of Shark Bait, but for a chance at the grand prize, the Ultimate Shark Bait Swag Bag, make sure you travel to every blog on the hop and jot down the highlighted letters and what blog you found them at in order to answer the scavenger hunt question! The grand prize giveaway will be at the final stop of the hop over on Jenn Cooksey's Blog on September 21st!!

Find all the highlighted scavenger hunt letters and head to Jenn's blog at the end of the tour for a chance to win all this awesomeness!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Make sure you stop by the rest of the tour!
Sept. 10th - The Bookish Brunette
Sept. 11th - I Love YA Fiction
Sept. 12th - Little Read Ridinghood  
                 - Literary Exploration
Sept. 13th - Sliced Open Reviews
Sept. 16th - Just a Girl Geek
                 -  For Love & Books
Sept. 17th - The Autumn Review
                 - Hackaroo's Reviews
Sept. 18th - The Indie Bookshelf
Sept. 19th - TotallyBooked
Sept. 20th - I'm a Book Shark
Sept. 21st - Jenn's Blog!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Literary Exploration is officially open for review requests!


What's that you say?! Literary Exploration is open to review requests again? It is! It's true! Honestly, I couldn't stand not taking review requests. I was getting legitimately bummed out. I thought to myself, "The amount of homework you have is not NEARLY enough to justify not accepting books for review." It's not! I will be limiting the amount of reviews I accept, but I've also changed the format that I'm taking requests in.

I'm now taking all requests via a Google Doc form. I think this method will allow me to stay organized with my reviews as well as respond to requests in a timely manner. I've also updated my review policies to reflect some of these changes:

My Review Policies:
- I will only accept YA books for review
- I will accept requests from authors, publishers, publicists, and everyone in between
- Books I personally request are almost always guaranteed a review
- Books on my wishlists are almost always guaranteed a review
- Just because I have accepted your request does not mean I guarantee a review
- I prefer hardcopies over ebooks, but I can accept ebooks
- I am not accepting self-published titles

I am no longer accepting any requests via email. All requests must be submitted through the Google Doc form for me to even consider them. Any requests that I choose not to accept will receive no response. I will only respond to the requests that I am accepting. 

If you are an author, publisher, publicists or anyone in between and would like to submit a request for your book to be reviewed on Literary Exploration, please fill out the form below: 

Teaser Tuesday [51] - Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Expected Publication Date: February 5th, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 465 pages
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.
Teaser: 
"The world might be sunny-side up today.
The big ball of yellow might be spilling into the clouds, runny and yolky and blurring into the bluest sky, bright with cold hope and false promises about fond memories, real families, hearty breakfasts, stacks of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup sitting on a plate in a world that doesn't exist anymore.
Or maybe not." - ARC page 1

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Expected Publication Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Mystic City (Mystic City, #1)
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I started Mystic City. I admit, the majority of my want to read it came from how gorgeous the cover is. Once I picked it up, however, I knew I was going to be in for an interesting ride. While there are some elements in Mystic City that weren't incredibly original, Lawrence's writing style really held my attention. That and I just had to know what was going to happen! The continuous plot twists and forbidden romance that weave their way through Mystic City really captured me and my heart!

The characters are all really different and fantastic in their own way. Some I hated, some I loved, but I enjoyed reading about all of them. Aria has had her memories replaced with some that just don't make sense to her and she's determined to find out what's really going on. Her perseverance throughout the story is really admirable, and I loved how she was willing to risk her life just to do what was right. She's going to be with the boy she truly loves, no matter what the cost. I seriously fell for Hunter within the first few pages of meeting him. He's strong, independent, loyal, brave, all of the delicious qualities I like my boys to have. Thomas was sweet in his own way, but he also had a tendency to be a total jerk. The other side characters were all really amazing and I loved them (or hated them) in their own ways.

The story is fantastic, although it did tend to become a bit predictable at some points. I definitely guessed what was going to happen on several occasions, but then Lawrence would pull the rug out from beneath me. I read a good portion of this book at work or on the train to school which was probably a horrible idea because I'd find myself laughing out loud or suddenly crying. Those kinds of intense emotions are hard to hide when you're in such a public place. Several events occurred and I didn't know how to process what was going on and I would just sit in stunned silence. The romance developed at a nice pace, Aria was constantly questioning her feelings and trying to figure out what the correct choice was and I really appreciated that. I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed; it was almost like the story was building up towards something and when that moment came it just flew by me in a fit of rage. I think that if 50 more pages were added the ending could have been wrapped up a bit more.

Overall, I really enjoyed Mystic City. It wasn't completely original and some things were incredibly predictable, but the story itself was executed wonderfully. Romance, political intrigue, backstabbing, and death all weave themselves into Lawrence's intricate story. Reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet with a touch of The Godfather, and just a splash of magic thrown in. If you're a fan of dystopian worlds with a magical touch, Mystic City is for you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Author Interview with Susan Dennard

Photo Credit: http://susandennard.com/about-me-2/
About the Author: I’m a 28-year-old reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Facebook

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.

1. Convince us to read SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY Twitter style: in 140 characters or less.
Parasols, manners, zombies, and rogues. Oh, and a little steampunk action thrown in.

2. What/who has been your biggest inspiration for writing?
Reading--specifically in the fantasy/sci-fi genre--really turned me into a writer. I was always an avid daydreamer, but it wasn't until I was first introduced to fantasy worlds (in 5th grade by my school librarian, who gave me a copy of Lloyd Alexander's THE BOOK OF THREE to read) that I knew I wanted to create worlds/stories like those. After Lloyd Alexander, I tried Tamora Pierce, then Jane Yolen, then Dianna Wynne Jones, then Anne McCaffrey, and...you get the idea. ;)

3. In a zombie-pocalypse, what role would you take on? How would you fight back?
I would be that person trying to barricade a perimeter around her house, grow food, and create a safe haven for other survivors. I'm more of a protector than an attacker, I think...so I'd fight back by defending those I love.

4. If the only way to save the world was to kill someone you love, could you do it?
No. I...don't know. WOW, what a question, Anna. If I could die instead, then I'd rather do that than take someone's life.

5. If it were still trendy to wear corsets, gloves, and fancy hats, what do you think your favorite to wear would be?
Ooooh, I love hats. I think flat caps are just about the sexiest thing ever--for men or women. I'd love to try corsets, but I'm pretty sure I don't have the ability to wear one all the time.

6. In a world dominated by the paranormal, which was your favorite to write about?
Well, my SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series covers the walking dead along with ghosts. In books 2 and 3, we see other creatures--demons, mummies, Hell Hounds, and some critters I made up. My favorite character to write was actually one of the demons, but I really liked crafting (or researching) all the various nightmares.

7. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on an untitled novella set to come out shortly before book 2. It's from Daniel's POV, and takes place before the events of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY.

8. What are some upcoming titles you can't stop talking about?
I am so, so excited for Gennifer Albin's CREWEL and Kat Zhang's WHAT'S LEFT OF ME. I've heard such good things, and I just can't wait to pick them up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 306 pages
Format: ARC
Source: San Diego Comic-Con 2012
Carnival of Souls
In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and "Graveminder," comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.
Despite having never read anything by Melissa Marr, I had really high expectations for this one. Not only was the whole blogosphere all a twitter about it, but Comic-Con did a special giveaway of only 20 coveted ARCs that people were clambering to get. After all of this build up, I finally sat down to read it and I was thoroughly let down. Not only was the plot seriously confusing for most of the story, there were several characters that just rubbed me the wrong way. Oh, hello Mallory, I didn't know you were related to Bella Swan! >_< But I digress. While I really did enjoy Carnival of Souls I feel like it was overly hyped and my high expectations were let down in more than one way.

The story is told from multiple perspectives that all sort of come together at one point or another. There's Aya, the badass killer who's fighting for her right to have a life outside marriage; Kaleb, the most sought after assassin in The City who's fighting his way up the social ladder; Mallory, the annoying naive and mostly clueless daughter of the most powerful man in The City who's spent her whole life in the human world; and all of the side characters who contribute to the livelihood of these three protagonists. While I loved Aya, I felt like I didn't get enough of her. She's so awesome and independent I just wanted to read a book all about Aya. The rest of the characters were alright, but most of the time I either really disliked them or I couldn't really care less about what they were doing.

The story itself is incredibly confusing to get into. I found myself having a hard time understanding what was going on and what the different words or places were. A lot of things are mentioned, but never fully explained by anyone so I was left to just figure it out on my own. Also, a lot of things were really predictable. Characters spend a lot of time hiding things that seemed obvious to me, or I'd make a guess as to what was going to happen next and then, boom!, it happened. Other things, however, really surprised me and added a lot to the plot line. It was definitely fast paced enough to keep my attention and I didn't get bored while reading it. It seemed like 50+ pages would go by and I wouldn't even realize it!

Overall Carnival of Souls was a good read, but it didn't live up the hype. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I was definitely thrown off by the amount of work I had to do to understand what was going on most of the time. A lot of the carnival elements are really fantastic, but I think I would have liked the story more if it was set strictly in The City and didn't have any contemporary elements. I loved the ideas of street vendors wearing masks to display their "goods" and I would have liked to learn more about that world. Carnival of Souls definitely takes you to an interesting place and despite its flaws I'm excited to see where things will lead next!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [54] - Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

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

Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Expected Publication Date: October 16th, 2012
Publisher: FSG
Page Count: 416 pages
The Shadow Society
Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .

In this smart, compulsively readable novel, master storyteller Marie Rutkoski has crafted an utterly original world, characters you won’t soon forget, and a tale full of intrigue and suspense.
Why I Can't Wait: Honestly? I don't really know.... There's something about it that just calls to me, you know?! It doesn't sound like something I've ever read before and I'm pretty sure it'll be a refreshing change from what I've been reading lately.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [50] - Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Expected Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 306 pages
Carnival of Souls
In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
Teaser:
"The man-witch-who'd summoned Selah was nothing like what she'd expected. In truth, he looked no different than many daimons she'd met: implacable expression and a musculature that would serve him well in one of Marchosias' fighting competitions. It was only his eerie blue-and-gold witch eyes that revealed his true nature-and those eyes were fixed on her." - ARC Page 1

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Expected Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Burn for Burn
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.
I admit, I'm a huge fan of books like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, where girls are uber bitches and guys are total skeezes. And, while I liked Burn for Burn, it didn't measure up to the upper-east-side-like drama that I tend to love.  Don't get me wrong, I completely devoured this book in like... 2 days and there were some moments that had me feeling some feelings, but I didn't think it had the umph I would have liked. The characters were definitely shallow like I like them, and tortured or depressed or whatever other problems they had, which always makes an interesting protagonist and the story was fast paced and didn't really drag much, but I think there could have been more added. Burn for Burn is a great story about an unlikely alliance between three teenage girls from different cliques, but the revenge dished out wasn't cold enough.

Out of the three girls I definitely liked Kat the most. She was the most interesting as well as the most down to earth of the three. Her want to get revenge is pretty warranted, but I think the execution could have been a lot better. It seemed like most of the story focused on Lillia's revenge, which honestly didn't make much sense to me. I really had no idea why Lillia directed her anger towards the person that she did when it would have been much more appropriate to have it directed towards the person that actually screwed her up. Mary has the best reason to want to get back at the boy who messed her up, and I actually ended up crying a lot when I found out what happened to her during her childhood. It was also great seeing the relationship between Kat, Lillia, and Mary develop throughout the story considering where they all start out and how different they all are.

The premise for Burn for Burn is something I always love to read about: revenge. I'm a sucker for girls getting back at each other for horrible teenage things. Burn for Burn is written from alternating points of view between Lillia, Kat, and Mary and each chapter jumps between the present and the past (where we learn what screwed the girls up). This writing style definitely kept me interested in the story because whenever I started getting bored of one girl the chapter would end and I'd get to learn more about the next one. I do think that the causes for revenge could have been more extreme for Lillia and Kat, and I would have liked to have seen the girls throw out some more Mean Girls-esque ideas for revenge, but I also have to admit that I don't think I'd be too creative when it came to that kind of thing.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Burn for Burn but in a world dominated by Mean Girls I don't think it measured up. The characters were great, albeit a little soft, and most of their victims deserved everything they got. By the way the book ended I'm guessing there will be another book, and I would love to see Vivian and Han amp up the drama lama! Because, let's be honest, as much as I hate the drama in real life, I love to read about it!!! If you're a fan of books that involve gossip, sweet revenge, sex, and backstabbing then Burn for Burn is definitely one you do not want to miss out on!!

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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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